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Lifestyle, Homes

Welcoming Mellow Seasonal Change into Our Homes

Budleigh Bed by Naturalmat nxhgd6

Budleigh Bed by Naturalmat

Juliette Barrell, Creative Director at Derwent House

As the season changes to cooler days and longer nights there is a palpable shift in our energies, with attention turning to spending more time inside and creating a warm welcoming home. Cosy or cosiness is the closest English word to the concept of Hygge, a Danish term which expresses the idea of creating warmly convivial atmospheres that promote a sense of wellbeing. As we hunker down for the slower season of winter, we look at simple ways to promote this sense of comfort in our homes.


Layering is essential to making a house look cosy whilst also adding depth, warmth, and texture to give our home that cocooning feel. Simple layering can be achieved with cushions and throws – drape a soft wool throw onto a sofa or on the bed for cooler nights. It is also a way of introducing colour or pattern into an otherwise neutral scheme. Opt for warm spicy shades that take inspiration from nature’s autumn colour palette. Cushions in handblocked printed designs or warm textures such as wool or velvet will not only provide comfort but also add interest to a sofa, armchair or bed.


Indulge key moments and daily rituals by taking time over them. If you have the space, choose the ultimate fireside wing chair or love seat to take over a corner of the living room. Nestle into your armchair and wrap cold hands around the tactile feel of a handcrafted ceramic mug which is a joy to both feel and hold.

Jarvis Armchair by Delcor


Cosiness involves reducing the amount of open space in a room. Open airy interiors look chic and breezy in summer but can appear a little soulless in winter. Add additional side tables or consoles to create pockets of interest to your room in what would otherwise be empty spaces. Nesting tables are ideal as they can be stacked in summer but pulled out in winter. A storage footstool for blankets can be pulled up against a sofa to give your seating a cosier configuration and allow you to put your feet up.

Swap out summer sheers for a blind or curtains; this will not only make your room appear warmer but will cut out the cool chill or draughts from glazed windows. Carpet looks more comforting and exudes a sense of warmth so consider introducing a wool rug during the winter to stone floors or floorboards. They will not only add texture but will also deal with any potential draughts. For extra comfort, add sheepskins either as rugs, throws or made up as pouffes.


Recent paint trends using bold deep saturated colours – known as ‘colour drenching’ – have become a popular in the quest to create spaces of luxurious comfort and a sense of intimacy. Using darker tones such as charcoal blues or rich burnt brownish reds on walls, woodwork and ceilings creates a warm cocoon-like feeling.


Creating a feeling of cosiness is also about impressions and atmosphere. Lighting is key to creating a softer, more intimate feel and can be done on a relatively small budget. Keep lighting levels low, so switch off overhead lights and flick on the lamps. Table lamps placed on side tables and sideboards provide atmosphere and functional task lighting. Floor lamps overhead can create pockets and pools of warm light, illuminating quiet corners, and helping to define your living spaces. Choose interesting lamps with shades that are woven, textured, or printed. Groups of candles will also add warm light to your room, giving it a sense of a special occasion and gentle intimacy.


Personalising our living spaces is a natural way of adding interest and layers to our homes and will very much define a space as your home. Choosing artwork and considering what it means to you personally is a powerful way to connect with emotions, places and people. In the same way we can have a strong emotional connection with a treasured hand-me-down. Take the plunge to restore, renovate or reupholster a much-loved piece to give it a new look so that it has a permanent place in your home creating a sense of connection and continuity with the past.

Emma Lacey Rainbow Mug Slate Stone Gloss


New build houses
Thu 18 Jul 2024

Congratulations! Buying a new home is such an exciting moment. Whether it is your very first home or you are upgrading your current property for something a bit nicer, there is no feeling like it. New build homes are such a great investment. Not only are they brand new for your family but you can feel confident that they have been designed with the future in mind. Many properties come with eco-friendly features which are great for safeguarding your family. Financing a new home can be a bit of a minefield. Let’s take a look at how you could buy your new home as well as some things to look out for along the way. Mortgage Mortgages are the most common financing option when buying a home. Buyers of new builds can benefit from mortgages designed for the intricacies of the new build process. Lenders may be a lot more critical when looking at your application as there is less security for them with a new build. As construction timelines can be subject to delays and issues, be sure to keep in touch with your lender and see if you can extend your mortgage in principal agreement. You may be able to get some help with buying a new build home. If you are a first-time buyer, look into whether you are eligible for a discount under the First Homes Scheme. Incentives from builders It is in the best interest of building developers to sell their new homes, so some may offer you incentives. You may be offered cash towards your deposit which will be transferred to your solicitor on completion. If you do take advantage of this, remember to inform your mortgage lender. For people who have already purchased a home, developers may be able to help you sell your old house. A developer-assisted sale is one where they will aid you with independent valuations, appropriate deals or the actual sale. This is often free, and they may pay for your estate agency fees. Hidden costs Buying a house can come with hidden costs such as stamp duty and moving costs. Delays in the construction of your new build can often be costly too. When thinking about your moving budget, it is wise to incorporate a buffer zone for additional expenses. Advice The home-buying process is not a straightforward one, so seeking help from professionals is prudent. A lot of the process includes legal intricacies which will be beyond your capabilities. Mortgage brokers, for example, will be invaluable when it comes to getting you a mortgage in principle that works for your situation. Not only will you be able to get the best deal and save money, but a broker will save you so much time. Instructing a firm of solicitors will also be worth the expense. They can do land searches, deed transfers and keep everything above board for you going forward.

Endellion Lycett Green - you drifted by
Mon 15 Jul 2024

This summer the Laura Lopes Gallery presents works by botanical artist Endellion Lycett Green in the Tithe Barn at Thyme. Through her art, Lycett Green pays testament to the inspiration she finds in the natural world.

Lydia Millen
Mon 15 Jul 2024

For anyone who hasn’t come across Lydia Millen, she is an influencer-turned-writer who has embraced a life of bucolic bliss. Her debut book, Evergreen: Discover the Joy in Every Season, came out last autumn and encourage readers to be inspired and soothed by connecting with the natural world.

Urban winner   Danny Kidby Hunter
Mon 15 Jul 2024

Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) has opened its annual nature photography competition for 2024 with new categories and prizes.