I live in a modern home but in winter the interior feels cold. How do I warm it up?

The word "cosy" isn't really associated with modern interiors. White walls, aluminium window frames and open plan living may be stylishly minimalist but they aren't snug. So, if your home feels a bit icy at this time of the year — the type of chill that turning up the heating can't fix — try adding a little seasonal warmth.

Plump up the cushions. Swapping your smooth cushions for some with texture and pattern (wool, embossed fabric, faux fur, velvet or textured linen) is a standard styling trick. But they can't be any old cushions. To really make a room feel cosy, your cushions must be the type you sink into, which means feather inners only. And, while you are at it, throw a few larger cushions on the floor. That way, you can follow the light around the room and sit in every available sunny spot.

Pile on the knits. Knitted pouffes, throws and pillows increase the cosy factor enormously. But handmade chunky knits, fashionable for a while, are now giving way to more traditional finer textures. Swapping out paintings for woven hangings is also a good option.


Double up. Why have one rug when you can have two? Layer rugs over each other or place over the carpet. Sheepskins and animal hides thrown over a sofa or a bed also make a room look more inviting.

Go large on upholstery. Consider switching that glass coffee table for an oversized upholstered ottoman. Comfy couch, squishy ottoman for your feet — just the idea feels toasty.

Bring on the books. Not a fan of book-shelves? Books, even if only of the coffee table variety, always make a room feel snug.

Rosy pastels. True pastels are cool in tone and will make a room feel summery but those containing a touch of grey or red (dove, cream, apricot, mushroom pink, Wedgwood blue, for example) are great at warming up a room. If you're not up to changing the furnishings, consider an art swap. Replacing it, or moving it around, is a good option.

Fragrant touches. Beautiful aromas trigger a variety of feelings such as relaxation, sensuality, happiness and personal fulfilment, adding depth to our lives, in much the same way as drinking wine or eating good food. Ditch those summery candles for some with spiced notes. Winter is also a good time for the glow and sparkle candles provide.

Get brassy. Add a few accessories in brushed or aged metals. Anything with an antiqued or hammered finish equals instant warmth.

Amp up the natural quotient. Raw fibres, organic textures such as leather and sheepskin, potted plants ... even the smallest natural touches can add to the feeling of health and well-being. The Scandinavians call it hygge; you might call it comfort.

Photo / FLAUNTER. Furnishings / adairs.co.nz