Cozy room ideas are currently having a moment in the spotlight – and for good reason. This interior decor trend strikes the perfect balance between rustic and homespun; like an escape to the countryside without leaving the city limits.
Hoping to put some cozy ideas to work in your own home? We've selected the essential aspects of cozy decor – these practical, expert-approved tips and ideas will ensure your home reflects the chic and modern aesthetic while still maintaining a contemporary and understated appeal.
Cozy room ideas – 11 warm and restful schemes
To recreate a cozy room or a cozy corner that will soothe your soul, you need to start with the basics. A neutral or dark room scheme will be inspiring and add depth to cozy decor. It’s important to consider texture, whether through pattern, such as a bouclé or linen velvet fabric, or by mixing finishes, like a matte wall with wood cladding on the ceiling. These elements create interest that will make cozy room ideas truly sing.
With a nod to the past, but firmly rooted in the present, these cozy room ideas offer a simple way to achieve a timeless aesthetic.
1. Embrace the importance of a neutral palette
'I love the calmness and coziness that you create when you have a neutral palette in a room,' says interior designer Tamsin Johnson. 'But this choice definitely doesn’t have to mean boring: you can create an interesting and exciting space by layering different tones, such as off-whites and beige, then introducing a range of caramels and even accents of black.'
If you want to up the comfort factor in a cozy living room, then think about using texture in interior design to add further depth and dimension. 'Natural textures, whether they are stone or wood or linen, can help to anchor a neutral color scheme. It means that the overall look doesn’t feel too contrived or uptight or overly designed. They bring a laid-back quality that always works well.'
2. Create a relaxed bedroom
Curate the optimum space to de-stress with a cozy bedroom that embodies the luxury and warmth that you expect from this private sanctuary.
'I like a bedroom to feel almost a little ‘temple-like’, which I think comes from a few qualities,' says Tamsin Johnson. I want my bedrooms to have a feeling of grandeur about them, while also needing to be a cozy sanctuary and projecting a sense of calm. I like them to feel a little ‘off-limits’ to everyone else – as if it is a privilege to enter the sanctum.'
'There are quite a few ingredients to work from when you’re creating a relaxing bedroom, but I often like to choose a beautiful bedroom rug to lay down on timber floors and build up from there. When you’ve got the rug, you can pick up on a detail or color from that and pick a beautiful headboard (I often favor a boucle linen to offer a cool, neutral backdrop) and scatter cushions.'
3. Make a kitchen feel cozy and intimate
‘I love a classic galley kitchen,’ enthuses Seattle-based designer Heidi Caillier. ‘They just feel so intimate and special, and there is something very appealing about them practically. They force you to be thoughtful in how you lay out every inch, and I also like the mentality of using all of your kitchen versus just that one corner between the range and the sink.’
In the right colors, in this case Farrow & Ball’s French Gray, Heidi also believes that galley kitchens can feel really cozy, ‘like a warm, inviting cocoon’. A mix of cabinets and open shelves will ensure it feels light and airy.
4. Add texture to a bathroom or wet room
When it comes to bathrooms, we don't often associate them with being particularly cozy or relaxing, but with just a few material changes, you can turn this once clinical space into a spa-like bathroom retreat.
Carrying timber cladding up the walls and across the ceiling lends a modern sauna aesthetic that evokes the calming influences of an exclusive spa. Cladding overhead is also a practical way to make bathrooms with high ceilings feel cozier and more cocooning.
Choose crisp, slatted cladding to keep the look fresh and contemporary. Limiting the wall paneling to one or two elevations will prevent claustrophobia setting in and allow a more practical tiled surface on walls that come into direct contact with water. Combine with bleached wood furniture and tiles in sandy tones to lock down the luxury beach resort vibe.
5. Use textiles in a bathroom
It's not the norm but another way to create a cozy bathroom is to incorporate fabrics and bathroom rugs to deliver a stunning aesthetic.
‘Aesthetics are just as important as practical elements when it comes to creating an inviting and cozy bathroom,’ says interior designer Henriette von Stockhausen of VSP Interiors, who adds that she is wary of cold, hard finishes.
‘I tend to avoid floor tiles, except in wet room settings or in family bathrooms used by young children or teenagers where the floor might get drenched. In old houses that have their original floorboards, my preference is to keep these in place and lay an antique rug on top, which instantly makes the room feel warmer.’
If you are concerned about water damage, you may prefer to opt for a performance rug made from polypropylene or recycled plastic, designed to be water-resistant, hardwearing and easy to clean.
6. Invest in a fireplace in a formal setting
Flickering flames will bring a warm and bright glow to a cozy room but always consider the design of a fireplace in the context of what it will look like when it’s not in use. Wall lights around the fireplace will serve to warm up the space when the fire isn’t in use.
‘We would always try to have them at quite a low level near the mantelpiece which is often not deep enough to carry a lamp,’ says Mary Graham of Salvesen Graham. ‘I don’t personally like lighting up into a fireplace from the hearth in a historic setting but do like to include small lamps either side,’ adds Amanda. ‘I also love the glow over a fireplace from a well-lit painting or mirror.’
7. Look to the ceiling for warmth
The materials in this cozy bedroom suggest a cabin in the woods but the slick finishes add a layer of urban polish. To clad a ceiling in timber, especially with such a precise finish, takes careful planning. Once the choice of timber and the finished design have been signed off – long boards have been used here to draw the eye along the ceiling and are in a slightly different timber to the exposed rafter – a skilled joiner or carpenter will need to prepare the existing ceiling. The wood will also need to be treated to protect it and preserve its good looks. This takes patience, time and budget but, as you can see, it will be ready to give a lifetime of pleasure, warmth and coziness.
8. Warm up with a wood-burning stove
Bring warmth and a welcoming ambience to your interior with a beautiful and efficient wood-burner. Wood-burners not only provide heat and light – they also add character and coziness to a room, making it more inviting and comforting. ‘Although used mostly in the winter, a wood-burning stove is a timeless piece that makes a statement feature throughout the year,’ says Jon Butterworth, director at Arada Stoves.
Think carefully about the atmosphere you want to create in a room, and how your stove can be enhanced by lighting and color choices. This cozy living room is perfectly complemented by warming wood additions, textural furnishings and plush upholstery to establish an inviting mood.
9. Introduce a rich color scheme
Tell someone you are decorating with brown and watch them recoil in horror. However, this much maligned color is a great backdrop for a warm and cozy room aesthetic, especially in a bedroom.
We’re seeing a resurgence for more earthy tones,' says Peter Gomez, lead designer, Zoffany. 'Rustic hues work charmingly in period properties that have an archival inspired interior as they have natural dyes which work perfectly alongside more warming and cocooning tones.’
10. Dress walls with fabric
Upholstered walls enhance a room by introducing a rich tactility and decorative finish that are utterly appealing. Long before the invention of printing presses and wallpaper, fabric was used to line walls. It served as both a decorative and practical feature, acting as a form of insulation. They remain two of the reasons people dress walls with fabric today. ‘We are all about texture, so it feels natural to cover the majority of a space with something tactile,’ says Kit Kemp, founder and creative director of Firmdale Hotels and Kit Kemp Design Studio. ‘We love the warmth and cocoon-like feeling it evokes.’
The look doesn’t have to be heavy, however. Gillian Newberry, director of Bennison Fabrics, uses linen on her walls. ‘Fabric insulates. In summer it keeps heat out and in winter the warmth in. There is also a depth and texture which you don’t get with paper.’ Practical benefits to fabric include the fact that it covers imperfections, improves acoustics, and you can apply it over surfaces including wallpaper, wood and brick.
11. Play with color, pattern and texture
Cozy room ideas can be playful and fun, too. Mix rich tones and decorative fabrics for an elegant yet eclectic space that is also cozy and joyful.
'It’s important that you balance what color and pattern hits your eye when you enter a room,' says interior designer Penny Morrison. 'You might love a bold, bright shade but think it might be ‘too much’ on all the walls, and that’s not always the case. My library is painted in arsenic, but it’s not really an overall color; the bookcases take up quite a lot of the space, and there are also breaks from the windows, so those provide balance and stop the bright color from overwhelming the room.'
'People are so scared of mixing different things in case they don’t go but if you have the confidence to put together what you like and what your eye feels comfortable with then it’ll work for everybody else, too.'
What is a cozy room?
A cozy room is a space that embodies comfortable materials, warm or dark color palettes and luxurious materials that serve to relax, soothe and welcome you home.
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Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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