What makes a cosy home? Tips from interior designers

What makes a home cosy? Sara Walker caught up with three top interior designers to discover their key ingredients for a cosy home.

Clare Turner of Tatty Gem

Bedroom soft furnishings by Tatty Gem

Clare Turner runs Tatty Gem, a specialist soft furnishings company based in the stunning surroundings of Grange-over-Sands in Cumbria. She covers the southern Lake District and north Lancashire, offering a high quality, bespoke soft furnishings and design service.

With almost 10 years of experience in the business, Clare prides herself on offering a very high quality service, working directly with customers on residential and commercial projects.  Curtains, Roman blinds, cushions, bed throws, valances, box seat cushions and pelmets are all made by hand and finished with hand sewing for a top quality feel. She also offers a design service, taking into account customers’ specific requirements, and offering advice on what will suit the customer, their lifestyle and the space available.

Clare’s tips for a cosy home:

“The main thing that makes your home cosy is enjoying the space and feeling comfortable in it. You should be using colours and textures that suit you and your home – if you really love a space you’ll relax and enjoy it. If you like the vintage look, then your style could be lots of handmade cushions and interlined curtains for a softer feel.

If your home’s got more of a minimalist edge, try using curtains with very simple but chic headings and mood lighting to create a relaxed and cosy atmosphere that’s in line with a clean, modern design.”

Janet Cathro of Jaro Design

Dining room styled by Jaro Design

Janet Cathro, an interior designer with 20 years’ experience, runs Jaro Design and sister company Cushion Box in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire. Her design company offers a full range of services, and she’ll only use products that are handmade in the UK to a high standard, including lamps, lighting, wallpaper, flooring, tailor-made soft furnishings, ‘amazing’ designer cushions and throws.

Janet specialises in finding the right design solution for any problem, and recalls a time when she was designing the show flat of a luxury block, and had to have all the furniture hauled up the outside on the building via the scaffolding, as the curved interior staircases had been built for aesthetics rather than practicality.

Janet’s tips for a cosy home:

“Cushions and throws are key to changing the mood of any room. Cashmere and merino wool throws give you that warm fuzzy feeling, while adding a touch of bling can bring its own glamour and sophistication while allowing you to put your personal mark on the interior.”

Jeanette Mercer of Fresh Traditions

Jeanette Mercer is a design consultant at Fresh Traditions, an interior design service in Horsham, West Sussex, and is also an approved consultant on the House Doctor Network.

Her company specialises in affordable interior design, eco-friendly interior design, home staging (for sale or rental), and services for landlords and property developers.

Jeanette’s tips for a cosy home:

“I believe that interior design should fit your lifestyle, not the other way round – kids, pets, muddy shoes, red wine and chocolate are all normal parts of life. Also, things should last – it’s kinder to the environment and to our pockets.

A cosy home is one which fits the personality and the lifestyle of the inhabitants – both humans and pets! It’s not about meeting some pre-conceived notion of ‘style’ or how much you spend.  When all the occupants have space to store their stuff, be busy, play, feel safe and relax, it will be a cosy home.”

By Sara Walker


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