Forget minimalism... be cosy

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You cant create a cocooning nest with just a couple of lights. "I have more than 10 in each room: beautiful glows and shadows create drama and intrigue."

Not a minimalist? Designer Abigail Ahern’s trademark style is – in a nutshell – “elegant cocoon”. Here are her tips for cosying up...

Light-bulb moment

You can’t create a cocooning nest with just a couple of lights. “I have more than 10 in each room: beautiful glows and shadows create drama and intrigue.”

Magic touch

Adding texture softens a space. Create visual friction: pair opposites such as metallic leather with slubby wool; put seagrass matting on a shiny floor. You can’t overdo it.

Centre stage

Move furniture away from walls – yes, even in the smallest rooms. It’s more nest-like and inviting, rather than doctor’s waiting-room-like.

Show your stuff

Lots of layers – flowers, candles, ornaments, pictures – make a place feel lived in and loved.

Made in the shade

Charcoals, greys and slates make a room cosy.

Try this on for size

Play with scale: supersized pieces in small rooms or vice versa create an Alice in Wonderland vibe that intrigues and invites.

Breathe easy

Scent adds cosiness as it makes you feel relaxed. Put a favourite pot pourri in tea-light holders and dot them all around the house; the smell is phenomenal. – The Independent

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