Go dark
The cosiness of this little room is boosted by the black feature wall and inky floorboards. They shrink the space, but in a really good way, making it feel super-snug. Add fat furniture and overdo the cushions and blankets and you’re almost done.

Those key dark features, picked out by the large artwork and fashionable Berber rug, give this space a contemporary spike, even with the lovely ancient features, including the stone fire surround and solid shutters.

Consider supplementary seating
Although this Irish lakeside cabin doesn’t have such petite proportions as the average cottage, some of its space-boosting ideas are transferrable to a smaller room.

Take this reading corner for two, for example. With the moveable footstool (which doubles as a coffee table), this already comfy chair becomes the perfect lounging spot. Also, so you don’t get lonely reading a Brontë by the light of that handily flexible floor lamp, the adjacent window bench (perhaps best enjoyed leaning against the wall and facing the painting, knees up) almost turns this corner into a makeshift kissing seat.

Look out alternatively for an oversized armchair for two, aka a love seat, or a slimline chaise longue for one to complement your main sofa. Giant floor cushions, covered in a hard-wearing linen or woven fabric, could also do the job.

March 10, 2017 — Lisa Wood