Create your own cosy sanctuary

TACTILE: Soft rugs or carpets underfoot, throws and cushions for seating help to make a room feel homely, complete and comfortable. Photo: Jessie Prince, interior design: The Designory.
TACTILE: Soft rugs or carpets underfoot, throws and cushions for seating help to make a room feel homely, complete and comfortable. Photo: Jessie Prince, interior design: The Designory.

As the weather cools down, it's natural to want to bunker down and spend more time than usual curled up on the couch. Luckily, there are plenty of simple ways to turn your living room into a cosy sanctuary during the autumn and winter months. Melissa Bonney, director at multi-disciplinary design studio The Designory, has advice for creating an inviting living space.

Lay it out. Consider the room's layout. "Cosy never means cramped, so make sure you edit your living space like you would your outfit," says Melissa. "Think about the flow of movement through the room and make sure you create an ease of connection within areas. There should be plenty of space for people to sit, relax, talk and unwind. Living spaces which allow for your family and friends to truly engage with each other are always the most inviting homes."

Textured furnishings. Melissa recommends layering your space with textural elements to achieve that inviting atmosphere in your living area. "Nothing quite says cosy like beautiful textures and we love to combine them across all surfaces," she says. "For the walls, opt for woven artworks, textured wallpaper or even paint them a warmer shade. When it comes to décor items, think about what is going to make your space feel the most luxurious," says Melissa.

GLOW: Use candlelight.

GLOW: Use candlelight.

Get the glow. Installing a fireplace is the best way to ensure that your space feels inviting and cosy. "Never underestimate the power of a beautiful fireplace to create the perfect living environment," says Melissa. "A fireplace becomes a gathering space in the home, a place where great conversations are shared and we can relax and reconnect. Try integrating fireplaces into the wall or within joinery designs for a more refined and seamless feel. We love IXL's new Cannon Latitude fireplace - its elongated profile is the perfect proportion for modern living," she says.

Adding functional and decorative lighting, such as table lamps and overhead pendants, is another way to warm up your space.

Natural elements. Clever use of natural materials such as timber and leather can also add instant warmth to a room. Whether it's a beautiful timber coffee table or comfortable leather couch, natural elements create an appealing space. "Human beings have an innate connection with natural materials," says Melissa. "It helps us to feel more grounded and connected to our environment."