I have always hankered after a four-poster bed: designer Matilda Goad has one in her new bedroom – a £150 eBay find that she customised by painting rings with leftover paint and adding handmade Volga linen curtains around the frame (volgalinen.co.uk). Without waiting for the perfect vintage find to crop up, other options include the Marlow four poster (£2,119; heals.com) and Botticelli king size (£1,400; perchandparrow.com).
Then it’s time to dress your bed: DUSK offers high quality Egyptian cotton bed linen at very reasonable prices (from £18; dusk.com) while Toast does snuggly organic cotton striped options (from £89; toa.st). If it’s a winter quilt you need, Woolroom has its deluxe quilt, made from 100 per cent British wool, which has been shown to help regulate your temperature at night. Or, if you prefer layers that you can throw off or draw on throughout the night, there’s nothing cosier than a patchwork quilt. “For me, the patchwork quilt is the quintessential symbol of home,” Nora Evans, founder of ProjectKit, agrees. “It’s warm and cosy, it’s carefully crafted by hand and often its many pieces tell a story that get passed on generations. It represents a different sense of time and nostalgia towards a slower pace of life.” Try her Wes gingham patchwork quilt, hand made from 100 per cent linen (£295; projektityyny.com) or a cosy blanket, such as one by de Le Cuona (from £345), also does the trick.
A headboard also adds another layer of cosiness: softening the acoustics further, and depending on the fabric you choose, layers of pattern and colour. “Pattern should be kept to a minimal with one colour prints being preferable,” Vanessa Arbuthnott, CEO and interior designer at her eponymous studio, says (VanessaArbuthnott.co.uk). “Simple one-colour Harris tweeds and plain velvets would work – especially if they are in lovely oranges, warm blues and yellows to add warmth to the space.” Either get one upholstered yourself (try a local upholsterer), or try a rattan headboard (£399; johnlewis.com)
One of most amazing updates you can do for your bathroom is install mid-level lighting, according to Charlotte Rey and Duncan Campbell of the eponymous design study (campbell-rey.com). “Most bathrooms have ceiling spots with energy saving LED bulbs, which give off a blue light. So instead put in mid-level lighting and warmer bulbs.”
Thompson advises adding texture to the walls with tongue and groove panelling, which is relatively easy to install. “It’s a very simple trick that gives character,” he says. Complete the cottage-core look by hanging sprigs of rosemary or thyme on hooks. “It brings a room to life with the smell,” he adds.” Rey adds that she likes to bring in her geraniums around now, and install them in the bathroom.
Then it’s down to the finer details: “Invest in really nice, colourful towels, rather than just traditional white ones,” Rey and Duncan say, and recommend the brand Dusen and Dusen (dusendusen.com). They add that if you’re messy – as Rey confesses she is – seagrass baskets work well to store products (try from a selection at Zara Home or Labasketry.com for beautifully coloured ones). To give a hotel-vibe, add a bath caddy (try a handmade oak bath rack by cabinet maker Alfred Newall; £75; labourandwait.co.uk). Or a vintage stool by the tub also works well for a curated selection of bathtime treats.
Curtains are a must as winter approaches. Goad has a combination of blinds and curtains around her home: sometimes both at once. “When we moved in and couldn’t afford curtains yet, I put up some cheap rattan blinds that were meant to just be a place holder, but now I love the vibe of the blinds and curtains together.” In her sitting room, she needed a cost-effective curtain option to dress three double doors leading out to her garden. “I knew that I needed about 30m of fabric, so I worked backwards from there in terms of what I could afford,” she says. “I used a plain fabric for the main drop, then added a ticking at the bottom, which is quite an effective detail.” In her kitchen, she installed a brass rail across her windows at shoulder height, then made linen, French café-style half curtains to provide privacy and cosiness to the room. Try linenandletters.com for ready-made versions (from £58).
Whether you have Scandi-style floorboards, floor tiles or carpets down at home, the addition of a rug or two can add layers of cosiness. “Rugs are instant mood changers, create cosiness and soften the ambience of living spaces,” Lorna Haigh, creative director at Alternative Flooring, says. “Big area rugs are popular at this time of year to cover up colder, harder floors in preference for something warmer. But it’s also easy to layer up smaller rugs and a tip is to have a common colour thread to hold your scheme together.” The company has a “Make Me A Rug” online tool to help create a custom rug (alternativeflooring.com).