The pandemic has changed our relationship with our homes and it can, at times, feel like a cage rather than a calming sanctuary. With the arrival of autumn and continued pandemic uncertainty, the impact of our homes on our health is likely to continue to be greater than ever. As an interior designer, I’ve always believed that our homes provide for our needs, make us feel safe and allow us to stay connected to our community.
It's important that the space inside our homes speak of who we are as a person. This can be achieved on any budget. Here, I explore ways to make a cosy and comforting home atmosphere that can ensure you find sanctuary and shelter indoors.
How do I create ambience?
Using ambient light works best to create a warm atmosphere. This can be achieved through the use of candles or table lamps. The warm tones from both work well to create intimacy. It is also essential to avoid harsh lighting in the home at all times.
How do I make my home smell good?
Smell is one of our most powerful senses and has the capacity to conjure up memories. Scented candles, for example, can transport you away to warmer climates.
When choosing candles for your home, always check that they do not contain paraffin, metal wicks or a high percentage of synthetic fragrances. Candles containing these substances can omit harmful chemicals and impact the air quality in your home. Natural fragrances are ideal with a small percentage of stabilizer to hold the perfume of pure oil.
A maximalist home?
Books create areas of interest and provide colour in rooms. Mirrors are also important in any space as they reflect light as we move towards shorter days.
Fabrics can be used to add texture and warmth to your home. Wool and mohair are the ultimate cosy fabrics, while cashmere adds a touch of luxury to any space. Blankets and throws can be layered on a bed to create texture, or in a sitting room to create a snug area of interest. They can also be used as intended to provide warmth by wrapping up with a blanket and book!
Creating a cocoon with colour
When selecting colours for interiors consider the depth and richness of the palette. Focusing on the richness of a colour, alongside it's tone, can transform a room into a cocoon-like environment.
How do I organise my home with designated spaces?
Creating reading nooks with a good reading light, creates areas of relaxation and comfort.
You can create a small oasis by bringing the garden inside. If you have space, you can do so with trees, greenery and ferns. For smaller areas, creating green spaces beyond simply placing flowers in a vase can be achieved by planting some scented leafy herbs like mint, sage, oregano and thyme, as their harvest season will be over soon.
How do I create a welcoming environment?
Creating a space where you want to invite people in, if possible, is part of making a community. New ways of entertaining might look like small intimate dinners or candlelit suppers with interesting dinnerware, that doesn't haven’t to match.
These are ways to become aware of the small things close to us that bring us joy and contentment in our daily lives. Creating a cocooned sanctuary makes our interior spaces truly feel like our own.