Interior Design

Interior designer Natalia Miyar's top tips on creating cozy rooms for winter

Are you hankering after a cozier feel for your rooms? Known for her layered schemes, Natalia Miyar offers her expertise

Living room by Natalia Miyar
(Image credit: Natalia Miyar)

Feeling the chill? Us, too – while we like our rooms to feel uncluttered and streamlined in warmer months, come winter, we want cozy rooms that feel warm, cosseting and inviting.

This is something that can be achieved with clever interior design

'Winter is the season for settling down by the fire with a good book, sipping hot chocolate under blankets and gathering around to watch Sunday afternoon movies. It’s also a season when we most want cozy living room ideas – we want our homes to feel cozy and warm, to become restorative retreats for hunkering down,' says Miami- and London-based architect and interior designer Natalia Miyar, who is known for creating richly layered, tactile and inviting spaces.

Here, Natalia reveals her tips for embracing home comforts. 

1. Introduce comfort and layers with upholstery

Bedroom by Natalia Miyar

(Image credit: Natalia Miyar)

One of the most effective ways of creating a sense of winter coziness in your interior decor is with fabric. For cozy bedroom ideas, fabric can be upholstered onto headboards, seating and even the walls to create a generously layered space that is inviting and cocooning during the winter months. 

Natalia comments, 'Upholstery is perfect for cooler climates – choose fabrics that are comfortable against the skin for those moments when you are seeking warmth and escape. Fabrics bring many benefits including better acoustics and insulation for the winter as well as inherent beauty.'

2. Create a lighting scheme that's soft and warm

Living room by Natalia Miyar

(Image credit: Natalia Miyar)

As the nights draw in earlier, having the right lighting is key to making winter living rooms feel cozy for longer. In a living room, aim for a good mix of lights at different heights, such as task lights, wall lights and lamps. 

Just looking at a log fire can make you feel warm inside but anyone with a non-working fireplace or hearth, can use it as a centerpiece for clusters of church candles instead. Upstairs, Natalia also likes to use various light sources at once. 

'For a bedroom, I love using statement lamps for bedside tables, dressing tables or desks as well as floor lamps to soften the tone and inject more color and texture,' she says. 'I also place a few candles with different scents, which when lit create a cozy mood.' 

Bedroom by Natalia Miyar

(Image credit: Natalia Miyar)

3. Consider seasonal textiles

Living room 7 elements of design

(Image credit: Natalia Miyar)

Wooden and tiled floors make lovely style statements but in winter Natalia recommends introducing rugs and winter throws for warmth. 

'As well as grounding the space aesthetically, a rug with a rich texture and deep pile takes the chill off when you’re walking around,' she says. 

'If you are confident about using patterned rugs these introduce a fabulous extra dimension, or you can play safe and use something neutral with a pattern for texture.' 

Key to successful winter interiors are subtle adjustments that affect the mood and atmosphere of a room. 'Many fabrics have their own season,' says Natalia. 'You wouldn’t wear fur or velvet in the summer but we transition to these in the colder months.' 

Throws, cushions and seasonal candles can be stored and brought out for winter dressing. 

4. Layer in texture and textiles for added coziness

Cozy bedroom by Natalia Miyar

(Image credit: Natalia Miyar)

For Natalia, one of the most important aspects of a bedroom – aside from a comfortable bed – is high quality bedding 'and piling up beautiful cushions in a rich, tonal palette to make it look inviting and stylish.' 

Layering textiles is also one of the simplest ways to create coziness in the living room. From velvet cushions and wool blankets to sheepskin throws, mixing and matching fabrics is key. 

'I like to source colorful throws; not only do they add decorative interest and texture at the end of the sofa but they can also double up as blankets on a chilly evening,’ she says. 

Natalia Miyar
Contributing Editor

As a trained architect Natalia Miyar approaches design with a skilful understanding of balance and proportion, creating spaces which are both considered and lively with a finely tuned eye for materiality. Her eponymous London atelier is a conduit for creative collaboration characterized by a confident and artful use of color, pattern and texture. With bases in London and Miami the fast-growing transatlantic team spearheaded by Natalia create effortlessly luxurious homes that are sought by a global stable of private clients favouring a client-faced approach.