‘The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned,’ wrote poet, author and activist Maya Angelou. And creating a welcoming and cosy home, a blissful and inviting space that acts as a cocoon, is paramount. Home should be an individual sanctuary tailored completely to one’s needs and use, incorporating a luxury crafted scheme that seamlessly blends quality with aesthetics and showcases warmth and harmonious design.
Creating a welcoming home depends on factors such as individual needs and lifestyle choices. Functionality, comfort, lighting, colour palette, spatial flow, textures, art, and technology integration, as well as bespoke features, are all key elements of a successful scheme. A blissful and inviting home has to bring meaning. It has to be practical and beautiful, it has to have bespoke elements, it has to tell a story, and it also has be curated and possess incredible detail.
Part of creating a mindful home is a holistic approach that appeals to the senses. Much of the aesthetic focuses on choice of colour, which is crucial in the interior design of a home as it significantly influences mood, perception of space, and overall ambience. Deciding on a colourpalette isimmensely personal as colours evoke different emotions, but the choice should focus on what makes the individual happy. Soft neutrals are perfect for creating a serene and calm aesthetic but if you prefer a colourful scheme, bear in mind that warm hues are ideal for creating a cosy ambience.
Lighting is another consideration as it undeniably sets the mood, enhances functionality, and showcases design elements, ultimately defining the atmosphere and character of a space. Investing in dimmer switches can make a significant difference to your home’s ambience, and introducing table lights and warm lighting enhances the cosy aesthetic. It goes without saying that natural light is key as it helps to maintain the body’s natural circadian rhythm, so embrace floor-to-ceiling windows and doors, as well as roof lights, that immerse spaces in light.
Positioning of furniture and accessories, too, should be carefully considered. Symmetry plays a crucial role in interior design as it creates a sense of balance, order, and harmony in a space. However, its importance depends on the design style, and the homeowner’s preferences, as some styles may embrace asymmetry for a more visual appealing or dynamic look. The shape of the furniture selected can play a significant role in the perceived comfort and inviting nature of a space. One principle of feng shui cites that negative energy is stored in corners or angular pieces. Curved or rounded furniture pieces tend to feel softer, more welcoming, and less formal compared to angular furniture. They can create a sense of flow and cosiness, contributing to an inviting atmosphere in a home. Strategically placed curved shapes will add warmth, softness and balance to a design scheme and, mixed with the right design of angular components, can achieve a harmonious look.
Appealing to the sense of touch with texture is another significant element in an inviting home as it introduces depth, tactile interest and richness to spaces, enhancing visual interest and cosiness. Fabrics such as velvets, chenilles, and linens provide a luxurious feel and contribute to the overall comfort and aesthetic richness of a space. And the sense of smell is an evocative ingredient with fragranced candles and diffusers integral to creating a blissful haven. Scent brings or creates memories. It is a subtle and significant element in interiors and the right scent choice can have great impact on the emotion and ambience of the space, making it an important consideration.
“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned”
Studies have shown that nods to nature in your home reduce stress levels on an evolutionary level, so introducing plants can lower your stress hormone cortisol. Plants bring natural beauty, improve air quality, and add a refreshing, vibrant element to a space. They can contribute to a sense of well-being and connection with nature, making them a valuable design element – we tend to incorporate plants and greenery in most of our projects. In the same way, architectural archways are important because this is a shape frequently seen in nature and therefore is conducive to relaxation.
When it comes to creating inviting spaces in your home, we have key recommendations for individual rooms. First impressions really do count with a hallway as it sets the scene for the rest of the interior. Softness is integral to it – either through the shape of the furniture or finishes or the correct selection of soft furnishings if space allows it. Use ample lighting, mirrors for depth, and artworks for visual interest, choosing a welcoming colour palette to bring an inviting feel and sense of belonging.
A sitting room is the most sociable space in the house, so ensure it is welcoming for guests. Ideally it should feel open and spacious, without being too cavernous and empty. Make seating more inviting by arranging it for conversation, introduce comfortable furniture and cushions – perhaps adding throws -use a large rug for comfort underfoot, incorporate warm lighting, and introduce a practical and beautiful coffee table. Personal touches inject a sense of the homeowner and prevent the look from being too sterile, but be carefully not to introduce too many. Versatile furniture, such as stools that can be stowed away, are the perfect solution for additional guests. Comfort is a given in a sitting room, so choose upholstered pieces and soft furnishings in luxuriously tactile fabrics, and opt for warm colours. A fireplace makes an instant cosy focal point, especially with an open display or bookshelves on either side that encourage guests to browse and feel at home. Layered lighting, too, will enhance the ambience and encourage relaxation.
The kitchen is often described as the heart of the home and, although it is a space filled with predominantly hard surfaces, it can be made softer and more inviting by positioning dining chairs or bar stools upholstered in texture fabrics around an island to encourage conviviality. The introduction of open shelving enables a more personal twist, allowing a display of spices, cookery books and plants. Enhance the cosy atmosphere with mellow lighting, a warm yet balanced choice of timbers, and a welcoming colour palette.
The dining room is usually the focal point when entertaining and should be thoughtfully planned to accommodate guests. We tend to prefer oval or rounded dining tables in our projects for intimacy and a softer look, as well as comfy wide dining chairs upholstered in textural or sumptuous fabrics. Soft ambient lighting and interesting sculptural lighting pieces enhance the welcoming atmosphere. We also like to include large artworks – a good conversation starter – and mirrors, as well as a cohesive and balanced colour scheme.
A bedroom should be a sanctuary and a place to completely relax. For a master bedroom, our emphasis is on making the scheme bespoke and personal. Choose floor-to-ceiling upholstered panelled headboards with intricate detailing. Textural fabric should be incorporated – select large tactile rugs or carpets with abstract patterns. Whether a master or guest bedroom, soothing and calm colours ought to form the backdrop. You should also ensure there is ample storage with bedside tables and dressing tables and desks. Mirrors are crucial and should be round or irregularly shaped to enhance the inviting feel. Bedding necessitates quality, luxurious linen sheets. For some of our projects, where the budget allows, we go fully bespoke and our suppliers embroider our sheets with our clients’ initials or bespoke shapes and patterns for full personalisation.
Last but not least, a bathroom requires careful consideration to induce inviting appeal. The emphasis in a bathroom should be on creating a spa-like space and is contingent on the selection of soothing colours. Invest in good lighting and quality hardware, and introduce interest through your selection of finishes. Don’t forget to add a mirror or mirror cabinet above vanities, with ample storage for toiletries and towels. The finishing touches should be a choice of luxurious, soft-to-the-touch towels and wonderfully aromatic soaps for the ultimate in indulgence.