A welcoming nest of calm and warm is a perfect hideaway from the world and the winter weather, let's start thinking cosy.

Brrrrr.... it's cold outside.

We may love a sunny and eye-squintingly bright winter's day and almost have a soft spot for the cool, flat light of a grey day - if only because it makes us appreciate those blue skies when they reappear.

But when we head home we don't want the winter chill following us indoors; it's heat and comfort and a wrap-ourselves-in-love cosy feel we're seeking.

We want warmth, and not just from setting the thermostat to the right level, it's more than a toasty temperature we need - we want welcoming cosy!

That's the sense of hot chocolate and warm toes in front of the fire; of an afternoon slowly roasting vegetables for a tasty casserole, followed by a cinnamon and apple crumble or a slice of warm ginger cake.

So if we head home and it feels uninviting - what can we do?

A real fire is an obvious cosy element with flickering flames perfect for long, lazy winter afternoons binge-watching a favourite series, reading a good book or snuggling up - especially if there are crumpets or chestnuts to toast!

Harmonise those gorgeous warm fire colours with wood or wood effect flooring for a naturally homely feel. Wood is a warm foundation for every season, and glorious in winter when we want to batten down the hatches and enjoy a cosy home. The rustic oiled look of Kährs artisan oak brings the appeal of real wood indoors.

Highlight its traditional oak colour with winter white soft furnishings, tall green houseplants and lots of sparkle from metallic candlesticks, mirrors, crystal glassware - and of course gleaming baubles on the Christmas tree.

For cosy is perfect for Christmas, when we imagine relaxing in front of a crackling log fire, curling up with a drink and enjoying good company as we admire our beautifully decorated tree. If you haven't got a fireplace, try standing candles on the mantlepiece - try the neutral hues of the Kronospan Vario Plus Sherwood Oak, which mixes stone and wood effect for something different.

Or keep it traditionally homely and pair with walls, curtains and cushions in vibrant fruity oranges, reds or purples with a good scattering of family photos and favourite ornaments and collections on display.

Take a look at luxurious parquet for a sense of homely calm, which is easy to accessorise with a rug and an armchair or sofa piled with cushions.

Lighting makes all the difference to a cosy home too.

The soft glow of a cluster of candles - and artificial ones have almost the same effect - offers an instant welcoming feel.

Turn off the central ceiling light and switch on table and floor lamps, wall lamps and accent lights to give pools of soft light rather than a stark glare.

To emphasise the atmospheric lighting, super stylish high gloss laminate flooring will reflect that warm glow, adding a modern update to a traditional reflection décor trick.

Lightweight curtains may transform a room into instant summer with a fun, breezy and cool feel, but swap them in the winter months for full-length cosy warmth. A puddle of velvet or patterned and embroidered curtains - tartan always looks amazing - resting on the warm honey hues of a wood look floor such as the oak grain vinyl brings glorious quintessential comfort.

The Danes, frequently dubbed the happiest people in the world, call that convivial atmosphere Hygge, and have an innate sense for creating a cosy cocoon of togetherness to promote wellbeing.

Here we translate that by adding lots of gorgeous textures, with fluffy throws, and woollen cushions, deep rugs on clear wooden floors plus brilliant knitwear -and slippers to create a nesting atmosphere of comfort, company and togetherness.

Create your own hyggekrog - that spot where you feel cosy and loved - by adding plants and things that make you smile. Beautiful smells help too, whether that's from a Christmas-scented candle rich with pine, citrus and cinnamon, a fragrant bunch of lavender, or an oil burner filling the air with sandalwood and vanilla, wild mint or rose petals.

If redecorating to bring out the beauty of your flooring is on the cards, think cosy warm tones, little pops of accent colours, rich jewel shades and soft forest hues to emphasise that snug feel.

A wooden or wood-look floor instantly enhances the home, and one of the joys is how easily it lends itself to different moods. So while this winter we want to pull on our slippers, snuggle in a rug and enjoy the cosy, restful look of a wooden floor as a base for bookshelves and books, rugs, lamps, super squishy cushions and layers of patterns and textures; our floor will look just as brilliant when it's time to welcome in the spring and throw open those curtains.

Happy snuggling!

 

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