Remember plastic-covered living-room furniture? The highly regarded pieces sat in unused rooms with the sofa issuing a crunch when you sat on it. While that’s an extreme example of a picture-perfect room, such spaces still prevail today; they look beautiful but lack the comfort and casualness that encourages long afternoons with your feet up on the couch. It doesn’t have to be this way. You can get both a stylish and relaxing setting. Here are three simple ways to help ace the casual-comfort look and feel.

Comfort underfoot

It’s spring! Roll up heavy carpets and leave floors cool and bare for the summer months ahead. Now that good weather has hit, you’ll likely be padding around san socks at home. For that reason, comfort underfoot is essential. Many sisal and seagrass rugs (which we equate with summer-decorating style) are scratchy and uncomfortable. Thick wool rugs, meanwhile, trap heat. When shopping, scope out casual cotton rugs that are looped or woven, rather than shaggy or cut; they add softness underfoot and stay cool to the touch.

Don’t feel like switching out your summer and winter rugs? Small scatter rugs are the answer. They focus comfort in areas that matter: as a cosy landing pad when you step out of bed in the morning, in front of a favourite easy chair or as an eye-catching piece on a covered front porch.

Stylish support

Pillows are a decorating mainstay for the sofa, chair or bed. They add pattern and colour, but consider comfort, too, and how you live. Young families with spill-prone children will want pillows that are both decorative and durable. But that doesn’t mean a fancy living room has to sport stiff, stylish pillows. Instead, choose pillows that look good and invitingly say, “lean into me!”

Size is important, too. A lumbar pillow — a long, narrow cushion around 12-by-18 inches — is perfect to tuck against your lower back for support. Conversely, a large European sham pillow — 24-by-24 inches — can be quite a helper if you want something to prop you up and sit forward on a chair or upright in bed.

Lastly, check the stuffing. If you want your pillows to mould to your body choose a feather fill, as they squish up where you need them and plump back up when you let air get inside them. Pillows filled with lofty batten are better for support, making lounging that much more comfortable.

Ambience comfort

So much of what gives a room comfort are those unseen decorative elements: the ambience. Ambience affects our senses, whether it’s a room’s temperature, sounds or lighting. Think about the environment in a newborn’s nursery: here, low lighting is key, as are sound-muffling textured finishes and a sealed room free from drafts and cold spots.

In the winter, add thick draperies around old windows to keep rooms draft free. In summer, install a ceiling fan to encourage a soft breeze for comfort. (These tips aren’t just for the kids in your life.)

Want to snooze easier at night even if your home faces a busy street? Try a white-noise machine that creates a quiet comforting hum that muffles sporadic outside noises.

And let’s not forget lighting. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a room with cold, bright fluorescent lighting (unless you are conquering a 1,000-piece puzzle or winning large in a bingo hall).

When LED light bulbs were introduced, they started off very blue/cold, but thankfully are now softening up. Choose your overhead lighting wisely and install warm lighting that can be adjusted with a dimmer switch. If the budget is tight and you can’t change out your overheads, shaded lamps are a perfect way to get controlled mood lighting wherever you need it.

Here are three other simple ways to create comfort in your favourite spaces:

  • Comforting scents: Keep a scent diffuser near the front door. Each time you walk into your home, you will be greeted by a lovely subtle scent. My fave is the aromatic smell of pine trees.
  • Comforting soaks: Consider adding an extra-deep tub when renovating your bathroom. A soak in a hot bathtub can be ultra-comforting on a frosty winter night.
  • Comforting plants: Live alone? Add houseplants to your space. The pleasure of watering and watching them grow — and maybe even having a conversation with them here and there (I won’t judge) can add joy and comfort.

D o you have a decor dilemma or want more decor inspiration? Follow Karl on Instagram at @Karl_ Lohnes.

2023-04-29T06:23:40Z dg43tfdfdgfd