Want your home to feel warm and welcoming without it looking like your parents’ house? Approach ‘cosy’ in a contemporary way with our interior design know-how…
Go for deep colours on the walls
Blue and yellow has always been a classic combination for creating sunny rooms, but we bet you haven’t seen them used like this. Instead of using bold primaries, the latest trend is to go for shades at the darker, but warmer end of the colour spectrum – and to heighten the effect the walls will have by layering on still more of the same in accessories and furniture.
Note to self: these colour combos work even better under artificial light, as long as you banish the overhead in favour of mood-enhancing table lamps and down (not up) lighters.
Pic: California Shutters
Add warmth at windows
Yes, yes, we all know great big thick curtains can make a room feel warmer, but they can also block out loads of light and gather dust faster than all the sideboards in Buckingham Palace. Not so ‘contemporary’ if you ask us. So, we say: swap to shutters. Ours are proven to cut down draughts dramatically when shut and let in loads of light when open.
Customise it: if you use our Colour Match Service, your shutters can be in any cosy colour you like, such as Dulux’s Bongo Jazz, which was used in the living room above.
Pic: Graham & Green
Introduce natural textures
You can’t beat natural textures – or good lookalikes – for making a room feel warm and welcoming. We’re talking contemporary in a different way here: think rustic and vintage rather than glossy. What to look for? Wooden furniture that shows off the grain; leather or velour armchairs; strokeable faux fur rugs; comfy, chunky knit throws; smooth velvet cushions; even a basket of logs (whether or not you have a fire).
Get it right: The secret to it looking cool and contemporary rather than like a jumble sale in your front room? Keep your colour choices limited to just one main shade and a couple of accents.
Rearrange the furniture
Lucky enough to have a big living space? Or maybe yours is open-plan? Perhaps your room has just never found its cosy mojo? It might be that you need to move your furniture around to get it right. So, if you have a fireplace (or failing that, TV), ensure your seating is orientated towards it. Put a rug at the centre of the seating arrangement and you’ll find it’s already cosier. Stick in a coffee table with a pile of books on, and you’re there.
No room for movement: pile on the throws and cushions to create a co-ordinated, more intimate finish.
Pic: Urban Road
Pile on the wall art
There’s nothing quite so empty-feeling as a contemporary room with no art on the walls – especially if your colour scheme is on the dark dramatic/minimalist white side. The art itself needn’t be in typically cosy colours – even monotones will break up the wall space. However, the effect will be a) more contemporary and b) more dramatic if the pictures are as big as the room will take.
Get the height right: Hang your pictures too high and the room will look disjointed, too low and the furniture will be crowded. There’s no hard and fast rule but ideally, you want a gap above the sofa (or chest of drawers) and the bottom of a picture that’s half the size of the gap between the top of the picture and the ceiling.
Sprinkle on the accessories
Just as a lack of wall art will make a contemporary space feel unloved, a minimalist approach to accessorising will do the same. So, hunt down a good mixture of pieces to put on display – whether eccentric objets, books or vases of flowers. And if you can find things in a range of deep or warm colours, so much the better.
Never under-estimate: the power of candles and fairy lights for creating a cosy but cool mood.
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Need help choosing shutters? Contact us or call us on 0800 195 0 196