With many of us regularly working longer hours, family time is beginning to feel the squeeze. So, it’s no wonder the need to prioritise quality time with family is on the rise. A dedicated space for watching movies, playing board games or reading allows us to cosy up in comfort with our families and maximise the precious time we spend together.
The key to creating the perfect relaxation zone in your home is to make it feel as comfortable and luxurious as possible so that once stepping inside, you can relax and retreat from the stresses and strains of everyday life. Here we share some of the varied approaches we’ve taken when creating the ideal relaxation zone – a cocoon-like space in which you can truly treasure the time spent together with family and friends.
As the nights draw in, we tend to spend more time inside our homes and thoughts naturally turn to cosying up with friends and family to watch TV. The large, L-shaped sofa is the star of the show in this lovely room from our Richmond project – big enough for the whole family to lounge on. Upholstered in a soft wool fabric, the cushions are filled with luxury duck feathers to create the ultimate in softness and comfort.
A bespoke ottoman provides a striking focal point to the room, which we cleverly designed with a removable tray in the centre to hold glasses and mugs. The lighting scheme has also been carefully thought through, with effective ambient light in place as well as task lighting such as the wall lamp with a swing arm for reading. There are plenty of woollen throws available for extra comfort and a goose eye rug has been added for extra softness under foot.
Relaxation is the name of the game when it comes to a snug, but this doesn’t need to be at the expense of elegance, as this beautiful room in our Richmond residential project illustrates. The eclectic design features classic and contemporary furniture pieces with the leather ottoman and parchment drum side table providing fantastic contrast. The ottoman has been upholstered in luxurious Firenze leather and the copper legs give a nod towards the warm undertones of the colour palette. Soft textures such as cotton and chenille provide comfort and the large rug has a chunky texture reminiscent of a warm woolly jumper – perfect for the sense of cosy relaxation we were trying to create here.
The ideal snug preferably has a focal point of a beautiful fireplace around which friends and family can unwind, play board games or read. And if the room has any notable period features, it’s important to work the design around these. We always design a space keeping the original features of the property in mind and take great care to respect the architectural elements of a space, such as the magnificent stone fireplace and original dark oak panelling in this room.
Apart from the obvious technical requirements of a cinema room, it’s essential to choose the right kind of sofas and opt for a well-planned lighting scheme. Furniture with built-in recliners offers the ultimate in comfort, and the lighting needs to allow for daytime as well as evening viewing. In this luxurious media room in our Antrim Grove project, automated blinds and lined curtains have been fitted to the windows to create that authentic cinema experience.
It’s also important to ensure the room can transform into an elegant entertaining or relaxing space after the credits roll. In this space, soft textures combine with a muted colour palette and sophisticated furniture to create a multi-functional space that is a welcoming sanctuary for the entire family.
Dull, dusty and austere? Libraries of the past may have been, but today’s incarnations couldn’t be more different. As with this contemporary space in our Antrim Grove project, a home library can be a vibrant, welcoming room in which families can hunker down with a good book or settle in to play a game of chess. Floor-to-ceiling shelving maximises the storage and accent lighting has been used to illuminate the books, albums and games in the alcoves.
We used rich textures such as suede on the wall and a natural, hand-woven rug to create a warm yet muted colour palette to allow the lighting and design features to take centre stage. We’ve also created a fun element in the library by incorporating a reading nook at a higher level with cushions for younger family members to enjoy.
Here are our top tips for designing a cosy sanctuary for the whole family to enjoy…
The key to a cosy, comfortable feel is to create layers of texture, pattern and colour. Stick to a fairly neutral palette for a sense of calm, but play around with texture by adding unusual rugs, upholstery fabrics and throws.
Lighting plays such an important part in the design of snug or TV room. It can change the flow and mood of a room instantly if not considered carefully in the context of the layout and function of the space.
Don’t forget about practicalities such as where to put your drink or where to store books, games and consoles. Floor-to-ceiling joinery is always a great storage solution for family entertaining spaces because it makes the most of the available space and becomes a design feature in itself.
Photography by Richard Waite