Now that winter is fast approaching, we’ll be looking at various ways to cosy up our homes. We spoke to two interior experts on how to use colour and furniture to do just that.

What is the process of selecting paint colours for a room?

Palesa Ramaisa, Dulux colour consultant: We all have that one colour that makes us happy, that one shade that tends to pop up throughout your home. Selecting colour is all about being confident in your decision. Select shades that you love and not shades that are just trending. Always have a starting point, and understand what undertone that shade may have. Decide if you are looking to create a harmonious scheme or a contrasting scheme, then make a decision based on what your wants may be. What finish are you looking for? What are you hoping to achieve in the space you want to paint? Dulux has a few tools to help you make the right decision colour-wise. You could use the Dulux Visualiser App and our new Roller Tester sample paints that will help you test the colour in your space without hurting your pocket.


What paint colours make a room feel warmer?

Ramaisa: Warm colours are made with distinct red, yellow, orange as well as neutral shades such as off-whites with yellow and orange undertones. These undertones help create a homely living space that is inviting and cosy. By using warm browns like the Dulux Colour of the Year, Creme Brulee, you are able to create a space that is contemporary with a hotel-chic feel. The colour is incredibly versatile, the amber tone exudes sophistication and works beautifully with a range of palettes, from understated neutrals to impactful brights and even pastels. Try using it to zone an open-plan space to create a cosy living area. For a truly toasty feel, pair it with textured throws and soft cushions in deep shades.


Colour tips to make a room look bigger?

Ramaisa: Shades that are classified to be cool tones such as teal, green, blue and purple tend to make any space seem larger. Cool neutrals are calming and tranquil, perfect for creating elegant interiors with an open feel. Some people may find the minimalistic monochrome trends works best for small spaces and these can be paired with tone on tone woven upholstery fabrics, textured wall finishes and delicate throws and rugs to match. Small spaces usually do not have enough natural light coming in and in those instances it is important to add artificial lighting by adding more lamps, keeping the windows minimal with less draping and dark colours around it.


What are the latest paint colour trends?

Ramaisa: The AkzoNobel trend research shows that people around the world are experiencing a renewed sense of energy, optimism and purpose, and the power to “be the change”. We’re figuring out what matters to us most. There’s a desire to reach out, engage with others, and to make things better. That change can be anything from marching for women’s rights and fishing plastic out of the ocean to small acts of neighbourly kindness. People are ready to seize the moment. There is an increasing emphasis on social design and a rethink of urbanisation, exploring how we can develop ingenious sustainable materials and build happier communities. There’s a growing desire to create homes where we can contemplate, consider, gain perspective and forge our own conclusions about what really matters to us. This all translates into conscious colours, people choosing to take the plunge and trying something different with bold colours, bright colours and experimenting with different textures.


How do you make a large room cosy?

Karin Cawthorne, owner of KARE Johannesburg: I find the best way to cosy up a large room is to create different zones within the space using furniture likes consoles and book shelves. For example, within a sitting room you may want to create an area to watch TV and a separate reading nook by using a book shelf or screen to separate the two spaces. Similar zoning can be achieved by making use of rugs to demarcate your zones.

Another trick to cosy up a large room is to use large pieces of furniture like sofas and coffee tables. Arranging your furniture away from the walls will also help to create a more intimate space.

Sometimes considering the walls, and not just the floor space, can help to make large spaces feel more homely, so consider creating art walls to bring these spaces to life.


Popular décor schemes to cosy up your living room?

Cawthorne: I think the most obvious scheme is the modern Scandi look, always a great go-to for creating cosy interiors. While the rules here are to keep it simple and neutral, the balancing act is to add loads of texture. The Scandi term hygge, loosely meaning “cosiness”, is appropriate here with the aim of creating a warm and inviting space where people can come together.