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Redefining cosy and creating a retreat for the festive season

November 19, 2023

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There’s nothing quite like the final two months of the year. Wrapping up against the cold air. Wet welly walks. Christmas shopping. Festive celebrations. School plays. Muddy football matches. An abundance of reasons to go out and connect with people and with nature. But with that, comes an unrivalled yearning for a warm, cosy sanctuary. At no other time of year do we need a place to rest and recover more than we do in this season. This year, we’re redefining cosy at Christmas and are prioritising creating a personal, calming retreat to take care of ourselves during the festive season.

Credit: My Scandinavian Home

Why is ‘cosy’ such an important word?

It’s a word that’s used very often when describing our home and the feeling of home. But what does it actually mean? Well, the definition of ‘cosy’, according to the Collins Dictionary, is to be “comfortable and warm”. The concept of Hygge is all about being cosy, contented and comfortable, treasuring the simple moments in life. It’s the essence of the Hygge & Cwtch brand but it’s also at the core of our wellbeing.

In the throes of the festive season, when our homes are where we find some peace, being comfortable, warm and feeling safe really encapsulates the environment we need in order to reconnect with ourselves and find that sense of calm. This is essential to our wellbeing at home. So when we talk about the importance of being cosy at home, it’s more than just an aesthetic of blankets and twinkly lights. It’s a catch-all word for creating the space and the feeling that we need to aid our wellbeing.

Credit: Neptune

What does ‘redefining cosy’ actually mean?

When we think of the word ‘cosy’ we probably all conjure up slightly different images in our heads. At Christmas time, this might involve a roaring fire, blankets, hot chocolate… For some it might involve a festive colour palette with nostalgic prints. For others it might be layered neutrals and a focus on textures.

And this is the key to what we mean by ‘redefining cosy’. It’s about taking what we think ‘cosy’ should mean, and really getting to grips with what is cosy for us.

Instagram and Pinterest are excellent tools for finding home inspiration. However there’s a balance to strike between being influenced and being inspired. Just because you see the same style of decor over and over, or the ‘must have’ item pops up time and time again, it doesn’t mean you have to have it. You don’t even have to like it! It’s only when we truly connect with ourselves and tap into our personal preferences that we can start to pull out the imagery that we feel truly inspired by and aligned to what we really love.

And believe us, there is no ‘perfect’ home, only good angles and tidy corners amidst the chaos of life. Accept – even embrace – the chaos, know that Instagram isn’t a true reflection of anybody’s life, and be honest about what works for you. That’s when you can begin to create an effective retreat which will evoke those feelings of comfort and calm in you.

Credit: Laura Fulmine
Credit: Zara Home
Credit: Bert & May

Where to start with creating your cosy retreat at home

Let’s take it back to basics and start with the five senses. Back in July, we wrote about how viewing your home with all five senses in mind is key to great design. Designing a home which doesn’t only rely on things looking good, but stimulates all five senses at once to create a full sensory experience. This is the how we create an impact and evoke stronger emotions at home, aiding our wellbeing and connections. It’s different for everyone, so sure, use Instagram and Pinterest for visual inspiration, but this is where it gets personal to you and you can redefine what cosy means in your own home.

Work through each of your senses in turn and ask yourself what exactly is it that makes you feel calm and comforted. This might be a particular colour palette (sight), certain textures (touch and sight), complete silence or perhaps classical music (sound). A particular smell which you can recreate using a candle or a diffuser. Now whatever choices you make for creating your sanctuary of calm this Christmas, use your senses as a guide and trust your instincts.

For us, it’s the sight, sound and smell of the log fire, the texture of faux sheepskin and Winter sun streaming through the window. Photography credit: Aga Hosking

Quality and quiet luxury

We’ve been really inspired this year by all the brilliant local makers and businesses that we’ve worked with here in Cardiff. Having pieces in our home, and selecting items for our interior design clients, which have been hand crafted in high quality, natural materials is a special process and adds a bespoke and personal touch to any home.

A cosy, quiet luxury moment in the Hygge & Cwtch garden studio

For us, this is luxury. It’s not about cost, statement design or how anything looks to the outside world. It’s about quality and personal connection. Intentional choices and understated, timeless design. Aesthetically, quiet luxury is about embracing simplicity with serene palettes and natural textures. Landscape art. Greenery. The kind of interiors that makes you want to take time to connect with loved ones in conversation. Or to sit still for a moment, close your eyes and take a breath.

Credit: My Scandinavian Home

Surrounding ourselves with a carefully curated home, full of treasured possessions and quiet luxury pieces, is what brings us comfort. We feel truly at home and connected to our environment. When all of these feelings come together, this is when we can enjoy the benefits of a cosy retreat. A place where we can enjoy the full sensory experience of all the things that bring us joy and calm. Where we’re comfortable, warm and relaxed enough to rest and recover, ready to embrace the festive madness and the outside world once again.

From everyone here at Hygge & Cwtch we wish you a beautifully simple and calm festive period.

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