Fur, cashmere, sheepskin, woolen and cotton knits – warming materials are essential for creating a haven of resource and relaxation in the cold and dark days of winter. A degree of dynamic interplay can be cultivated through material contrast, such as that of fur and steel, or unexpected twists of form, such as a lampshade in knitted sheep’s wool.

Consider some perfect perches for an afternoon spent reading a book by the fireplace. The Log armchair by Milan-based designer Patricia Urquiola is a solid beechwood structure, whose low back and deep seat is lined with longhaired sheepskin from Mongolia. The Flag Halyard Chair, originally designed in 1950 by Danish designer Hans J. Wegner is a classic that reclines generously. Its cold chromium-plated stainless steel pipes are a modernist contrast to the longhaired sheepskin addition to the inside seat.

Alternatively, the Hermès Maison Jean-Michel Frank re-edition of the Confortable club chair in entirely upholstered in white sheepskin; it is a uniform cloud of comfort.

Pudelskern, a design team from Innsbruck, Austria sources pure natural wool from sheep that are bred on green alpine pastures in the remote valleys of the Tyrol, which is then hand-knit by a collective of home-based workers in the Netherlands to form their Granny lampshades. Each lamp can be tracked back to the flock where the wool came from.

«Winters can be harsh in the Alps with lots of snow and the need of cozy interiors,» explain Pudelskern, «the design of the pendant lamp ‘Granny’ is a direct response to the climatic challenges of cold winters with its long tradition of gatherings in living rooms around the fireplace, where grannies used to knit while telling stories. Granny is a reminiscence of childhood. »

Interior design can have this emotive power. Cocooning returns us to a safe place, where there is no need to leave, and deep relaxation is the only priority at hand.