Building a new house is a great way to create something that is exactly tailored to your needs and requirements, but turning that new house into a home doesn’t happen overnight. There are many areas you should consider to make your home feel cosy – from ceiling heights and lighting schemes, through to textures, finishes and colour choices.
Here are 11 ways to generate feelings of warmth, comfort and relaxation in your new home.
Having personal items, books and mementos around us is comforting and creating a contemporary interior doesn’t mean you have to live in a house devoid of personality. This contemporary extension, designed by Gresford Architects, features built-in joinery that provides a place to display artwork, books and other wares. The low ceilings also make this dining space feel cosy.
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It’s worth considering colour schemes before building your home, as without a splash of colour or variation in texture, interiors can fall flat. However, this doesn’t have to mean you can’t opt for a monochromatic theme; this house is decorated with chevron floor tiles from The Baked Tile Company, which help break up the pared-back interior.
(MORE: Complete guide to flooring)
Darker, moodier tones can help create a cosy ambience. Don’t just consider painting your walls either — in this scheme, the teal walls and ceiling are carefully balanced with the creamy tones of the cabinetry (from Neptune Kitchens) and marble worktop. The overall effect is a calming interior and a home bursting with personality.
Don’t forget the smaller transition spaces — they can feel a little empty if not considered in the design. Give thought to how circulation space, such as a landing or hall in a contemporary plan, can be used to create a homely atmosphere. This project, designed by Fraher and Findlay, turns the entryway into a comfortable reading nook with shelving and clever storage.
Newly plastered or plasterboarded walls don’t immediately inspire comfort. Tactile materials used creatively or alternative plaster finishes, such as through-coloured clay plaster – as shown in this contemporary home by ClayWorks – can work wonders in creating a comfortable home. Clay plaster is also a natural acoustic absorber — so is great in modern, open-plan spaces which can feel fairly echoey if not carefully considered.
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Tactile materials can bring character and visual warmth to an interior scheme. Internal timber cladding is particularly effective — as these wide, reclaimed-effect planks go to show (the floor tiles are from Bert & May).
A well-designed lighting scheme can help to make a home feel cosier. In this example, warm LED lighting washes the neutral walls, floors and concrete stairs – by Spiral UK – in a comforting glow.
A separate snug or designated living space within a modern open-plan home means there’s always a place to snuggle up with a cup of tea and a book while maintaining the social interaction between spaces. If opting for the latter, ‘zoning’ can be used to help ensure the space feels homely — in this Border Oak home, for instance, the placement of furniture and the focal point fireplace help zone the living area in a predominantly open-plan ground floor. Soft fabrics and the oak frame also bring visual warmth.
This dining area embraces the Danish concept of ‘hygge’ – celebrating the functional alongside the aesthetically pleasing – in its well-considered design. Simple, clean lines lead out to the views outside and flood the space with natural light, while rich and warm natural materials are present throughout. The table is from Neptune.
(MORE: Brilliant ways to bring the outside in)
Moving from modern double-height spaces to areas with lower ceilings provides the illusion of snugness even in open-plan homes. This terrace house zones the social spaces and transitions from the double-height extension (by MW Architects) to the original reception room demarcated by luxurious dark blue walls and a lower ceiling.
Does anything beat the cosy look and feel of a fire? Incorporating a woodburning stove, restoring an original fireplace or integrating a gas fire (like this Rais Visio unit) into a home doesn’t just heat the room, but lends visual warmth, too.