Close your eyes and picture the scene:
An open fire crackles in the grate, casting a warming glow across the room. Wrapped up in a soft wool blanket, you cradle a mug of hot chocolate in your hands. The scent of cinnamon fills the air from the flickering candle at your side. The rain patters on the window outside but, snuggled indoors, your world is small and safe.
Just one word… cosy.
What does cosy mean?
Cosy is defined as 'giving a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation'.
Unlike hygge its trendy Danish cousin, cosy is a particularly British feeling. In a country synonymous with cobbled streets, intimate pubs and weather you want to hide from much of the year, it’s little wonder that Britons have an especially strong yearning for cosiness.
Cosiness is, at its core, a feeling. A feeling of warmth, safety and contentment. Cosiness is the antithesis to hustle culture and the glorification of being busy. With a focus on simple living and staying in, cosy culture is all about taking life more slowly.
Soft velvet cushions in dusky tones create a sofa you just can't wait to snuggle into
Why we crave cosiness in a crisis
Let’s start with the obvious. The last few years have been sad and stressful for us all.
Forced to stay indoors during lockdown, keyword searches related to cosy living jumped 46% in the UK, according to trend forecasting agency WGSN. And, with political conflicts overseas and worries about the cost of living at home, feelings of uncertainty remain ever-present.
Ultimately, cosiness is about feeling protected and close to others, something we have all missed during the last couple of years. By making our homes cosy, we provide ourselves with a safe sanctuary to shelter and support us, when the world outside seems dark and threatening.
The psychology of being cosy
Psychologists believe that when we want to be cosy, what we seek is the feeling of a hug. The warmth and protection of a snug embrace.
“Feeling cosy is something that brings us a sense of warmth, comfort, and relaxation,” says Sarah Cannon, psychological well-being practitioner at Living Well UK. “By looking to make ourselves feel cosier, we are self-soothing and providing ourselves with a sense of security, a way of making ourselves feel safer and more relaxed in our day-to-day lives.”
Harmonious natural materials and earthy colours give a cosy and comforting feel to Tessa Hop's home
Why do we like a cosy aesthetic?
Interior trends also emanate from our need for comfort. In times of uncertainty, colour trends err towards warm earthy shades.
Design trends like cottagecore are all about creating nostalgic spaces brimming with homely comforts. Nostalgia fulfils our yearning for shared memories and togetherness; welcoming well-known friends into the heart of our cosy home. And, it’s not just about aesthetics.
“Some of the key components of cosiness have been shown to have an effect on our physiology, too,” explains interior designer Rebecca Ruffell. “Firelight has been proven to reduce blood pressure, while a naturally fragranced candle induces calm feelings. By harnessing our in-built and evolutionary connection to nature, we can create spaces that have a positive impact on our senses and spark a psychological response. At the most basic level, it has even been suggested that using twinkly fairy lights triggers a good feeling, because they look like stars.”
5 ways to make your home cosier
Cosiness is a personal feeling and each of us will create it in different ways. For some, a cosy home is dark and intimate with old library vibes, while for others, cosiness can be found in minimal spaces that exude uncluttered calm.
Whatever your cosy aesthetic, these are the essential ingredients every cosy home should have and why:
1. Flickering candles scented with essential oils. Lavender oil is prized for its calming effects on the body and mind.
2. Wool blankets are warm and natural. Wrapping up in a wool blanket feels like a hug and the weight of a thick blanket reduces anxiety.
3. Warm drinks expand the blood vessels in your body which allows the muscles to relax. Sipping hot drinks requires you to slow down, calming the mind.
4. Soft cushions. We are more receptive to touch when in a negative frame of mind, which is why we crave soft textures when we’re sad.
5. Earth tones are harmonious and calming. Add them with paint, or with natural materials like wood flooring, jute rugs and terracotta pots.
Make a nest of wool blankets in front of a flickering fire for the ultimate cosy retreat from the world
Here at The British Blanket Company, it's our mission to help you find your cosy! From thick woollen blankets to soft merino scarves, you’ll find all the cosy vibes you need in our online shop. For more cosy home inspiration, be sure to follow us on Pinterest.