How to create cosy, warming spaces to keep you snug as a bug

It’s time to hunker down in your new snug

In 2023, ‘snug’ isn’t just a cosy feeling, it’s a room that has risen to the top of our interior design wish lists.

Whether that means a small room in your house, or carving out space in an open-plan living area – or even a cosy corner with a window seat – snugs are turning into the place we all want to be this winter.

Garden Trading Fireplace With Spindle ArmchairCredit: Garden Trading

If you don’t have the budget or space to create a separate snug, you can give the illusion of one by zoning off part of a bigger open-plan area with a screen, carefully chosen furniture, lighting and paint colours.

It can be hard to do that if your open-plan space is painted white. “Mid-tones should be used instead,” says Kathryn Lloyd, Crown colour specialist at Crown Paints.

“These are hues with a light reflectance value (or lightness value) of between 50 and 60, meaning they are restful. I would recommend colours such as our Light Fern, Mellow Sage, Mulberry Mist, and Mustard Jar.”

When it comes to furniture, a corner sofa can work really well, says OKA’s co-founder Sue Jones.

“It helps to zone the open-plan room and create that all-important cocooning effect that is so essential to a snug. To make the space even cosier, switch off overhead lights and bring in table and floor lamps.

“Low-lighting helps to create atmosphere, and warm-coloured shades will enhance this even further.”

A snug living roomCredit:

Maximise cosiness

In separate snugs, maximise cosiness by matching upholstery colour to walls if you’re using darker colours, such as midnight blues, greys and botanical greens.

These colours help, along with bookcases, to cocoon and draw in a space. You can add a little light to darker schemes with soft furnishings and accessories in flame colours such as burnt orange or lighter neutrals.

Another key ingredient is the layering of tactile soft furnishings in natural fabrics, such as wool, sheepskin, faux fur, linen and hard-wearing velvets.

You can never have enough cushions and throws for a snug corner and, where there are draughts, use interlined full-length curtains (as long as they don’t block a radiator) and chic designer draught excluders, available from Andrew MartinLinwood Fabric and The White Company.

A snug loungeCredit:

Wood panelling can really cosy up a space

Wood panelling, either natural or painted, can really cosy up a space. It doesn’t have to cost the earth but generally requires a carpenter to install.

For a natural, sophisticated look, opt for sheets of plywood from B&Q or you could choose one of several panelling designs that are available in large MDF sheets from The English Panelling Company.

“If you can include wall panelling, then you’ll be sure to create a sophisticated look,” says Emma Deterding, founder of Kelling Designs.

“For your floors, a deep-pile carpet will bring in the cosiness instantly while providing warmth underfoot. If you have wooden floors, then you can still bring in that warmth by introducing deep, textural rugs.” Who minds that it’s February now?

Instead of panelling, line your snug with wooden wine box bookcase shelving, from wine merchants

This article first appeared in the February 2023 issue of Saga Magazine. Like what you’ve read? Subscribe to Saga Magazine today.

Written by Charis White