Thursday, 30 March 2017

Interior Design Series: Creating a cosy feel Living Room using texture

I'm going to write an occasional column on here, showcasing the best finds on Etsy and around the web and sharing some of my own thoughts on interior design.

To start with, i'm using a beautiful and timeless combination of white walls and floorboards. This suits any house - old, new, small or large and while I know not everyone has this backdrop it helps with a consistent look which can be easily replicated. Quick word of warning though. I still haven't found a white paint which doesn't take three coats! If you have - tell me please.

Whether you prefer a pure white, matt white, off white, light floorboards or dark floorboards - as a neutral and stylish base you can't really go wrong.

I really like brown leather or tan leather with this base. Easy to clean, hardwearing and again a timeless base. I'd personally choose vintage, quite well loved pieces to add instant, 'oh-it's-always-looked-this-amazing' style. This chair below is quite something, as is the price!

Then, we start adding items to create a cosy feel. When trying to create cosy, there is a fine line between overstuffed and warm and welcoming. That line is easiest if you think of practical items but choose the textures carefully. Sheepskin is wonderful for this. Clean colour but the texture makes you think of cosy and there is nothing nicer than standing barefoot on a sheepskin rug.

Each of these posts will feature my handmade shelving, as I design them to fit in many different situations. In this cosy living room example (which could be easily tweaked to a bedroom) I'd use my Purple shelves to create a warm feeling and as I add crochet to my wooden shelves, you will also get the texture I mentioned above. All my shelves are made with sustainable wood and hand dyed natural yarns too.


As this is a living room styling post, the shelves work well with books and wooden items. But they are incredibly flexible and can be used either freestanding or wall mounted to store whatever suits you. Dvd or Music collections, taxidermy, yarn for knitting or crochet, toys, keepsakes and photo items, cocktail ingredients, cookbooks, art materials, board games and so on and so on.

Now we start to add some decorative items, again with creating a cosy feel, it's all about the texture. Let's start with a chunky knit blanket.

I have had a go at crochet with chunky wool and it works up really fast. So why not buy a kit and try yourself?

Or why not try a more complicated pattern. The Attic 24 moorland crochet colours would really suit this room we are putting together... link here for the pattern and inspiration.

I tend to like quite an eclectic look in a room, I don't want things to feel too matchy-matchy, but I like to have things link in someway. You may have noticed we are using round things, round corners and materials which contrast. That's why this mirror would work so well. I'm a big fan of adding as many mirrors as possible to a room, as it bounces light and makes the space feel bigger.

We have walls, floors, rugs, shelves, mirrors and chairs and texture - now we need to look at lighting. Lighting is so important in a space. I do like to adhere to the rule of three different light sources - either two lamps and a ceiling light or ceiling light, wall light and lamp. I often add more than three but never less. And, I always steer clear of halogen spotlights. They are just too harsh and not my thing at all. I know some minimalist modern types love them, but I want lighting to be flattering! In this post, we are trying to go for a cosy look, so yellow based lighting is crucial. Choose warm white lightbulbs wherever possible and steer away from the LED's which cast an almost blue light as we all look poorly under that!

I have chosen a purple tartan lampshade. The texture is beautiful and the colours will cast a wonderful glow when turned on. I like that you can see how it is woven and again, I like a mix of timeless and elegant items with some more modern and quirky to create a curated feel.

In a living room you should definitely choose a chandelier. I personally would put one in every room - even kitchens and bathrooms but I know that can be a bit much for people. But, your main space deserves one. Thinking about our materials again - mixed up, round shapes, I think this chandelier would fit very well into the space.

Then we move on to a few key pieces of artwork. This is such a personal choice that I do find it hard to recommend, but here a few pieces I think would work well with the colours and shapes and feel of the room we are trying to create.

As you can see with the artworks I have picked, I've started to layer in some natural green colours. I think some plants would work well in this space, heathers or soft leaved, small leaved plants in particular.

Then we move along to feeling cosy yourself, in the space. Firstly, warm feet! Nothing better than sheepskin slippers for that. Here are two pairs, one for little feet and one for grown ups.

It's time to imagine, you may be just arriving home - slipping off your jewellery...

and hanging up your handbag...

If you need storage hooks - I make those too!

These hooks have a flash of turquoise in the centre, which matches the subtle flash of turquoise in the crochet in my handmade shelves.

Then you may well notice it is time...

for a Hot toddy - there is a great recipe here but it talks about drinking out of a glass mug - it is much cosier to drink out of a copper mug.

And you can sit back and enjoy your wonderfully cosy, designed living room. I hope you like these ideas and find some inspiration. You could easily pick and choose the bits you like, or follow along with it all and create a beautiful space.