How can you make a large room feel cozy? Designer Rayman Boozer's simple tips

Large rooms are of course a blessing, however, at this time of year especially you do want them to feel cozier. Rayman Boozer talks us through his top tips for achieving this

Open plan living room with large windows
(Image credit: Nick Parisse)

In the world of interior design, I've encountered my fair share of expansive, open spaces, and let me tell you, they can be quite the challenge. Lofts, grand living rooms, and open-concept homes have a distinct allure, but they often lack that snug, cozy feeling we crave in our living spaces. However, fear not, because I'm here to share my insights on how to transform even the most cavernous of rooms into warm and inviting sanctuaries.

The secret to making a big space feel cozier is the art of creating zones. These delineated areas within your open expanse not only add structure but also provide a sense of intimacy. Think of it as defining the purpose of each section of your room, much like separate rooms with invisible walls.

1. Use your layout to create a more intimate space

Dining room in open plan space

(Image credit: Nick Parisse)

Start by imagining the various activities that will take place within your vast canvas: lounging, dining, sleeping, and cooking. Arrange your furniture strategically to craft distinct areas for each purpose. For instance, position your sofa, coffee table, and a cozy armchair to form a lounge space, while your dining table takes center stage in the dining room.

Rayman Boozer
Rayman Boozer

Rayman Boozer is the founder of Apartment 48. He has been dubbed the “go to designer for color consulting.” Over the years Apartment 48 has embraced that distinction - specializing in combining vibrant colors, exotic materials, and contemporary furnishings to create spaces that feel optimistic, relaxed, and effortless.

2. Use rugs to soften and zone

Open plan living room and diner

(Image credit: Apartment 48)

Area rugs and artwork play pivotal roles in defining these zones further. Placing a rug beneath your seating arrangement not only anchors the space but also creates a visual boundary. Artwork on the walls can be grouped according to the functions of the zones, tying the elements together cohesively.

In my loft, I've taken this approach to heart. I've carved out a dedicated lounging area, complete with plush seating and a coffee table, a spacious dining area with a grand table for hosting dinner parties, and a separate living area where I can entertain guests in style. Fewer, larger pieces of furniture are your allies in this endeavor, as they maintain a sense of openness while establishing clear boundaries.

3. Plan out the room's sightlines

Open plan living room with large windows

(Image credit: Nick Parisse)

Consider the sightlines within your space as well. The magic happens when your room reveals itself gradually to visitors. A well-placed, intriguing focal point or a distinctive piece of furniture can draw the eye and create an unforgettable impression.

4. Create natural room dividers

living room with indoor tree

(Image credit: Nick Parisse)

Another brilliant technique is to introduce natural room dividers. A tall, elegant indoor tree or a floor lamp strategically placed between two zones not only adds visual separation but also infuses an organic touch into your space. It's a reminder that the best designs are often inspired by nature.

5. Create rooms within rooms with accent walls

Wall of shelving used as divider between a living room and a dining room

(Image credit: Future)

Furthermore, don't underestimate the power of a feature wall. Whether you opt for wallpaper with a captivating pattern or a different paint color for a single wall, this design choice can accentuate a specific area, making it feel extra special. It's like giving that part of your room its own distinct personality.

In conclusion, making a large space feel cozier is all about thoughtful zoning. Define the purposes of different areas, use furniture placement, rugs, and artwork to create boundaries, and play with sightlines and natural dividers to keep things interesting. 

Remember, the secret to transforming a vast expanse into a warm and inviting haven lies in the details, and with a little creativity, your spacious abode can become your cozy sanctuary in no time.

Rayman Boozer
Contributing Editor

Rayman Boozer, principal designer at Apartment 48, has always had an eye for design. As a child, he would spend his free time rearranging his room, experimenting with different color combinations, and incorporating unique pieces to create a space that felt uniquely his own. As he grew older, Rayman's love for design intensified, and he decided to pursue it as a career. With a bachelor's degree from Indiana University, Rayman Boozer moved to New York and opened a home furnishings store in Chelsea called Apartment 48, one of the first lived-in, shoppable experiences.