Ask the Expert: a cosy home

Want to turn your home into a cosy haven this winter? We tracked down an expert for advice on using soft furnishings to give a room a new look.

If you’d like to come home to a warmer, more inviting living room this winter, soft furnishings offer an easy way to adjust your look. We asked Sainsbury’s textile designer Louise Rynehart for her tips on giving this living room a new look inspired by the season.

Simple swaps

“To tone down this room’s floral, spring-like feel, I’d recommend swapping the current cushion for our squirrel version and opting for a vintage-inspired wall hanging. For a winter alternative to a vase of flowers, try making a centrepiece with weightier ornaments, such as this pillar candle holder.”

Warming print

“Plaid is perfect for the winter months, and it looks great mixed with other weaves and plaids – just right for layering up at this time of year. I love how it can come in different forms, from brushed cotton bedding and heavy woven cushions to beautifully cosy knitted pieces. I’d use contrasting textures in this room to build a snuggly seasonal look.”

Character building

“Layers of throws on the chair and sofa would bring some rugged character to this room, but if you wanted to transform the mood completely you could always paint a feature wall in a rich, deep colour – I’d suggest a charcoal grey, which would tie in with our Hedgerow theme.”

Tip of the week:

Throws not only look great on sofas, but can also be folded and draped across one end of a coffee table to soften hard lines.

Louise’s top picks

Hedgerow check throwHedgerow home cushionChunky herringbone throw

Hedgerow check throw, £18;  Hedgerow home cushion, £12;  Chunky herringbone throw, £25