Cosy yellow and pink cushions on a blue sofa

How to turn a modern apartment into a cosy home

Skylines are changing fast, all over the UK.  More high-rise living apartment blocks are being built or introduced as developers make the most of the old industrial spaces between the city centres and the suburbs.

It offers a whole new way of living for people who don’t want to live right in the city centre but don’t feel ready for the quieter feel of a town.

Living in a high-rise building can bring so many advantages: it’s convenient, the views are great and the apartments are well designed. It can also be really sociable, as modern developers look for a community feel by creating communal spaces and open plan areas to encourage interaction.

While the buildings may be modern (or at least modern conversions!), your urban apartment does not have to have a minimalist, contemporary interior.

If you love the contemporary but still crave cosiness, here are a few simple ways to bring softness to urban living.

Use rich, warm paint colours

You may feel tempted to go for cooler tones, but richer and warmer paint colours will actually work really well as high-rise flats tend to have a lot of natural light, and so get the most of sunrise and sunset. Look for earthy paint colours like our Rhythmic Yellow Paint or Country Green Paint and mix with a darker tone such as Rock Grey Paint for a little contrast!

You can learn more about colour matching our paints on our blog.

Embrace biophilia

Even in a busy high-rise, it's important to connect with the natural world.

Biophilic design brings nature into the home - and you can start by adding greenery everywhere. If you have natural light, they will love it!

If you’re not feeling terribly green-fingered, mix and match real and artificial plants. Leading brands like Ikea, Dunelm and Matalan have a great range of fake plants that still deliver the comforting feeling of an indoor garden.

Make the most of any outside space

If you have a balcony, bring colour to it! Lay an outdoor rug that has green leaves on it. Bistro furniture takes up less space and can feature really bright cushions for a pop of brightness. A string of outdoor lights will really lift the space and look fantastic, even from inside.

Use wall art

Smaller spaces can still carry art well.

A gallery wall works better than one large print in a smaller space, especially if it is strategically organised to draw the eye to the windows. Don’t just consider pictures: little neon signs and accessories hanging from the ceiling are great fun alternatives.

Light it up

In addition to functionality, the right lighting can create atmosphere and warmth, contribute to mental health and help zone different areas in small apartments.

Ceiling lights are great, but can feel harsh. Use table and floor lamps or consider pendant lights to create inviting corners and zone a room, while adding warmth and cosiness.

Enjoy yourself!

Decorating is fun and it's a great way to make a space feel your own, whatever design style you choose.

When you first move into a contemporary high-rise apartment, look at it as a well-lit blank canvas. Create whatever theme works for you to ensure you feel at home – and remember that decorating doesn't have to cost the earth.

Remember to share your apartment transformations with the hashtag #ZhooshUp so we can see how you're getting on!