There are many ways to make your home a cosy haven.
People spend more time inside at this time of year. This winter might be warmer than usual, but it’s also wet and grey, which doesn’t exactly make anyone want to go out for a leisurely walk.
When it’s raining outside — or snowing — there’s nothing better than waiting out the storm with a cup of something hot and a good book. This guide looks at five great ways to add cosy finishing touches to rooms in your home.
The cosy fireplace
Of course a fireplace makes a room warmer and more comfortable, but there are ways to get the most out of your fireplace. A fireplace with a red-brick background can look great, but only if it’s clean. If your fireplace has red bricks behind it, you may be able to strip away any unnecessary material to uncover the red bricks underneath.
Another option is to install a wood burner. Wood burners are a lot neater than standard fires, and their cast-iron appearance gives them a traditional feel that makes any room feel cosy.
And when you don’t have the time to light a fire, it’s a great idea to carefully place some candles in the fireplace instead. Or, better still, Luminara has a selection of LED flame-effect candles that look great but are much safer than traditional candles.
A good rug can make a room cosier. But it’s not always as simple as planting the rug in the middle. Consider which area of your room you want to emphasise and place your rug there. Perhaps you have an alcove with a comfortable armchair, or a coffee table and sofa that’s a little off centre?
A thick, generously proportioned rug can highlight a section of a room, making it inviting and cosy. Land of Rugs have a great shaggy rug range if you’d like to really turn up the cosiness factor.
Create a cosy reading nook
So many living rooms have all of the furniture pointed at the telly. This is practical if you watch a lot of TV, but it’s not necessarily cosy. Creating a reading nook in a corner or alcove of a room is a great way to raise the cosiness factor.
To make your nook, place a comfortable armchair or even a good bean bag beside a bookshelf and an adjustable reading light. Don’t worry if everything is cramped in together, as that’s the effect you’re going for. Add slightly too many cushions and a throw as cosy finishing touches.
Paint your walls a little darker
Sometimes white is absolutely the right choice for a room — especially if the room doesn’t get much natural light. But there is something undeniably warm and welcoming about darker, more dramatic colours, like charcoal grey, sage green or chocolate brown.
This look is perfect for a bedroom as the darkness can actually help you get to sleep. If you’re worried about the room being too dark, simply make sure to accent it with flashes of white furniture.
The cosy look: Art and photographs
Tastes vary hugely when it comes to art and photographs. Some people have photos of their family and friends on every wall. Others are minimalistic and have only one painting on their largest wall to serve as the focal point of a room. A good balance is perhaps best, however, as photos and wall art really can add a lot of warmth to a living space.
When choosing paintings, the frame can matter as much as the painting, and make sure to choose paintings with warm colours: reds, oranges, and rich umbers. As for frames, it completely depends on your décor. If in doubt, however, use a neutral modern frame as it won’t distract from the painting. IKEA has a great range of affordable picture frames here.
Cosiness doesn’t need to just be for winter; it’s a way to make your home a safe and welcoming place to spend time all-year round.