What do you think of when you hear the word cozy?
Perhaps you imagine sitting by a beautiful open-fire with a warm drink in hand, reading your favourite book. Or you do picture sitting around the dinner table, sharing a home cooked meal by candlelight with those closest to you?
When creating a cozy atmosphere, the beauty is in the detail, and it is the finishing touches that make all the difference.
The separation between work, family and home life is no longer clearly defined, so it is more important than ever to design special spaces that calm the senses and allow you to escape for quiet moments alone or with loved ones.
Here, we share 7 ways to create a cozy space:
1. Decor Style & Purpose of the Space // 2. Furniture // 3. Lighting // 4. Layering Materials // 5. Accessorise // 6. Alfresco // 7. Embrace Hygge
STYLING TIP #1: DECOR STYLE & PURPOSE OF THE SPACE
Decor Style & Colour Palette
We recommend exploring our Style Library for step-by-step styling tips for a range of decor styles or take our Interior Style Personality Quiz if you are still discovering your unique style. Considered use of colour in your space will evoke different feelings and shape your perception of the space. Include warm, earthy, muted and nature-inspired tones in your wall colours, furniture and soft furnishings to create a serene atmosphere.
Purpose & Thoughtful Design
When developing a vision for the room, tailor your approach with the space’s function in mind, considering the purpose you want the space to serve, who it will be designed for and how you want to feel when you enter. For example, the space could serve as a reading or writing nook, a family games room, a bar station, coffee or breakfast nook, small desk, library or even a place to meditate.
STYLING TIP #2: SELECT YOUR FURNITURE
- Side Table/Nightstand: for books, candles & tea.
- Organic shapes: sloped, rounded & organic shapes create a more lived-in and cozy feel than hard, sharp lines.
- Fire Place: A wood burning fire, gas, electric or even a gorgeous mantel used for decoration filled with candles.
- Chairs: a large comfy armchair or chaise, upholstered ottomans or a window seat with cushions and throws for comfort.
- Natural Materials: Earthy materials, natural woods and rattan create a feeling of bringing the outdoors inside for a tranquil feel.
- Bookcase/Hutch/Built-ins: create a miniature library or display cabinet to serve as a conversational point in an open-plan space.
- Old & New: Incorporate furniture and decorative objects with soul and character such as an antique lamp, table or chair. Add softness to modern furniture through Chalk Paint and Wax.
STYLING TIP #3: LIGHTING
Good lighting is essential for wellbeing and dictates the overall mood. Bring your light sources lower in the room with rustic wooden table & floor lamps and candle holders and place them strategically to create soothing pools of light. The lower the temperature of the light, the more coziness it will evoke. Several smaller lamps around the room is more inviting than one big ceiling lamp, and we recommend a combination of different light sources listed below.
- Accent lighting: Wall sconces & candelabras can be placed on either side of your mantel, wall art, mirror or architectural features.
- Task Lighting: Table and floor lamps create clusters of illumination and draw the eye to where you want the focal point to be in the room.
- Ambient lighting: Crystal chandeliers or statement ceiling pendants with dimmer switches allow the light to circulate throughout the space.
- Mood Lighting: Salt lamps, lanterns, tea-lights, and candleholders provide soft illumination. Create groupings of candles for an intimate feel.
STYLING TIP #4: LAYERING MATERIALS & TEXTURES
One of the simplest and most versatile ways to transform your look throughout the seasons, whilst maintaining a restful feel, is by layering tactile textures, soft furnishings and hardware.
- Tactile Textures: When selecting cushions and throws, it's not just about how they look but also how they feel to touch.
- Architectural Elements: Old window frames, gates, mirror frames, chalk boards and clocks add a time-worn, nostalgic feel.
- Balancing Materials: Soften natural woods, rattan and jute with warm metal accents such as raw brass, gold, zinc, pewter or antique silver.
- Seasonal Soft Furnishings: Summer and Spring: opt for breathable, light-weight cotton and linen throws. Autumn and Winter: sumptuous velvets, fleece, chunky woollen knits, faux-furs and quilted blankets for a rich and lush feel.
- Area Rugs: Rugs provide practical warmth, depth and comfort underfoot. In the cooler months, we love to layer plush area rugs made from sheepskin or wool on top of existing flatweave jute or sisal rugs, floorboards or tiles for additional coziness in the bedroom, bathroom and living spaces. For alfresco areas, there are a range of specifically designed outdoor rugs.
- Window Treatments: Feelings of safety and privacy contribute to a comforting feel, which can be achieved with curtains, blinds and shutters in neutral, muted colourways, providing a subtle backdrop to your space.
STYLING TIP #5: ACCESSORISE: LIVING, LUSTRE, LOVED.
We always accessorise with something loved, something living, and something with lustre, balancing old and new items to achieve a look that is visually considered.
Bring the restorative quality of nature indoors: Branches, pinecones, soft textured flowers ie flannel.
Wooden, pewter or painted picture frames with travel or family photos. Vases, books, objet d'art, candleholders, ceramics, baskets and trays.
Something with Lustre:
Incorporate crystal glassware, mirrored surfaces and muted brass, gold, pewter and bronze elements to reflect candlelight.
STYLING TIP #6: THE EXTERIOR: CREATE A WELCOMING ENTRANCE & ALFRESCO SPACE
- Alfresco Entertaining: Votives, hanging tea-light candles and lanterns, fairy-lights, fire pits, day beds, floor cushions, rugs and pouffs.
- Porch Lighting: Wall sconces or overhead pendants provide a warm welcome for guests and reflect the atmosphere and ambience of a home.
- Entryway: Boot & coat racks, wood baskets, umbrella holders, door mats, planter boxes, lanterns and seating with outdoor throws and cushions.
STYLING TIP #7: THE FEELING: HYGGE
Hygge (hoo-guh) is the Danish word that is conceptualised as "being consciously cozy", "the art of building sanctuary" and "the pursuit of everyday happiness".
So how can you create a calming ritual for hyggestund (a moment of hygge)?
Practices to activate the 5 senses:
- Sound: Music, laughter, nature sounds such as crackling fire, rain and birdlife.
- Sight: Harmonious decor: ceramics, tea-pots, vases, mugs, bowls. Lighting: candles, lamps, sunlight.
- Scent: Fragrances: candles, incense, diffusers, open-fires. Self-care: Bubble Bath, bath salts, soaps, body lotions and pillow sprays.
- Feel: Clothing: dressing gowns, comfortable and casual attire, scarves, woollen socks, hand-knitted woollen sweaters, jumpers, cardigans and pullovers. Bathing: beautiful lush towels and floor mats. Soft furnishings: pillows, cushions, throws and blankets.
- Taste: Pleasure & indulgence: home baked goods and treats. Hot Drinks: tea, hot chocolate, mulled wine, coffee. Slow food movement: crock-pot meals, soups and berry conserves shared with loved ones evoke fullness and contentment.
Be present and practice gratitude: Journaling. Mindfulness. Reading.
Summer & Spring: alfresco dining, outdoor fires, hiking, swimming, foraging/orchid picking & pot-luck picnics with friends. Autumn & Winter: open fires, board games, art and crafts, movie nights, reading, cooking.
Create a ritual and activity for your friends and family to partake in to bring you closer and encourage bonding. Games such as boules or chess are informal, slow and relaxed. Craft, knitting, sewing, music or drawing encourage self expression.
Use an eye-catching lighting fixture to elevate the room & make it the focal point.
Lighting changes how we see a space and how we feel when we are in that space.
There are 4 main lighting styles; Accent Lighting, Ambient Lighting, Task Lighting and Mood Lighting. Use accent lights such as wall sconces to frame an artwork, mirror or mantelpiece. Ambient lighting is fundamental to a properly lit room and provides the overall illumination through lighting fixtures such as Ceiling Pendants and Chandeliers.
Task Lighting brightens areas where routine tasks are performed and makes a nice addition to the ambient lighting throughout your home. Task lighting includes adjustable floor or table lamps. Lastly, Mood Lighting is where you can get creative with pretty candleholders, hurricane lamps or decorative lights that function both as decorative objects and provide soft illumination.