As the days shorten and the temperature drops there’s no better time to hunker down, wrap up warm and create a cosy living room for those long winter nights. We’ve got some great ideas for how to make your living room feel warm and toasty.
Five steps to a cosy living room
“Colours, texture, lighting, metallics and furniture designs and details all have a key role to play in creating a warm and inviting living room; the kind of room where you’ll want to curl up and watch TV or read a good book on a dusky winter’s night,” says Redrow Interior Design Manager Alysha Alli.
If you’ve asked yourself ‘How can I make my living room more cosy?’, here are Alysha’s top tips:
1. Colours: Rich, warm colours act as accents alongside a more neutral setting. “We’re loving burnt orange, ochre and more earthy rich green tones at the moment, they work especially well with the new Dulux colour of the year Brave Ground,” says Alysha. “And while soft grey is still around as a background neutral we are seeing it blur into this earthier, baked Dulux shade.” Mulberry and mustard tones are also on trend accent colours for this winter’s interiors to create that warmth.
2. Texture: From wallcoverings and furniture to carpets, curtains, cushions and throws there are lots of ways to add texture to your living room - and layering those textures will help make things extra warm and cosy. “Consider a flat block colour velvet or a heavier weave with a metallic thread casting through for your curtains – and hang them floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall for extra warmth,” Alysha suggests. If you have ceramic or wooden floors, they may look lovely but could feel a little cold in winter. Adding a large rug can make the room feel instantly cosier – choose a natural texture like jute/sisal or wool; chunky knits and faux fur can work too. Layer throws and scatter cushions in warm colours and contrasting, tactile textures including wool, silk, faux fur and felted fabrics.
3. Lighting: Avoid bright overhead pendant lighting and select softer background lighting instead. Use task lighting such as accent table lamps on side tables and choose warm LED filament bulbs. If you have a fire then make it a feature – you could even create a festoon of twinkling lights for your mantelpiece for a Nordic vibe.
4. Metallics: Adding a bit of sparkle to your living room is a great way to add warmth, especially at this time of year. Alysha recommends bringing metallics into your design in different ways, eg. metallic threads in wallpapers, curtain fabrics and scatter cushions, and on-trend metallics like bronze, brass and dulled gold for light fittings and accessories.
5. Furniture: The shape of your furniture and the materials used can all impact the ambience of your living room and contribute to that cosy feeling. Natural tones and materials like wood will bring a further tactile element to your décor. Using organic lines and rounded shapes will create a softer and warmer impression. A circular or oval ottoman footstool in a velvet or woven fabric, overlaid with a simple wood or glass/marble/concrete coffee table, is a great addition. And try clustering your furniture to create a sense of intimacy and warmth, e.g. bring your sofa and armchair closer together rather than pushing them far apart to maximise the space.
Choosing the right artwork for your living room can also make it feel cosier. Carefully picked paintings or personal photographs will make the space feel your own. Use a pop of colour in the artwork or the frame to blend with other shades in your room and help pull the whole scheme together. Accessories like high quality faux flowers, oversized candles, bowl of greenery such as moss and accent pieces of interest are a favourite of Alysha’s, alongside other comforting items to create a safe and cosy haven at this time of year.
And don’t forget the role your sense of smell can play. Rich, warm fragrances like bergamot, frankincense, amber and oud can all help make a room feel warmer and more enveloping. Redrow is currently developing its very own reed diffuser and scent for all its Show homes. With citrus top notes, floral heart notes and base notes of velvety cedarwood, amber, patchouli and sandalwood, it promises to be perfect for winter nights.
Take care of the basics
Before you design your décor make sure you’ve done all you can to keep the heat in. Replace any ill-fitting or draughty windows or doors. Ensure your central heating system is working efficiently – individual thermostats on radiators are handy as they allow you to adjust the temperature of each room you use. Of course, a brand new Redrow home is well insulated and has been fitted with double glazed windows plus a highly efficient boiler and radiators.