Winter is here and the 'nesting' urge has really started to kick in (I'm not pregnant, I just love to snuggle into my home in winter). A truly cosy house is one that meets your needs and invites visitors in. Cosiness and warmth are not hard to achieve, so I thought I would share a few tips on how to make your home winter-ready.
1. Go overboard with soft textiles
This suggestion seems obvious, but it can have a profound impact on the cosiness of your home. Make sure you have a throw blanket (or two) and lots of lovely cushions on your couch. You can also layer a plush rug over a heavy-duty kilim or carpet. This will add interest and feels great underfoot. Bring out the floor pillows and soft ottomans, and soften dining chairs and benches with blankets or small cushions.
2. Use warm colours
Did you know that every colour has a 'mood'. Cooler colours make a space feel larger and airier. Warm colours do the opposite - they make a space feel smaller and cosier. Every colour, even whites and blacks, can have cool or warm undertones. So if you fancy a big home-job this winter, why not paint your walls in a lovely warm tone (have you seen Dulux's Greige? It's divine).
Images by Lean Timms
3. Soften straight and harsh lines
Lots of straight, heavy lines — even those on very firm modern upholstery — can look harsh and make your space uninviting. A easy way to soften the space is to incorporate round rugs, pillows, or toss a soft throw blanket over a corner to break up a straight line.
4. Style with plants
Lots of plants bring life into a space and make it feel like home. I love a tall, leafy bamboo palm, and there are loads of other incredible indoor plants to suit your climate and light situation. And if you struggle to keep indoor plants alive, you must get your hands on Jason Chongue's Plant Society (image below) - it literally changed my 'thumb' from black to green after the first reading (I managed to save my dying String of Pearls in less than a month!). And don't forget that like us, our plants really suffer in winter with the dry heat of our indoor heating. So make sure you mist them regularly and, if you can, run a humidifier throughout winter.
5. Lighting, lighting, lighting.
One of the most important factors in making a room cosy is light. Sometimes I find myself drooling over a beautiful image in a magazine, only to realise that I'm not interested in the stuff in the room, I actually like the light. In a living room in particular, make sure you have multiple light sources - brighter ones for larger gatherings, smaller ones for more intimate gatherings or a night in. Table lamps bring lighting down to a human level and give big rooms a sense of scale. Swap cool light bulb for warm ones. Tiny investment, minimal work, nearly instant cosification.
Image by Pablo Veiga
6. Have some good smells floating in the air
Or at the very least don't have any bad smells. Burn good quality fragrant candles, bake bread, and make sure you keep your home squeaky clean and clutter free (dust buildup smells, did you know that??).
7. Live with the things you love.
But they best thing that makes a home feel cosy, is your personal touches. The old bread board from my grandmother's house. The antique camel saddle from our time in Pakistan. The art given to me by Mr Finch as a wedding gift. All these things make my house feel like home because they remind me of the people and things I love. When I'm at home, I feel it's a place where I truly belong. And that's the whole point of cosiness - that rooms are made for people.