These snug room ideas will create a perfect space to cosy up in this winter

modern snug living room with lime plaster and log burning stove
Modern snug rooms look great with darker and bolder influences (Image credit: Mark Ashbee)

Snug room ideas revolve around a cosy environment, perfect for settling down on an evening with a warm drink and a blanket. 

While traditional living rooms ideas have been integrated as part of our love of open-plan spaces, the snug has regained its popularity as a space away from it all. 

Plan your perfect room with our ideas, advice and inspiration below which cover everything from different layouts and creating a welcoming atmosphere to practical decisions such as lighting and flooring.

How to plan snug room ideas

When considering what is a snug, it's important to note that snug rooms tend to contrast with the rest of the interior design of the main living spaces to some degree. If the kitchen, dining and living area is open, pared-back and bright, snugs can be moody, enveloping spaces. 

Generally, they are smaller than classic living rooms and serve a dedicated purpose of watching TV, listening to music or reading. They may be a spot for the kids to use in the day to play on their games console, becoming an adult retreat in the evening. Take advantage of this spatial difference and don't be afraid to make this room feel compact and even dark. 

If you're renovating an existing room, consider how you use it already — does the layout work for the function, and would different lighting help to set the mood? Or, if you're starting from scratch, getting the size of the room will be key so it might be worth deciding on a sofa style and using the dimensions to inform the space shape. 

1. Get the snug layout arranged

pink living room in renovated victorian house with glass internal doors

This pink snug is connected to the dining area using glazed internal doors — perfect for shutting away or opening up, depending on the occasion. (Image credit: Simon Maxwell)

Generally, if you're looking for snug ideas then you will have a separate living space elsewhere in the house for more conversational activities. This leads the snug room to having a particular function, such as watching TV or reading by a fire, which the layout can be centred around. Reviewing different living room layout ideas will be helpful as a starting point. 

Spaces might feel tricky to plan at first if there are multiple entrances to a room (like the room pictured), but this might actually help narrow down options for sofa placement. This is equally true of small living room ideas where natural walking pathways will be clear. 

Unlike in larger, more open spaces, snugs lend themselves better to having sofas and chairs placed against walls and in corners, but try to keep each piece of furniture angled in a way that is welcoming for visitors. 

Also resist the instinct to place a TV above architectural features like a fireplace or on top of a bookcase — this creates an awkward set up for enjoying films and shows. Ideally the screen should be placed a few inches above eye level at most. 

2. Introduce textured wall finishes in a snug

brick slip cladding on wall of living room snug with tv

Brick slips have been added to this self build's snug room to give a difference in texture.  (Image credit: Darren Chung)

Painted plaster walls can feel a tad cold so consider bringing in different wall covering ideas along one side of a snug. In this room, for instance, brick slips provide character and texture. Aim for warm, inviting materials — wood cladding can also work well.

Panelling is a particularly popular at present. Living room panelling ideas can include everything from half-wall painted tongue and groove timber to full walls of panelling in traditional style. 

This trick can take a regular room and turn it into a warm snug pretty easily (and cheaply). 

3. Use lighting to set the mood in a snug

warm grey living room snug with stove and l shaped sofa

Although it has a tall vaulted ceiling, this snug room in a barn conversion feels anything but unwelcoming.  (Image credit: Mark Ashbee)

Layer lighting carefully in a snug using living room lighting ideas — remember that this space needs soft lighting when evening comes. 

Play with wall lights and floor lamps to create levels of warm illumination but don't forget that ceiling lighting ideas for living rooms can also be a huge help in this space, such as dimmable spotlights, or modern, flexible track lighting (as pictured). 

The aim of the game will be to highlight architectural or special features, such as cosy oak beams, characterful coving or simply a beloved piece of artwork. 

4. Try out bolder interior schemes

dark red living room snug with restored fireplace

A dark burgundy on the walls matches the reddish hues of the restored fireplace.  (Image credit: Katie Lee)

For open-plan living spaces, it is tempting to keep the interior design pared-back with white, greys, beiges and other neutral tones befitting of a larger room. (Take a look at out guide to neutral living room ideas for more!)

Snug rooms, however, just like downstairs bathrooms have become the place to express our innermost personalities through daring paints and patterned wallpapers.

Incorporate the latest living room paint ideas to keep your space feeling modern — painting the ceiling the same colour as the walls is one way to further emphasise the cosy feeling, and painting skirting boards in the same way reduced the visual contrast of dark paint against white gloss.

5. Bring literal warmth to a snug room

white snug room with small stove and picture window

This snug in a new extension perfectly combines the needs for during the day – access to the outdoor and natural light – with cosier elements for in the evening, including a small stove.  (Image credit: Darren Chung)

Fireplaces and log burning stoves are ideal additions to a snug as even when they're turned off they provide a welcoming focal point. 

Perfect for winter's evenings when you're settling down for the night, or even in summer as a statement architectural piece, modern fireplace ideas and stoves are great to include in a snug. 

No matter how small this will create a focal point for the room — try positioning chairs and the sofa around this feature for a casual layout.

6. Choose window treatments carefully

olive coloured living room snug with chairs and curtains

Even when open, curtains bring a certain personality into a room so be sure to plan ahead with a moodboard of different colours and materials.  (Image credit: Hilaries)

Contrary to what we're normally looking for in living rooms, try to find the right window treatments that will block all light when closed. 

If your window creates a glare on screens, consider blinds or voile curtains for the summer months and for winter, choose a heavy fabric to create a black-out effect which reduces light, as well as reducing heat loss in winter.

7. Find the right snug room flooring

grey snug room with stove and grey carpet

Carpet, LVT and engineered wood can all work with underfloor heating for the ultimate cosy space.  (Image credit: Carpetright)

The best living room flooring ideas are very much household-dependent, but generally, softer and warmer is better when it comes to snug rooms. 

This doesn't have to mean a long-pile carpet, but it might mean that if you're choosing a hard wood or stone, a stylish rug might be in order. 

Also, if you're not installing a stove or have blocked up a fireplace, installing underfloor heating in a living room is a solid choice. 

8. Inject natural materials into a snug

white snug living room with lit fire and green windows

Here, a woodburning stove (complete with decorative log store) is the focal point of this snug, while the TV sits to the side. The chairs have also been arranged so conversation is still open.  (Image credit: Fiona Walker-Arnott)

Bring warm natural materials like wood panelling and sisal carpets for an instant characterful appearance. 

Tactile textures also goes hand-in-hand with this idea — if you're renovating a cottage consider a rustic lime plaster finish and a rough clay skim gives new extensions and homes a lived-in feel. 

What makes a room a snug? 

A snug is a smaller, more intimate space than a living room and tends to be separated from more open living spaces. Where homeowners might feel a TV in the more public spaces is anti-social, a snug might be the place where they can retire to watch a film or listen to music. 

How do you make a snug room cosy? 

While many might give advice concerning soft furnishings to make a snug room cosy, it is better to plan this atmosphere from the very beginning including room shape and size; heating system; lighting and flooring. Of course soft sofas and cushions will finish the room, but if you get all of these elements sorted early on, the comforting environment won't be too far away.

Also, try to include more personal items around the room. Bookcases with treasured items, artwork and objects will naturally make the space feel more cosy and as if it has a warmer identity. 

Amy Reeves

Assistant Editor Amy began working for Homebuilding & Renovating in 2018. She has an interest in sustainable building methods and always has her eye on the latest design ideas. Amy has interviewed countless self builders, renovators and extenders about their experiences for Homebuilding & Renovating magazine. She is currently renovating a mid-century home, together with her partner, on a DIY basis, and has recently fitted her own kitchen.