In the mid-bleak winter, there’s nothing better than battening down the hatches and cosying up. From sinking into a sumptuous sofa to warming up by a fire, here’s how to create the ultimate inviting home.
One of life’s true pleasures is opening the door to a warm and welcoming home and in the winter months, there’s something extra special about getting cosy in front of a flickering fire. If you haven’t got a ‘real’ open fire, then a multi-fuel stove is a good all-rounder. Local company Cambridge Stoves can advise on traditional and contemporary models, while nationwide company, ACR Stoves, has a wide range of designs, which will enhance all styles of living space. Not only are stoves environmentally friendly, with up to 90% less emissions than an open fire, but they also create a wonderful focal point within a home as well as supplementing a heating system.
Morso’s modern collection of stoves also give a design twist to a room’s scheme, and, says Declan Walsh, managing director of Morso UK, “they build upon the concept of hygge – that feeling of contentment and comfort that comes from sitting down in front of a wood burning stove.”
Ben Upham, creative designer of Focal Point Fires, agrees: “The Danish term hygge is an all-encompassing term for the feeling of warmth and cosiness in our lives. It’s a state of mind as well as now being a point of design.”
Also giving warmth – as well as being a stylish addition to your home – are traditional-style radiators. Castrads, based in Manchester, makes a range of elegant cast-iron models, which are a throwback to another era, but yet are a chic option for today’s modern homes. Jayson Branch, creative director, says: “Making sure your room is kept at a warm temperature during the winter months can help you relax and escape the elements. Picking the size of your radiator depends on the size of the room it is intended to heat, how well insulated the space is and what the room is used for. Living rooms and bathrooms should be warmer than hallways and kitchens, for example.”
Jayson Branch, creative director of Castrads gives three tips for cosy rooms
- Opt for ‘broken plan’ living – where rooms are defined into separate areas, giving an element of privacy and cosiness.
- When buying a cast-iron radiator, the easiest way to calculate your heat requirement is to use a heat calculator (we have one on our website) or ask a professional plumber.
- New carpet in a soft hue will add a welcome layer of insulation.
Adding statement rugs or thick carpets also add to the warmth-factor. Brintons’ premium wool carpets, for instance, are wonderfully soft underfoot and, new for this year, the brand has collaborated with Laura Ashley to create a Spring-inspired collection of pared-back yet pretty shades. Natalie Littlehales, Brintons’ consumer marketing manager, gives her view: “A soft woven wool carpet, layered with accessories in cashmere, mohair and linen will all work to soften the overall look.”
Curling up on the sofa is our modern-day way of hibernating. Sofas & Stuff’s aptly named Big Softie Modula Sofa is ideal for all the family, while the glamourous Haresfield Sofa, upholstered in Designers Guild Varese Viridian Green velvet, is just the thing for sophisticated nights à deux.
Devised for smaller rooms or apartment living is Harveys’ new EDIT range of sofas and chairs, which includes compact chaises and modern hexagonal footstools, and is a collaboration with heritage furniture company Ashley Manor.
Offering a range of bespoke sofas and statement chairs, Delcor is renowned for its classic designs. Managing director, Rick Petini, says: “If you’re considering new furniture, wool is a great choice, keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer. Winter is also the perfect time to add a few more soft furnishings. Cushions and throws layered up on armchairs and sofas, help to create a cosy retreat from the winter chill.”
Of course, when it comes to cocooning, there’s nothing better than early nights tucked up in bed. With its deep-buttoned headboard, in a range of plush velvets, the Emilia Bed from And So To Bed is the ultimate luxurious place to rest your head (check out the showroom in Bury St Edmunds). While the timeless Oxford Bedroom range from The Painted Furniture Company is a modern interpretation of classic British design.
Whatever look you go for, the cosy-factor comes from layering up with soft bed-linens, cushions, thick bedspreads and throws to make it extra warming. Texture is key, so mix and match luxurious textiles – such as cashmere, wool and faux-fur. For the budget conscious, Morrisons has launched a new range of homewares, including affordable yet chic bed-linens, which channel a boutique-hotel style. While Sheridan Australia’s new collection for Spring/Summer 18 includes contemporary linens in a range of muted patterns for a casual-luxury aesthetic.
Jo Jaggs, Sheridan’s general manager of design adds: “With so many fabric variations to choose from, finding your perfect sheet is dependent on personal preference. For example, cotton is light and effortless, flannelette is warm and cosy, and sateen is silky and indulgent.”
Of course, it’s the personal details we choose to adorn our spaces that reflect true homeliness. From scented candles to storage baskets, cosy throws to velvet cushions – look to St Ives-based The English Listed and Cambridge-based Angela Reed for a wide variety of accessories. Dim the lights, lock the doors and enjoy your own space – created just for you.
Arianna Brissi, co-founder of homeware store Brissi, gives her design tips
*Play with texture, as there’s nothing better than curling up in front of a roaring fire with fur throws and velvet cushions.
*Lighting is key. Hanging fairy lights will give a warm glow, while table lamps will create small pools of light to make an intimate space.
*Incorporate rich colours to your home décor that will bring warmth and comfort to a room.
MY TOP TEN COSY ACCESSORIES
Marilyn Throw, £49.50, shimu.co.uk
Insley & Nash The Doubloon Collection No 2 Handmade Cushion, £125, insleyandnash.co.uk
Moroccan Lilac Leather Pouffe, £125, rajtentclub.com
Lyminster Silver Round Velvet Cushion, £25, moodcollections.co.uk
Small Hex Stool in Sundance Teal, £89, harveysfurniture.co.uk
Vintage Tuareg Rug, £2,200, nushka.co.uk
Neon Yellow Tassel Storage Basket, £29, the-nursery-edit.com
Opal Pink Hand Quilted Velvet Bedspread, £250, raggedrose.com
John Lewis Diptyque Candle Phoenix, £28, johnlewis.com
Wooden Table, £30, sainsburys.co.uk
This article is also published in the January 2018 issue of The Cambridge Edition Magazine