A sitting room may sound pretty self-explanatory—it’s just a room to sit in—but what sets it apart from a living room and a family room? While a family room is meant to be casual and used by everyone for watching movies and hanging out, and a living room is large, formal, and intended for entertaining, a sitting room is a happy medium between the two. In spaces that are large enough to accommodate all three communal spaces, the sitting room will be the most relaxing and intimate space for the family to convene, nap, read, or enjoy a game night. Consider this roundup of ten chic spaces a master class in designing a sitting room.
There’s something about dark walls and ceilings that instantly slow you down. Plus, they’re a sophisticated and unexpected design choice. In this sitting room, interior designer Andrew Felsher contrasts the moody walls and traditional art with fun, bright furniture and prints throughout. Use the small space to your advantage and make it feel like a jewel box.
For a less elaborate sitting room setup, take cues from this space designed by Arent & Pyke. In this beach house, the design team focused on channeling the tropical vibe of a coastal home through fun motifs and casual materials, yet they still maintained a level of sophistication. And most importantly, when designing a sitting room, arrange furniture in way that facilitates conversation. In this case, that simply means angling the seats inward.
Here, Heather Hilliard opted for a roomy and inviting sectional in a light blue sitting room. The upholstered ottoman contributes to the comfy environment while the ornate gilt mirror is all it takes to dress up the room without making it feel stuffy.
If your sitting room looks out at an expansive view and gets tons of light, even better. Heidi Caillier enhanced the hygge factor with a sheepskin rug, whimsical prints, and eclectic furniture.
In this sitting room designed by Katie Ridder, the mirrored effect of the glossy red paint on the ceiling makes the small space feel like a fun house while the cheerful art, casual rug, and laidback coffee table ground the space.
If you can situate a sitting room somewhere with a sloped ceiling, all the better—the nook-like feel enhances intimacy. Designed by Leanne Ford, this one is a calming neutral, with plenty of cozy textures layered together for a cozy, approachable, and relaxed family hangout spot.
This blue sitting room by Heather Hilliard has all the staples, from a small sofa to an arm chair, plenty of surfaces, a woven basket to store away throws, and ample lighting. Pro tip: stick to to one color family like Hilliard did here. The monochromatic scheme is soothing and it makes the actual design process a lot easier.m
“The room doesn’t get a lot of light, so I decided to make it cozy and turned it into an English-style portrait room, which is ridiculous, but fun,” celebrity chef Alex Hitz tells us. The floor-to-ceiling bookshelf makes it feel like the coziest home library ever, while the armchairs and sofa make it a good entertaining space, too. If your sitting room is on smaller side, it’s the perfect excuse to get bold with wallpaper.
Corrine Mathern took a casual, modern, and thoroughly Califorina approach to this sitting room in Silver Lake, Los Angeles. It’s just a tab more formal than the average family room, but still boasts that unpretentious look and feel so key to a comfy sitting room.
The number one goal in a sitting room is to create a relaxing atmosphere. So why put two armchairs side by side when you can line up a row of chaise longues? Place a slim side table between them so you have a place to rest your reading material and/or beverages.