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Usually design is all about making a space look bigger, but sometimes we need the opposite effect. Here we look at making a room feel cosy using different design methods.

Making A Room Feel Cosy


In design, commonly we look at how to make a space look bigger. That is because space is desirable, and we pay a premium for every extra square foot. However, that doesn’t mean that we never desire a room to look smaller, sometimes we just need a cosy room.

Perhaps the house is gorgeous but the rooms, or perhaps one room, seems to just swallow you up when you walk inside. Perhaps the furniture just doesn’t fill it out, and the room just seems to look huge whatever you do to it. The problem with this is, the space doesn’t feel cosy, which is an issue for some.  In winter especially, no one wants to snuggle up in a hollow cave. If this is a problem you’re facing, certain design features could help, here’s how.

Use Colour

Colour is extremely effective in tricking your eyes into thinking a space is smaller or bigger. This is why when we try and make a space look bigger we always use light colours. So it makes sense that to do the opposite and make a space look smaller, we use dark colours. Think opulent, rich and deep colours that are natural, but dark enough to absorb the light. Earthy colours are a great choice, and work well with natural elements like wood and metal. For flooring go for darker wood, or high quality rich red granite or dark green marble would look beautiful.


Avoid choosing lots of small pieces at all costs, it will just look cluttered and sporadic. Opt for larger pieces that are plump and chunky in their appearance. You could even split the space into different areas, with a TV area and a dining area, or a reading corner. You might want to use dividers to separate areas if you want to make more of a statement. Floor tiles or even wall tiles can be used to separate an area. ‘Tile rugs’ look incredible and make a great centrepiece for a room.

The Finer Details

For accessories and other details, try and incorporate some busier patterns which will help make the room appear smaller. Try contrasting darker furniture with bright cushions and chunky throws. Art is a wonderful way to add personality to a space whilst making it more cosy. Take care to avoid mirrors which will only reflect light and make the space seem bigger.

Ensure Soft Lighting

Ensure the room has lots of soft lighting which will add to a cosy feel. Add lamps, wall lights and even candle lanterns if it is safe to do so. Without soft lighting you might end up with either too much artificial light which is harsh and not enjoyable to be in, or not enough light which isn’t cosy but instead suffocating.

Remember, it isn’t advisable to decorate a room this way if you intend to sell your house or rent it in the immediate future, as most people prefer light and airy rooms. However, if you’re designing the room for your own use, have fun and enjoy going against the grain with rich and opulent colours.

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