Designer tip: Sarah Cooper breaks down the comfort decorating trend

One of the keys to comfort decorating, according to Sarah Cooper, is filling a space with items that hold sentimental value, rather than only existing for aesthetics. Photo courtesy Sarah Cooper.

After one last beautiful but impractical home decor purchase, we’re finally ready to accept that comfort and sentimentality might supersede the latest trends. But it’s not just us. Lately, the desire for the familiar has emerged as something of a trend in its own right. “Comfort decorating” highlights personal attachment over aesthetic and tranquil textures over bold new experimentation. To learn more about the growing trend, we reached out to Sarah Cooper of Cabell Cooper Design.

Sarah Cooper. Photo by Sonny Childers.

“More than ever, we want to be surrounded by a safe haven that allows us to escape from the harsh day-to-day reality,” she says. “As a result, our homes are becoming filled with furnishings, accessories and decorative elements that appeal to our five senses and not necessarily just aesthetics. Simply stated: we are enveloping our home lives with objects that spark joy—best said by Marie Kondo.”

The whole idea is to give in to your instincts, looking for items that will help calm and collect your emotions.

“For furniture, look for a large, comfortable sofa that allows you to relax and lounge,” says Cooper. “A papasan-style chair or an oversized bean bag with an ottoman would also let you curl up and decompress.”

Then, when shape and softness are taken care of, look for textures inspired by the natural world.

A cushy ottoman and and a cozy throw blanket can do a world of wonders. Photo courtesy Sarah Cooper.

“Add additional pillows that are soft in texture (like velvet or Tibetan lamb fur) to your sofa or bed,” she says. “Include a trunk or basket in your living room filled with blankets so you can readily access them. Also, think about adorning your walls with photos of your family, children’s artwork or souvenirs from your travels to remind you of the happy times in your life. Bring in plants or fresh flowers to add aromatic and visual appeal.”

Take note, though, that comfort decorating doesn’t translate to bored decorating. Adding new accessories or mixing up the placement of items already in your home help keep spaces fresh and exciting.

“For lighting, try a Himalayan salt lamp, which casts a soft light and a soothing vibe,” says Cooper. “In the bedroom, to help you unwind at night, you can also try a starlight projector that imitates the night sky overhead.”

In the end, she says, the space is the person and the trend is happiness. These days, it’s okay to forget the rest.

“The goal is to allow yourself to completely release,” she says. “No anxiety, no stress. You are enveloping yourself in what brings you joy.”

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