How to Maximize Your Living Room for Entertaining

Whether your hostessing style is more “formal invitation” or “last-minute group text,” we’re guessing your central entertaining space could stand some company-friendly updates. Below, six small ways to create a living room that begs for grown-up cocktails and conversation.

liquor on tray
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Craft A Refreshments Station

Nothing lends a festive tone to a room quite like a glam little bar setup. And the best part? You don’t necessarily need a bar cart to pull this off. We love the idea of simply using a decorative tray to carve out a self-serve station on top of a credenza or bookshelf. Prized glassware, classy little bites, done.

glade living room

Set The Tone With Scent

In a space that’s geared toward guests’ enjoyment, lovely sensory details make all the difference. Your mission as hostess? Prioritize comfort, beauty and, perhaps most important, scent. Our favorite solution on that front: Glade® Plugins® Scented Oils, which release consistent, long-lasting fragrance through a chic warmer that melds seamlessly with your decor scheme. Plus, with its easy adjustable controls, you can decide just how much of that rich and woody Amber & Oud™ fragrance each gathering calls for.

living room coffee table
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Sneak In Extra Seating

Square footage challenged? Get creative when it comes to incorporating additional seating. A few of our favorite ideas: garden stools used as side tables, upholstered ottomans or benches as coffee tables, and poufs tucked discreetly beneath tables. Just clear them off and pull them out as extra spots for guests.

picture frames on wooden shelves
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Give Every Item A Home

Bottom line: Less clutter will make your space feel bigger, airier and more guest ready. So do yourself a favor and find permanent homes for everything from books and magazines to tchotchkes, board games and your S.O.’s ever-expanding collection of remote controls.

white living room
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Rethink Your Layout

The ultimate goal? Creating an intimate, cozy, comfortable vibe for guests. If your furnishings are backed up against a wall, consider floating them toward the center of the room. Or maybe rearrange your accent chairs to create multiple conversation areas.

blue couch in living room
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...and Your Lighting Concept

One more thing: No one wants to linger in a space that feels as bright as an operating room. For flattering, homey lighting, look to bulbs that have a color accuracy rating of 90 or higher and a temperature of 2700K. And don’t forget to layer your lighting sources.


Home Editor

From 2014-2019 Grace Beuley Hunt held the role of Home Editor covering interior design, styling, trends and more.