If you want to be alone, you will go to your bedroom, or your office, or your study. Some people have hobby rooms, others have garages, and a few have basements that they can run down and hide in. But the living room, that is a place for being social. Even if you live alone, the purpose of the living room is to bring people together, to invite them in, and to make it easier for people to get along. There are a variety of things that you can do to enhance these aspects of the space, and make the room cozier and more social overall.
Keeping the space clean and organized is the easiest, simplest way to keep the space attractive and inviting. It is also a free tip, that does not cost anything except diligence and attention. Just picking up after yourself, and making sure that everything is put away in its proper place, will go a long way towards making the area feel more comfortable to visitors.
You also want to be certain that you do not go overboard and make the space irritating or offensive. This is a simple enough task that really only requires a certain amount of personal moderation. Try not to use too many colors, decorative items, or busy patterns. You should also avoid having too many bright irritatingly glaring tones, as these can cause eyes and heads to ache.
While you do want the space to be personal, you can not go overboard on this either. Decorating in an entirely self indulgent way, with pictures and statues that only you can enjoy or understand is a good way to alienate guests. On the other hand, if you decorate with symbols and pieces which will have a wide appeal, it will give you and your guests something to connect over.
This can actually be done on purpose to stimulate conversation. Fill the room with interesting or novelty pieces that will attract the eye and cause people to ask questions. One of the best ways to do this is with interesting art, or photographs of some of the more exciting moments in your life. You can also use novel items such as drink coasters with trivia questions or weird facts printed on them, as well as timely publications and periodicals spread on a coffee table.
Couches, and other seating arrangements, are another important part of the social aspect of this space. You will want to have plenty of seating, so that everyone will not have to be scrunched together on a single love seat. If space is sparse, keep folding chairs in a closet for when extra people come over.
As far as positioning, try and set up seating in such a way that people are facing one another. This will make it more natural to look at one another, rather than having to turn your head every time you want to speak. Never set up seating to focus on an attention distraction such as a television or video game system, unless of course the purpose of the space is to act as a sort of theater.
The living room is supposedly to be the most social room in the house. This congregational effect can be enhanced by using a few simple tricks, and doing your best to ensure that the space is relaxed, comfortable, and attractive. Certain accessories can be purchased which will help to create conversation, by connecting you with other people over shared or similar interests.