Six tips to create a space that feels cosy and comfortable, and good for you at the same time.
The impact our environment has on how we feel shouldn’t be underestimated. A space that feels welcoming and comfortable can improve overall wellbeing – from reduced stress levels to increased focus.
The good news is that there are plenty of simple things you can do to help the space around you feel and look good. We asked four interior designers to share their tips and tricks.
1. Set the tone
Those familiar with the philosophy of feng shui will know that the entrance can set the tone for the rest of your home. One that is warm and inviting with minimal clutter will put guests – and yourself – at ease when they enter.
“Fresh flowers or a potted orchid add a natural, welcoming touch,” suggests designer Bridget Foley. “Go with the seasons – scented lilies in the summer, potted hyacinths around Easter and jonquils and freesias in spring.
“I also keep a Diptyque spray near the front door to make sure the house smells lovely as soon as you walk in.”
2. Bring the outdoors in
With most of our lives spent indoors, it’s important to breathe in the best air possible. The good news for indoor plant lovers is that our leafy friends are great natural air filters, effective in reducing allergens and increasing air quality. They’ve even been found to increase mood and productivity, enhance concentration and memory, plus reduce stress and fatigue!Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are one of the best for air purification, while being non-toxic to curious pets and children.
3. Choose calming colours
Hues from nature – from the forest to the ocean – have also been found to calm the mind. But if green and blue aren’t colours you’d like to paint your bedroom or living area, stick to neutral colour palettes to create a calming environment – think warm greys, off-whites and sandy tones.
“Yellow-based whites make your home feel cosy and warm,” says Susannah Matheson, interior designer at Island Interiors. In particular, she suggests that these colours are ideal for homes facing south, or spaces that don’t benefit from much natural light.
4. Add layers of texture and natural materials
Neutral doesn’t have to mean boring, though! Instead, a pared-back colour palette can be the perfect canvas for layering textures against.
“I think having a warm and inviting home is one which is imperfectly perfect. It’s about that ‘feeling’ when you enter the room. I like to create this by using a lot of texture throughout,” shares Katy Rolleston. “I also like to layer furniture and soft furnishings which creates an inviting feel.” She suggests using natural fibres such as soft-to-touch cotton, linen and wool to bring a calming feel to a room. Meanwhile, timber flooring, cabinetry and furniture, especially when they have a noticeable grain, are best at adding visual warmth.
“Chiselled stone makes for an elegant accent through a side or coffee table while still feeling natural and understated,” adds Ritual Interiors’ Claire Hammond.
5. Introduce ambient lighting
Just as sitting around a crackling fire on a cool autumn evening can add a little hygge to the home, so too does a simple bedside lamp or string lights.
Now that the days are getting shorter, why not make a ritual of it? After sunset, dim all the overhead lighting, light your favourite candle, turn on the lamps and cosy up on the couch with a good book.
6. Stay true to your personality
Of course, when designing a space that feels good, it’s important to think about what makes you happy. Trends might come and go, but a space that reflects your personality, and works for you and your family, is the best way to create an environment that feels comfortable.
“Give yourself time to find and appreciate each new addition to your home, slowly adding new pieces that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside,” suggests Hammond. “In time, your home will feel complete – filled with pieces you love, that are a true reflection of your personality. You will feel at peace at home.”