Heard of the Snug? Why This British Room Trend Is Set to Dominate 2024

The coziest solution for any awkward space

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On a recent trip to London, I didn’t have a term for it, but I noticed a tiny nook of a space at a friend’s home in the city. It wasn’t large enough to be a living room, nor did it have a TV—instead it was marked off by luxe wallpaper, a cozy loveseat and lighting that cast a warm and flattering glow. It was so inviting, I wanted to live in it.

Recently, I came across a definition for this style of room, via this piece in the Wall Street Journal: According to the Brits, this type of den-like space is called a snug. And, as far as home trends go, it’s picking up steam stateside.

What Is a Snug?

At its core, the ‘British snug’ is designed to be the epitome of comfort, explains Lindsay Biondo, the owner and founder of the New York-based design firm Houz of Rebel. “A snug often features plush seating, warm lighting, soft textiles—it’s the ideal retreat for relaxation and one that is typically walled-off to ensure privacy,” Biondo says.

It's also inherently British. “The Victorian era left a lasting impact on British architecture and interior design with a focus on creating distinct rooms for specific purposes, such as drawing rooms, morning rooms and studies,” Biondo adds. The snug room is considered just another dedicated space, but one that’s centered around comfort and chilling out. In other words, meant to be a respite.

Why Is the Snug Fast Becoming an American Import?

The British snug easily feels aspirational when it comes to thoughts of integrating into our American spaces. “I would assume factors like the cool, rainy weather, British literature and media, and a love of home and hearth have romanticized the idea of the cozy, intimate, country-cottage-like nook,” Biondo says.

Additionally, the fact that we continue to spend more time at home means we’re putting more intention into our spaces. Yes, homes can have an office, living room and/or TV room, but this is about taking a nook you didn’t know what to do with in your home and giving it character. It’s not a replacement for the larger areas where we typically gather, but more of an alternative. The snug is typically a screen-free spot that celebrates down time and feels like a nice warm hug.

There’s also a reason it might not be all that hard to adapt this British home design trait into American homes: “Many of the older homes here were fashioned off of British architecture so they often include small, cozy areas similar to what you’d find in the U.K.,” says Barrett Oswald, co-founder of Barrett Oswald Designs. “Defining a ‘purpose’ for these spaces has always been a challenge, so seeing a revival of snug style inspiration has been creatively beneficial.”

How Can You Get Started Outfitting Your Own Snug?

First, choose a small area that you can partition off from the main spaces of your home. “This allows it to exist within its own style,” Barrett says. “We see a lot of homeowners willing to commit to bold wallpaper or moody paint—decisions that might otherwise feel overwhelming in a larger space.”

But truly, setting you your version of the snug is a chance to get creative. “Think soft, fuzzy fabric such as bouclé, plush rugs that are layered, lots of cashmere or chucky knit throw blankets and throw pillows,” says Biondo, who doesn’t stop there. “Heavy wool fabrics for the window treatments and velvet for the main furniture pieces with pops of fuzzy material on a side chair or ottoman. You should have fun mixing textures and patterned fabrics in this space.”

One final design note: A snug should reflect you. “This is an area of the home that should feel highly personalized, so fill it with items that reflect your tastes and interests,” says Biondo. In other words, what are the pieces that might not naturally fit within other areas of your home.

Bottom line: A snug is meant to induce calm. With that as your true north, you can take your design cue from there.

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Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...