Each post on the addictive blog of designer Abigail Ahern reads like a love letter to your home. And her trademark style – in a nutshell, "elegant cocoon" – is particularly enticing on these short, chilly days when we're all too skint to go out. Here are her tips for cosying up...
You can't create a cocooning nest with just a couple of lights. I have more than 10 in each room: beautiful glows and shadows create drama and intrigue.
Adding texture softens a space. Create visual friction: pair opposites such as metallic leather with slubby wool; put seagrass matting on a shiny floor. You can't overdo it.
Move furniture away from walls – yes, even in the smallest rooms. It's more nest-like and inviting, rather than doctor's waiting-room-like.
Stuff Lots of layers – flowers, candles, ornaments, pictures – make a place feel lived in and loved.
Made in the shade
Charcoals, greys and slates make a room cosy. Try Farrow and Ball's Down Pipe, the Paint Library's Teal or Dulux's Dusted Moss.
Try this on for size
Play with scale: supersized pieces in small rooms or vice versa create an Alice in Wonderland vibe that intrigues and invites.
Scent adds cosiness as it makes you feel relaxed. I'm hooked on pot pourri from Santa Maria Novella (117 Walton Street, London SW3, tel: 020 7460 6600). I dot tea-light holders of it all around the house; the smell is phenomenal.
'A Girl's Guide to Decorating', by Abigail Ahern, is published in paperback by Quadrille, priced £12.99, next month
Find Kate's blog on affordable interiorsat yourhomeislovely.com