Comfy Interiors - How to Design Real Home Style

Comfort isn't just for Christmas. Comfort is a state of mind. Comfort is the end of the day when everything is peaceful. Comfort is a cuddle. Comfort is a blanket and a clear night sky. Comfort is candles.
Of course we all describe comfort in completely different ways. A minimalist will no doubt find one portion of their home comfy. To them. It just won't be the same as my daughter's definition, as it's unlikely to involve 27 teddy bears and a High School Musical blanket.
So how do we make our homes comfortable? What makes each of us feel 'at home'?
There are some common denominators, of course - the crackling fire, fabulous texture underfoot, but also the less noted, flattering lighting and intuitive design. These are the intangible factors of a home that are only noticed if they don't work. It's rare to compliment the comfortable flow of someone's house or the correct mood lighting. If they are done well, then these factors just fade seamlessly into the fabric of the house.
Unfortunately, finding comfort in the home isn't always a case of investing in dozens of fluffy cushions. Comfort requires a personal definition, because while some are comforted by a simple basket of freshly cut logs others prefer surrounding themselves with stunning pieces of art, designer fabrics and eye-wateringly expensive tassels to feel 'comfort'. What does it mean to you?
Comfort in the home is a fundamental part of human existence. Maslow identified security as one of our most basic needs and I would suggest that meeting this need, in the form of a home - a sanctuary, an escape - will mean that we are then more free to venture further into our more complex needs such as respect and self-actualisation. Understanding the psychology of the home requires more than investing in a pair of £350 curtain tie-backs after all.
Understanding what delights you - what makes you tick, what lights your fire - is the first part of interior design. Appreciating what makes you happy or excites you - the love of a sculpture bought on a romantic weekend in Arles, the painting left to you by a grandparent, an instrument played as a child - can inspire more than a gorgeous room. It will work way beyond coordination and design principles as it will be based on your life, your history and that personal element is what will make the room wonderful - wonderfully comfortable.
That being said, there are still rules to follow that will help compliment the 'feel good' factor of the object itself - be it an inherited Tiffany lamp or a simple patchwork cushion that caught your eye.
These rules are there to give a helping hand - to point out a basic shape perhaps, or a palette of colours. The item, let's call it a copper cooking pot that your Grandmother always used, will give you the scheme for the rest of the room. It will tell you whether to use curved legs or straight, it will suggest a traditional look or a more contemporary style. It will, in short, give you the 'feel' of a room. And if you listen carefully, and most importantly, are not distracted by other pretty diversions, then your room will come together as a cohesive design - well thought through, simple and uniquely yours.

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