Fri | May 14, 2021

Creating cosy rooms

Published:Sunday | April 12, 2020 | 12:00 AM

COSY ROOMS encourage comfort and make us feel good. These spaces help us to feel more connected to those around us, to the room itself, and to our inner selves. These are the kind of rooms we want to spend time in and so are automatically drawn to. They are not museum-like but, instead, carry an aura of comfort.

Creating such cosy rooms is really easy. There are few rules to follow and some things you should include:

• Small rooms do not always have to be designed to appear larger, as small rooms more naturally lend themselves to cosiness than larger ones. So, choosing lighter wall or fabric colours is not absolutely necessary, as darker shades often appear more intimate. Cooler and lighter colours will make a room appear larger and more airy, but warmer or deeper colours can make a room feel cosier.

• Extremely large rooms can easily seem cold and unfriendly. To avoid this, arrange as many seatings as the room will comfortably allow. For example, in addition to the main large seating, add a reading corner with a single chair and side table, and another with two chairs.

• A key to cosier settings is pulling up chairs close to each other instead of scattering them around the periphery of the room. Choose comfortable chairs and sofas which embrace you and place them in groupings where their arms are not too far apart. Place side tables close by and at easy-to-reach heights. A mix of furniture pieces rather than a complete suite creates more visual interest, making any space more inviting and cosier. Area rugs will not only pull seating together, but add cosiness to an area. Make sure it is large enough so it does not appear to be floating and distant from the chairs. Keep in mind that to achieve true cosiness, all the elements in the room must appear to be working together.

• Rooms with very high ceilings need to have some tall furniture pieces in the mix. Tall plants are also useful here because they fill corners, while softening them.

• Use luxurious fabrics that are soft to the touch. When choosing fabrics, especially for upholstery and bedding, make sure they are not rough on the skin.

• Form linkages in the room by repeating colours and patterns. When a room appears unified it will automatically seem cosier.

• Throw cushions speak of comfort, so include some of these in a variety of colours, patterns and textures.

• Lighting, especially ambient lighting, helps to create moods. While task lighting is necessary in most rooms, include lamps, sconces, etc, with soft lights to help to create the ambiance you need. An electrician can install dimmer switches to overhead lights, allowing you to adjust the lighting as you need.

• Include in your design, items which appeal to your senses, especially that of touch, sight and smell.

• Plants and organic pieces, such as driftwood, stones and shells, etc, mentally connect us to nature, creating a bond which, for most people, foster a feeling of cosiness.

• Collections from travels, or items received from loved ones, help to make a house feel like home. Display these for a good feeling!

Cosy settings make us feel comfortable and relaxed. What we are in fact doing in designing such spaces, is creating comfort zones which nurture us.

Fay Wint is an interior decorator. Send your feedback to