Each week Mansion Global tackles an interior design topic with an elite group of designers from around the world who work on luxury properties. This week we look at how to make a modern-designed space feel more cozy.

Modern-style décor has a specific point of view that’s often all about angles, minimalism and clean lines.

While the look is distinctive, it can leave a space feeling cold. But, modern décor doesn’t have to be stark. By adding some decorative touches, you can still have a contemporary effect that also includes a homey vibe. Here, advice from the pros for warming things up.

Add Some Atmosphere

“The use of texture—whether for a sofa’s upholstery, curtains, rugs, artwork, all of which create a panorama of different textures and materials—creates a more interesting, complex look.

"I always appreciate low lighting, both floor-standing and table-standing. This can have a dramatic effect on the feeling that washes over you upon entering the space—and can make it seem cozy, by highlighting different pieces and corners of the room.

"Color sets the emotional tone of the space, lending a special mood and creating another layer of design without using any material. I usually favor cooler, nature colors—shades of greens and blues accented with neutral, serene splashes.

"Plants and flowers are an easy and elegant way to infuse life and a real natural accent in the space. Some even clean the air and bring in the great outdoors.

"Floor coverings and rugs can create warm, intimate spaces. Curtains and window treatments also soften the light.  Curtains can also be used to cover walls to soften and warm the space. I prefer wooden furniture for a soft, warm feel over colder materials. Small seating areas feel homey and individualized with the addition of cushions and pillows.”

— Tel Aviv-based designer Lauren Reik

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Give it a Personal Touch

“To soften [austere spaces], supple rich textures and textiles are very important. Color, texture, and patterns are all extremely important in achieving a timeless, warm composition.

 "In modern settings, architectural lighting is important in delineating the space. Being able to create shadows in interior spaces is what creates mood. However, to create warmth and intimacy, decorative lighting like table and floor lamps are equally as effective. They tend to give more of a warm glow at a sitting level and accentuate the textiles selected for the space.

"My favorite rugs are silk because they look luxurious while creating warmth and delineating space. It’s what anchors the room setting and gives a platform for the furniture.

 "Furniture may be the most important element in creating warmth. Size, scale, and proportion is also something to consider.

Designed by Eric Dyer of Troy Dean Interiors, a modern living space is given a comfy vibe with ARTHUR
Designed by Eric Dyer of Troy Dean Interiors, a modern living space is given a comfy vibe with ARTHUR furniture in neutral tones, open wood shelving, printed pillows, and metallic lighting.
Troy Dean Interiors

"The comfort of each piece makes a big difference. Often, in any one setting, there may only be one sitting element that is comfortable, and it’s generally the one that gets used the most. However, in an entertainment setting, all sitting elements should be equally comfortable. The layout and continuity of the furniture can either make the room feel warm and cozy or like a gallery setting.

"Personal touches like books, collectables, and artwork are what give any space a feeling that someone actually lives in the environment and clues you in on who they are.”

—  Eric Dyer, Design Director at Troy Dean in Troy Dean in Hallandale Beach, Florida

More: Designing a Rooftop Entertaining Space

Mix and Match

“Organic materials, such as marble or stone can be combined with lacquered wood or glossy or painted metals.

"Nothing warms up a chilly room better than a synergistic dialogue among furnishings and architecture, both in terms of shapes, materials, and colors.

"For a recent project we concentrated mainly on a color palette that took inspiration from the Florida landscape and South American lifestyle, two concepts we imagined could perfectly marry with this kind of project. We drew from specific atmospheres and colors, such as the blue/green from the seaside, the turquoise from the pools of the hotels, and the burnt colors of the earth during warm summer nights spent at clubs characterized by a colonial style.

"Light has the power to enhance shapes and fabrics. Both technical lights, capable to enhance entire spaces, and swag lamps that define specific corners, are equally important. Carpets help furnishings find their place. They maintain a graphic idea while giving warmth to the room. ”

A stark, streamlined space at 2000 Ocean in Hallandale Beach, Florida, becomes cozier with earth tone
A stark, streamlined space at 2000 Ocean in Hallandale Beach, Florida, becomes cozier with earth tones, leather seating, wood accent tables, and table accessories.
Rendering by 2000 Ocean courtesy of KAR Properties

— Susan Minotti, Head of Interior Decoration Department at Minotti based in Meda, Italy  

More: Click to read more news and stories about luxury home design

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