This is a repost from January 2009.  I enjoyed reading it again and I think you will too.

Sometimes the things that make the biggest change in a room can take just minutes. You don’t have to purchase new furniture. Just make sure you are using what you already have to it’s fullest. You know, accentuate the positives. Right Bing?

1. Furniture Placement:
Pull the sofa and chairs away from walls and closer together to allow for more intimate conversation. Let me repeat. Pull the sofa and chairs away from walls closer together to allow for more intimate conversation. Avoid the trap of aiming every chair directly towards the television. Aim the seating towards the center of the room for conversations sake. We have a couple seats in our room with their backs to the TV. If needed, they can be turned around but the purpose of this room is people. Of course, our sofa and man chair do have good TV viewing stations so this works for us.

Has your sofa been stuck up against the wall? Most people naturally place the biggest item {their sofa} on the longest wall. Kristen decided to move her sofa away from the wall. It had been there for 5 years. She really had nothing to lose by moving it because if she hated it she could simply move it back. Here’s what she had to say about the change:

I cannot believe the difference this has made! Moving our couch off the wall to the middle of the room has created an intimate, cozy setting and works better with the traffic in the room.

2. Maximize Seating:

Challenge yourself to see how many seating options you can place in your room. Use the extra wooden arm chair from your Grandmothers Dining Room table, the ottoman that can double as a coffee table. In my 13′ x 14.5′ size room I have seating for 8 at all times and can move more chairs in if needed.

3. Open the Blinds:

And I don’t mean twist that rod thing. Pull them all the way up and let the sun shine in. You will be surprised at the transformation your room will have. Currently, we do not have blinds so I pull my mistreatments right before bed to keep in the warm. I love driving by a home and getting a peak at what’s inside and I don’t like the feeling of being all closed in when I’m sitting inside my house.

4. Turn off the Overhead Light:

Want to look 10 years older? Stand under an overhead light–especially the kind from the ceiling fan with 4 different naked light bulb bottoms showing–they will surely highlight every crevice on your face. Soften up the room with lamps. And TURN the lamps on! Most family rooms can hold three lamps placed around the room.

5. Bring the Outside in:

Natural items like shells, sticks, pine cones, and acorns can be piled in a bowl. My boys are always bringing home rocks and we keep them in an apothecary jar. A nest under a cloche or a plant, cuttings from your bushes in the backyard–all of these items help bring life to a room.

6. Remove All Clutter:

NO PILES. Look around, how many things are in the living room that are not used daily in that room? Do you have stacks of magazines and books and mail and too many toys and two printers and a laundry basket full of summer clothes? Do yourself a favor and declutter.

7. Music:

Most DVD players will play CDs. I also have a radio hidden under my skirt. My table skirt that is. Music can set the mood for a room and take the edge off a stressful day.

8. Cozy it up:

Use pillows, throws, a rug, mistreatments on a window or table, table runners, even a tassel. Fabricy elements add softness to a room. Shop the house and see what you can find to add some textural warmth.

9. Humanize it:

Candid, informal photos, children’s artwork, the quilt that was handed down–all of these items have a quality that represent natural beauty and trigger relaxation and help put people at ease. Something about the imperfections are welcoming and disarming.

10. Fire:

Do you have a fireplace? Use it. Is it in disrepair? Load it up with some logs and strategically place some chunky candles inside for some ambiance. If you don’t have a fireplace an arrangement of candles can go a long way to add visual warmth to a room. And although I say there’s no wrong–there’s a rule with candles that you must not break. LIGHT THEM! Do not have a never been burnt candle sitting out in your room. There is nothing more sad.

So there we have it. Ten easy no brainer ways to quickly comfortize your family room. None of these ideas are earth shattering but look around, how many of these things are actually happening in your room?

Are you a 1 out of 10 or 10 out of 10? I just moved my sofa because it just didn’t seem right and I have an empty wall right now that I’d like to humanize a little more..

Go to Part 2:10 Minutes to a Room You’ll Love :: Master Bedroom