Genue Inc.
October 19, 2017

Creating Coziness Through Design

We are deep into fall, meaning it is prime cozy season! And what is cozy season, you may ask? For me, it means burning through scented candles like crazy, cuddling up in my favorite blanket, drinking a variety of yummy teas, etc. In the fall and winter, I am all about calm and comfort. After all, what else will get me through the chilly weather?


Of course, coziness can mean different things to different people. For me, it’s listening to The Velvet Underground while curled up on my couch.  But for others, it could be blasting metal music in their headphones while chilling on a fire escape. We all have different definitions of what relaxes us and makes us feel comfortable! This got me thinking a lot about interior and pattern design, and what it means to create a cozy space. Designers have their own way in this regard as well.  Each has a unique style, signature, and taste.


So, I’m sharing a few examples of how different designers have interpreted “cozy” design in an interesting way! Each approach is very different, but there is a place in the world for all of them.



Rebecca Atwood: Calm

Muted colors, simple motifs, quiet rhythm—all of these describe Rebecca Atwood’s pattern design work. Simply looking at one of her pieces makes me feel tranquil. Her patterns bring in an air of effortlessness and freedom, as though someone took a paintbrush and splashed something beautiful all over their wall or bedspread. This feeling resonates with many people as her designs are highly sought after! The Rebecca Atwood style of coziness is calm and serene.



Maxine Sutton: Personalized

The work of Maxine Sutton is unlike anyone else’s. Her designs are sweetly naïve. Rather than giving off the air of an expensive designer brand, a Sutton piece looks lovingly crafted—as though it was made just for you by your best friend, your grandmother, or child. (Though, of course, her pieces are much more skillfully designed!) The colors are inviting, the shapes are sweetly simple, and the line quality is nostalgic. Details, such as embroidery, make her pieces that much more special. Maxine Sutton’s brand of coziness feels personalized, yet genuinely her!



Jonathan Adler: Happy

You might know Jonathan Adler and his work, and if you do, you likely know his design philosophy: “happy chic!” Adler found traditional interior design rules (neutral colors and floral motifs, anyone?) to be incredibly boring and restrictive Not to mention—depressing! And definitely not cozy. Adler made bright color, bold pattern, and silly motifs an integral part of his design style.  Whatever brings a smile works for him! To Jonathan Adler, being cozy is being happy, and that is the basis for all of his designs.


What do you think of these designers’ approaches to coziness? Do you work similarly—or totally different? What does “cozy” mean to you as a designer?

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