Recently, architectural trends have moved toward large, open spaces versus the quaint rooms of yesterday. However, many people feel challenged by making these spaces feel cozy. It isn’t as daunting as it seems if you follow a few simple design rules. Use the following ideas to start designing a large, cozy room.

Divide the space into zones. Group furniture together in different areas of the room. Arrange a media center for viewing television and listening to music while making a second location into a conversation pit. If the room is large enough, it could also serve as an office, exercise room or craft area. Use bookshelves back-to-back to block the view from one section to the next.

Install built-in furniture. Having a large room allows you to install built-ins such as floor-to-ceiling shelving for a home library and benches for a reading nook. These areas take up floor space and make the room feel quaint and cozy.

Buy overstuffed furniture for your conversation pit. One or two large pieces are enough to achieve the desired effect. Avoid placing furniture directly against the wall. Get creative. Use area rugs to tie individual spaces together. Large wall hangings and plants also create a warm, cozy atmosphere.

Avoid mirrors and glass top furniture which gives the room a sense of spaciousness. Opt instead for dark, rich tones and woodwork, creating a warm, intimate feeling.

Use bold, vibrant colors. Paint the entire room or a few walls a rich bright color, drawing the eye into the space. Complement the wall color by hanging a large tapestry. Add baskets, pottery and large accent pillows to complete the desired look and feel.

Stop in to one of the two Connell’s locations in Mt. Vernon or Newark and talk to a sales associate about these and other ideas to make your home feel intimate and comfortable.