On my bed, on top of my duvet is a floral eiderdown, and on top of that, a mohair throw. I rarely turn the main lights on, though every lamp hums with a genial glow. In a basket in my lounge sit four blankets and three hot water bottles; one is conventionally shaped, while the other two are elongated so as to cover more of your body, from shoulders to knees. Only yesterday I belted one inside my parka to traipse to Sainsbury’s during a pathetic flurry of Hackney’s best snow.
In fact, I often go outside just to come back in again – to be greeted with the kind of walled heat you feel when disembarking a plane in Palma. Then I make like a woman in an advert whose earnest gaze is as annoying as the way she’s holding her mug, and say something like, ahhh. The only difference is I mean it. I have a lifelong commitment to being cosy, you see. I know I'm not the only one - we are, after all, a nation of homey and contented tea drinkers, but there's a fervent, collective commitment to cosy right now, and it's not one that we can attribute to winter, or even the snow, but to the pandemic.
When we’re dangerously deprived of contact, cosy interiors take on new meaning. Out of the house, we avoid touching like the plague. We negotiate personal boundaries as if our lives depend on it (oh wait… they do). We know that physical affection reduces stress but when it’s out of reach, behind doors and screens and under gloves and masks, we have to look elsewhere. To bouclé and velvet. To sheepskin, which organic and warm, appeals to our most primal of instincts. All these fabrics dispense affection freely, like a cuddly aunt whose hugs you crave. And it's not just upholstery, downy blankets, rugs, bobbin tables and lamps all soften the edges of rooms and patch over fraught emotions. The teddy bear coat from a few seasons ago enjoyed rip-roar success for a reason: it promised its wearers comfort and security, it said they were never too old to be enveloped in warmth and fuzz, and that, dear reader, is what these interiors do.