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The art of hunkering down

The art of hunkering down

Continuing our series on ways to create a cocooning and nurturing home (you can read our first journal post, all about comforting spaces, here), we’re taking a closer look at the little things that can make all the difference when what you really want is to draw the curtains, light a candle and truly hunker down. 

A perfectly-plump cushion

There is most definitely such a thing as a too-plump cushion. This is the kind that, when you sit down, you instantly move out the way. A cushion should be sink-into-able – plump, yes, because that’s what makes them inviting, but soft enough to gently give way when you lean in. It’s why we stuff (but not overstuff) ours with feathers, which happily yield but equally puff back up again.

Size is important too. Try not to have too many small cushions, whether it’s on a sofa or a bed, which can feel fussy. It’s the big, square cushions you want to dive into that provide cosiness ultimately, while littler ones are instead useful for supporting your neck and the small of your back.

An unexpected rug

We all know that rugs create cosiness, especially when they’re thickly textured, but it’s when they’re in unexpected places that they really come into their own. When you’re hunkering down, you want every room to feel as cosy as the next, so when you’re heading into the kitchen to make a cup of tea or the bathroom to brush your teeth before bed, you don’t feel as if you’ve stepped out of that warm bubble. Soft lighting will create this, for sure, but a rug’s effects can be felt even in daylight. They make these rooms, that can often feel quite cool and clinical with all their hard surfaces, much softer and snugger. Choose a patterned one for the kitchen – it’s a lot more practical – and even better if it (or several) can stretch from cabinet to cabinet. And in a bathroom, if the rug will be near to your bath or shower, use a material like rush that’s fine absorbing any spills.

A pile of blankets

Gather them in a basket, place them under a side table, sit them on an occasional chair – wherever they live, just make sure to include a pile of blankets somewhere in your living space (and, ideally, in every bedroom too). Even when you’re not tucked-up underneath one, nothing could be as cosy as knowing a throw is close by – and seeing it too, don’t just hide them away in blanket boxes – and a whole pile of them speaks of all things generous and ample. Make your stack a mix – of light-as-air merino, of supremely soft cashmere, of dependable and hardy British sheep’s wool – and you’ll be reassured there’s one for every level of cosiness and multiple layers too.

A full log basket

True cosiness comes from knowing that warmth can always be had. Just like that pile of blankets, if you have a fire at home, an over-flowing log basket to its side will create instant visual cosiness. (A deep bathtub, old-fashioned radiators and an AGA in the kitchen are all also excellent cosy-makers for this same reason.) In fact, even if you’re not lucky enough to have a wood-burning stove or open fire inside, we say that that shouldn’t stop you enjoying the effects of a good log pile. Stack yours in the garden instead alongside an outdoor fire bowl (bonus points if you can see them from inside, or if your entrance porch is lined with logs) and you’ll conjure up images of marshmallow-toasting and evenings spent cosily wrapped up against the chill. And it’s a cosiness that’ll last you through summer too.

Explore our textiles collection to help you create your own snug retreat at home.