We can all benefit from a cosy home interior to make us and our guests feel comfortable and welcome. Show your personality off, create a place you want to come home to and have your guests never want to leave (if that’s actually what you want?!!). Check out these tips on how to style a homely interior.
#1 | LAYER YOUR BEDDING
Bedding such as a quilt cover should be one of the first things you consider in a bedroom. Whilst there are many ways to style your bed, the best ones are always inviting and cosy enough to make you want to jump into. A couple of quick tips to layer your bed like a designer:
Buy a quilt and quilt cover one size up from your mattress size (e.g. king quilt for queen mattress).
Try rolling back the quilt from the top for a “just slept in” look.
Place your pillows and cushions on. Traditionally you should keep it to under 9 cushions for a bed. Most will also include at least 2 European pillows and 2 standard pillows. Scroll further for more on cushions below!
Drape a throw rug towards the end of the bed. This can be done neatly or as though you’ve literally just “thrown” it on the bed. Chunky knits and faux fur add warmth perfect for winter (although I don’t limit myself to just the cooler months for these!). Use a throw rug to add a pop of colour or even double up and add a second contrasting or pattern/plain throw.
You’ll often find that you will start mixing patterns (it’s okay, breathe… because you can take baby steps!). It’s going to look amazing!
#2 | DECORATING WITH TEXTURE
Texture and layering is a vital element in pulling a room together. It adds dimension and is the difference between a flat room and a successful one. Texture is extremely important with monochromatic colour palettes, white rooms or palettes with similar shades.
If you want a more natural, cosy feel to your home interior you would go with rough textures such as fur, timber and linen. Smoother textures such as metallics and mirrors will exude a sleeker, more polished feel.
You should most definitely use both, often teaming them together. You can accentuate the most important pieces in the room with texture. Like most things, too much of a good thing isn’t always great. As a guide, try to select 2 – 3 different hero textures for your room.
Places to find texture include;
Flooring & Walls: wall and floor tiles, wallpaper, bricks, timber panelling and flooring, floor rugs or architectural elements such as moulding and picture rails.
Textiles/Fabrics: bedding, upholstery, throw rugs, cushions, curtains or table linens.
Furniture & Decor: marble benchtops, timber furniture, metallic lighting, shells, feathers, branches, plants or wall decor such as frames and shelving
#3 | THROW IN A CUSHION OR 12
Alright, so I’ve been known to over-do it with a gazillion throw pillows. Cushions are such a great way to add some contrast with colour, size, shape and texture. Being so cost-effective you can update and completely change a look so quickly and easily. Honestly, you’re doing your room styling a disservice if you don’t have cushions on your couch or bed.
How many cushions do I need?
For a formal look go with an even amount of cushions whilst for a more relaxed or modern look try an odd amount. The specific number can vary depending on your preference and the overall room style.
Typically a 3 seater couch can take about 5 cushions. If your bed has 2 sets of standard pillows plus 2-3 European pillows (that’s a total of 7), you’ll more likely want to reduce the number on your bed. I usually have anywhere between 2 – 5 cushions on top of my 6 pillows. The size of your cushions may also determine how many to display.
What size cushions do I need?
Again, no hard a fast rule here but typically a cushion size of at least 45 – 50cm is ideal. You can also then mix sizes for extra dimension. I love to add contrasting oblong cushions. Using different styles and sizes of cushions will often help to create that more relaxed feel. However with a change in arrangement and strict colour selection playing with sizes in a formal setting also works well.
How do I arrange my cushions?
Usually, a lounge is restricted with space so angling cushions behind each other is a good way to go if you don’t have a lot of room. For a less formal look throw them about a little (I guess people wouldn’t call them “throw pillows” otherwise?!). You can get a little crazier with arranging them on your bed. Line them all up, stagger them in front of each other, use size and height to balance out patterns or other elements in the room.
Is it just me or could we discuss cushions for hours?!
# 4 | GET YOUR NERD ON BY STYLING WITH SOME BOOKS
Books are a great addition when styling your home interior. They look good when several are stacked on top of each other in a vignette. Top them off with some flowers, a plant, ornament or personal item. You can try more than one stack or arrange them by colour such as monochrome or varying shades of one colour.
If you have a larger number of books you would like to display try mixing some horizontal stacks with some uprights. Coordinating large collections by colour will also add interest to your bookshelves.
The key to styling books is to include other decor and accessories such as plants, trinkets, bowls, and lamps.
#5 | ADD PLANTS AND FLOWERS TO YOUR HOME INTERIOR
Plants have been proven to purify the air we breathe and improve your overall mood. They create a sense of calm, recharge and encourage productivity.
Basic ways of arranging plants include larger plants at floor level, on tabletops, in front of windows, terrariums, hanging from the ceiling, vertically on the wall and my favourite – cascading or creeping plants.
Don’t forget about flowers – grab some from your garden or dress up some cheap supermarket blooms. Martha has some great tips on Flower Arranging.
Be sure to check the plants you choose are suited to your climate and the indoor conditions. Maya Anderson has written a detailed article on The 10 Best Low Maintenance House Plants where she also goes into detail on why to use some of these specific plants.
# 6 | DRESSING WITH ARTWORK AND MIRRORS
Along with bedding in point one, artwork should also be one of the first considerations for a room. Even a small room can have multiple options for artwork – personal photographs, photographic art, paintings, framed prints.
Mirrors will make a room feel bigger and brighter. They allow the reflecting scene to really shine so carefully consider the style, size and placement of your mirror.
Ways to display art or mirrors include;
Large art or free standing mirrors placed directly on the floor.
Frames, art and small mirrors on tabletops.
Hanging on a wall which you can layout singularly, within a grid form or picture gallery or even mixing a bit of everything together for an eclectic look.
Firstly consider what you’ll be doing in your room. Many rooms have more than one function. You will also want to think about which features you want to highlight with your lighting.
Create lighting layers by providing more than one lighting option in a room. Mix and match types of lighting. Ambient lighting is general lighting (downlights, track lighting, pendants) and usually the first to consider. Next is task lighting used for function (cooking, reading, makeup application). Lastly, accent lighting is used to feature an element such as artwork.
If you plan to use a large amount of overhead lighting (like recessed downlights) dimmers should be used and are also good for mood lighting.
# 8 | ACCENT SEATING TO COSY UP-ON
Adding occasional seating of some sort in a room will not only create an inviting feel but is also so functional.
An armchair or upholstered bench seating looks great at the dining table. Accent chairs in the living room help to define the area of a room and also add some cosiness when entertaining. There are so many other areas you can use armchairs in your home interior – the bathroom, wardrobe, hallways and entryways.
They are also perfect for adding colour, pattern and texture to a room. I love a crazy bold chair that just adds a ton of personality.
If you’re creating a stand-alone area for an armchair (such as in the bedroom, office or as a reading nook) some elements you can include are;
A side table with a cute vignette
A small floor rug to create your zone
Functional overhead lighting
Add a throw and a cushion
For extra comfort add a footstool or ottoman for lounging
# 9 | INCLUDING A TOUCH OF BLACK. IN. EVERY. ROOM.
I’m not even kidding. Every room. Even just the tiniest amount. Black helps to create dimension, reinforces your colour palette and grounds the room overall.
This is so easy to do, you could try curtain rods, a little within a cushion, picture frames or drawer and furniture knobs just to name a few. A little black can go a long way but you don’t necessarily need to stick to just one option either.
Of course, you may choose to use a lot of black in your room as part of your main colour palette. After all, black is sophisticated, chic and elegant. Mix patterns, add texture and a pretty accent colour to help your black room really stand out.
#10 | CREATING ZONES IN MULTI-FUNCTION ROOMS
An open plan area is where multiple functions are required within one space. Some of us are lucky enough to have a large open plan area but others have to make do with smaller ones. Zones are useful in both and especially important in smaller rooms.
Anchor the space with the use of rugs such as under the dining table or with an armchair in a reading nook.
Arranging furniture in a manner that sections the area. A great way to do this is to place furniture where you would imagine a wall to be. If the room allows it, you could also place a wardrobe, console table or bookshelf against your “wall”. These placements also look great against couches or acting as bed heads.
Use physical dividers. From traditional room divider screens to hanging features from the ceiling to lining a row of plants or see-through shelving units.
Whilst the colour palette needs to be cohesive so that it all flows, you can actually use small amounts of different accent colours in your zones.
Ceiling & Lighting
Don’t forget the ceiling and lighting. A recessed ceiling will help, you could even paint it a different colour. Add wallpaper or a pattern to define the ceiling area above a zone. Use pendant lights to ground the area.
As I mentioned with colour it’s important that your zones still relate to one another and work well together. This is achieved through elements such as colour, texture and the overall style.
#11 | YOUR HOME INTERIOR IS ALL ABOUT YOU
Despite all of the decorating “rules” out there, it’s always important to remember to include yourself, your personality in a room. This can be done with the use of artwork, curios or a favourite collection of items you bought on your last holiday – just to name a few.
It’s important that a room looks lived in and these personal touches help you achieve this. If you’re stuck, think about what people always say about you as a person or look to your hobbies. For more ideas, I’ve written about it in another article about home decorating tips.
Whilst this can all be overwhelming, the first places to start would be with bedding (when it comes to decorating a bedroom… but you knew that’s what I meant right?!) as well as artwork. For some people, adding your personality will be the first and most important step as the additional steps will just flow from there.
Once you have these first key elements, add cushions, floor rugs and lamps or similar lighting to piece it all together. Once you have those, try experimenting with a few more styling secrets for home interior.
I’m curious to see, what’s your favourite way to add cosiness and personality to a room?