Snug room ideas – 9 ways to design and furnish our favorite room in the home

Beautiful materials, natural finishes and pared-back design – we consider what happens when style takes a warm, cozy and calm turn

Snug room ideas
(Image credit: Paolo Moschino / Alexander James / Studio Peake / TR Studio / Kalina Krawczyk)

Snug room ideas are all about curating a warm, cozy, and 'snug' space to indulge in at home, whether that be with family, friends or simply by yourself. The snug is one of our favorite spaces, and for good reason. This is the room in which we feel most relaxed and at ease, but how do you begin to decide the best approach when it comes to designing this all-important space? Our gallery of cozy room ideas for snug rooms is a good place to start for looks and details that are full of finesse. 

Increasing the sense of space and comfort in a snug room is a design issue everyone wants to solve. Here we spoke to a few of our favorite interior people to find out their most loved snug room ideas to help inspire your next remodel.

Snug room ideas

'Getting the furniture right in a snug room is one of the biggest challenges in design,' says Mike Fisher, creative director and founder, Studio Indigo. 'This needs to be a practical space, whether for watching TV or creating good conversation. What you choose needs to be stylish and contribute to the personality and harmony of the space. Inevitably, I find people often graduate to the snug room of a house as it often feels more intimate and cozier, whereas big family rooms can make you feel small and uncomfortable. Be bold with your little space and use large-scale furniture sparingly to give the illusion that the room is grander than it is.’ 

These snug room ideas cover everything from the best interior design tips and room color ideas to working with pattern and all the interior design trends to watch out for when designing a room that you will adore for years to come.

1. Consider conversational seating in a snug 

Brown painted living room with fireplace and blue ceiling

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

Good living room seating ideas are a significant part of any snug room. 'When you have people over for  gatherings, you really notice when you’ve got the seating arrangements right,' says legendary interior designer Nina Campbell. 'Seating plans are very important – and not just at a dinner table. I like to think of seating plans for the snug or living room when I have guests over, and for that you need what I call “conversational seating”.' 

'I like a room to have a central focal point, such as a fireplace, and then I arrange seating so that groups of three can sit and talk. A chair either side of the fireplace is a classic seating plan, which I have in my own home, and then you can add a small little chair right against the wall by the fireplace – the French call them chauffeurs. Then maybe there is a sofa in there – not too deep so that people cannot get out of it – and I have a corner banquette around one side of the fireplace, where I have found that four or five people can gather and play cards.'

2. Create a cozy corner for dining 

Purple dining room with red leather chairs and small square table

(Image credit: Rooz Ahmadian)

This one may not be a true snug, but its diminutive proportions make it just as cozy as one. Use dining room lighting ideas to create a snug room idea that is anything but dull or dreary. 

Ideally, an element of the lighting in a dining room setting should be subtle and ambient (and preferably dimmable) so the space can be used for lots of different situations – from informal family gatherings and celebrations, to raucous dinner parties, or an intimate dinner for two, recommends interior designer Henry Prideaux

When he was designing the dining snug in a glazed area overlooking the garden at the back of the house, the brief was to create a flexible, versatile space that could be tailored to suit a variety of occasions. ‘Width restrictions meant the wall lights needed to be both slim and vertical to work with the piece of art in the center,’ says Henry.

3. Customize with cushions 

snug room ideas with l-shaped pink sofa and cushions with wood panel wall

(Image credit: Anson Smart / Tamsin Johnson)

A well-designed snug room should exude comfort and luxury, and nothing says 'cozy' more than layers and layers of cossetting cushions. 

'I do think cushions are rather important: they might be small, but they can be quite complicated when you think about how to coordinate different fabrics and textures – I spend a lot of time thinking about cushions,' says designer Nina Campbell.

'At this time of year, cushions can help you bring a whole different feeling to a room – without dramatically redecorating. I tend to go for rich colors; I have got one in a rich, bitter chocolate color that almost looks black that I love using at this time of year. I love using different textures – wool is particularly good in winter to help you feel cozy and cosseted, plus it does not tend to crease.'

4. Go for full color in a snug

snug room with blue color scheme and small sofa in nook

(Image credit: David Butler / Amelia McNeil)

The right room color ideas are the best way to ensure that your snug room is every inch as tailored and beautiful as the rest of your home. As anyone who has been through the process of searching for living room color ideas will attest, choosing the right color for a snug or small room can be a minefield with endless choices and subtle nuances to understand and overcome. 

‘I like painting small rooms in a dark color to make them feel cozy and snug,’ says interior designer Amelia McNeil, who designed this scheme. ‘I even painted the window and architrave in the same blue so that the Phillip Jeffries wallpaper could be the main focus.’

5. Fill a snug with large-scale furniture

snug room with whitewashed wall and l-shaped sofa

(Image credit: Nune)

‘People often assume they should buy small-scale living room furniture for a snug room, but that actually makes a space feel smaller,' says Sheena Murphy, partner, Nune. 'Don’t be afraid to fill the room – get a rug that fully sits under all your furniture, and don’t buy a love seat if you can actually fit a three-seater sofa in the room. Not only will buying larger scale furniture look better, it will also make your experience of this snug so much more comfortable: win-win!’ 

Interior designer Lonika Chande agrees: 'It is worth noting that a pair of armchairs can often take up more space than a small sofa. Certainly, a smaller armless sofa, complete with a little side table to put down a drink, and a floor lamp rather than a table lamp can be a much better use of space in a small snug room.’

6. Dare to decorate with plentiful patterns

snug room with small patterned sofa and antique coffee table

(Image credit: Milo Brown)

'The snug room is a communal space and should reflect everyone who lives in the house,' explains Eva Sonaike, creative director, Eva Sonaike. 'This is your chance to be creative and playful with design. It is a room where we socialize, entertain and relax so the design should be functional, but also fun. I like to play with pattern and color here. For example, I might use patterned scatter cushions on a sofa alongside occasional chairs and pouffes upholstered in fabrics of your choice. These themes can then be echoed in accessories such as ornaments with colorful designs.’

7. Choose a calm color palette

snug room with plastered wall and pale sofa and olive tree

(Image credit: TR Studio / Kalina Krawczyk)

Decorative snug rooms don’t have to be full of color and pattern – neutrals can be just as effective. White is one of the most versatile shades in all of design – it instantly brightens while evoking a sense of calm and flawlessness. Add interest through art, accent soft furnishings and antique furniture and objects. It also makes it easier to change up the look of a room.

TR Studio designed this space around Dune by Clayworks on the walls, which is warm and light. ‘Rustic accessories create a texturally rich setting in this light and airy snug room,’ notes Tom Rutt, founder.

8. Take a decorative approach to design

snug room with patterned furniture and textured wall

(Image credit: Alexander James / Studio Peake)

Finding the perfect snug room ideas for your home isn't always easy, but it should be, and it is one space that certainly shouldn't be an afterthought. Take inspiration from the places, colors and materials that bring you the most comfort to ensure that you create a space that is as unique as you are.

'For me, creating a decorative snug room is about playing with pattern, texture and color,’ says Sarah Peake, founder of Studio Peake, who created this space. ‘A gallery wall can be a fun way to provide a focal point for the space – vary the type of frame for a homely look.’

9. Devise a cozy corner for family film night

cozy corner with grey u-shaped sofa and brown walls with art

(Image credit: Kevin Dumais)

The focal point of every snug room, your chosen seating will provide a comfortable retreat for weary feet, an indulgent vantage point for television viewing pleasure – and a relaxed hotspot for sociable sharing and informal entertaining. 

Designed by Kevin Dumais, this spacious and inviting snug room has everything you could possibly want. 'A giant U-shaped sofa was the best way to maximize seating in this square space. It is large enough for family and friends to enjoy a movie night or simply relax in after work, plus, and it makes for a cozy corner.

If you're a family that loves to entertain, then your seating arrangement could make or break your snug. Plan seating well, as demonstrated here, to ensure conversation flows when you have guests and consider scale and how different pieces will sit together.

What do you put in a snug room?

The main thing to put in a snug room is comfortable seating for lounging, and plenty of texture and soothing colors. Using texture in interior design can determine how a room looks and feels, from warm and cozy to cool and contemporary. 

If you have extended family or friends who regularly stay the night, it is also worth thinking about providing a sleep space with a sofa bed or sleeper sofa.

‘Whether it is your main sofa in a living room or a secondary sofa in a snug, it’s important to make sure the comfort level is the same as you would provide in a bedroom, so choosing a sofa bed that incorporates a mattress is essential, and the thicker the mattress the better,' says Kyra Cotgrave, home designer at Neptune. 'For guests who are staying more than one night it might be worth considering a design where the ready-made bed can be folded away, saving time each night when pulling the bed back out.’ 

Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.