What do you think of when you hear the word cosy?
Perhaps you imagine sitting by a beautiful open-fire with a warm drink in hand, reading a book or playing your favourite board game...or you do picture sitting around the dinner table, sharing a home cooked meal with your loved ones?
When creating a cosy sanctuary, 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 can be challenging, so we hope these tips inspire you to create a space that calms the senses and allows you to escape for quiet moments.
Here, we share 6 ways to create a cosy & calm sanctuary:
1. Design & Purpose // 2. Furniture // 3. Lighting // 4. Layering Textures // 5. Accessorise // 6. Evoke Hygge
WHAT IS YOUR DECOR STYLE?
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.
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.
- Organic shapes: sloped, rounded & organic shapes create a more lived-in and cosy feel than structured & straight designs.
- Bookcase/Hutch/Built-ins: create a corner library or space to showcase your most-loved decor to serve as a personal refuge.
- Chairs: a large comfy armchair or daybed, upholstered ottomans or a window seat with cushions and plush throws for comfort.
- Natural Materials: Recycled timbers, seagrass and rattan evoke a feeling of bringing the outdoors inside for an organic feel.
- Old & New: Incorporate furniture and decorative objects with soul and character such as an antique lamp, table or chair. Items that tell a story evoke feelings of nostalgia and comfort.
- Fire Place & Mantel: A wood burning fire, gas, electric or even a gorgeous faux fireplace mantel filled with candles creates both physical and psychological warth.
Good lighting is essential for wellbeing and can shape our overall mood. Position your light sources lower in the room and place them strategically to create soothing pools of light. The dimer & warmer the temperature of the light, the more cosiness it will evoke. Several smaller light sources around the room is more inviting than one big ceiling light, so we recommend a combination of different light sources listed below.
- Task Lighting: Table & floor lamps create pools of light and are essential additions to reading nooks and desks.
- Accent lighting: Frame your mantel, bookshelves or wall art with wall sconces & candelabras for gentle illumination.
- Ambient lighting: Install crystal chandeliers & statement ceiling pendants with dimmer switches for even dispersion of light.
- Mood Lighting: Salt lamps, hurricane lanterns, tea-light votives, candleholders and candelabras provide romance & set the mood. Position generous groupings of candles on sideboards and coffee tables for an intimate feel.
One of the simplest and most versatile ways to transform your look throughout the seasons, whilst maintaining a restful and inviting feel, is by layering tactile textures, soft furnishings and materials.
- 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: Pair patinated & raw materials with warm metal accents such as raw brass, gold, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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, coral, shells, soft textural faux or real flowers.
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.
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:
- Scent: Fragrances: candles, incense, diffusers, open-fires.
- 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.
- 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.
Run yourself a beautiful bubble bath, listen to your favourite music, watch a comforting movie, a long yoga practice, order a nourishing takeaway or whatever soothes your soul!
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.