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Tricks to Make a Large Room Feel Extra Warm and Cosy

Creating warmth in a large room is the key to making even the grandest room feel homely

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By House & Garden | April 24, 2024 | Diy

So much of what we define as cosiness comes from a sense of being enveloped by the space. Creating warmth in a large space, therefore, can be a challenge. Interior designer Kit Kemp - who with her husband owns Firmdale Hotels, including London's Ham Yard - suggests how to make even the grandest room feel homely.

Find a focal point

'The first thing I think about when furnishing a large sitting room is where the focal point of the room is going to be - is it the fireplace? Or does the room have a great view from the window? This helps you to decide the spot around which you will build your seating area.'

This corner ready nook becomes the focus of a larger sitting room through plush upholstery and colourful cushions. Image: Supplied.

Play with proportion

'Use optical illusions to play with the proportions of a large room. Choose big sofas and chairs, and over­-size lamps and vases. The two lights that flank the chimneypiece don't look huge, but they are actually much larger than an average table lamp. The bright ikat shades unify them with the rest of the room.'

The homeowner’s dream was to create a tranquil oasis on Lion’s Head. Photography by Greg Cox.

Create Different Zones

'The best living rooms are defined by the activities you do in them. Once you have established where the focal point is, divide the room into sections. Cre­ating pockets with different functions makes a room feel cosier; and if you have the space it is lovely to utilise it with things such as a games table or piano. Listening to my husband play the piano in our sitting room is one of my favourite things to do. Use a rug as a frame for the seating area, then it's just a case of finding pieces to fill the rest of the space.'

Cre­ating pockets with different functions makes this spacious open plan living room feel cosier. Photography by Andrew Frasz.

Make the space informal

'There is nothing less cosy than a room that feels too formal. In my sitting room, the chairs are covered in a mishmash of playful, bright fabrics. Felt figures have been appliqued on to the green armchair; and clash in the best possible way with the orange Ben­nison fabric. Never take things at face value; mix old furniture with new fabrics. Be as bold as you dare.'

In the casual living room, a custom-made armchair, Singita Boutique couches and a Weylandts ottoman surround coffee tables from Pezula interiors. Photography by Greg Cox.

Fill the walls

'An abundance of empty wall space can feel cold. I have combated this by layering some strips of old wooden panelling - which I liked for its aged patina - underneath framed artworks, including one by the artist Kathleen Hale.'

White walls are punctuated by playful art on either side of the living room’s fireplace. Photography by Greg Cox.

This story originally appeared on House & Garden UK.