The armchair next to the fire is a BoConcept Schelly chair
which I'm very fond of. It's simple, yet cozy-looking! For more coziness and realism (you wouldn't sit there without a warm blanket that's for sure) I added a sloppily-dropped blanket.
The blanket was a simple plane made with a reactor cloth modifier. The plane also has very few segments. In this case 4 x 4 was enough to keep things fast and clean. For swiftness I also did a simplified low-poly model of the chair.
After a few drops, I was satisfied with the low-poly blanket, so I increased the vertices with a TurboSmooth modifier. Some vertices sunk into the high-poly model, but why should I waste my time on something that isn't even visible? By the way, this was a hard lesson for me because usually I like things nice and tidy. But efficiency must be the priority in this (and every) business.
Creating a plane and dropping it onto the chair to create a sloppily-placed blanket
The materials were very simple. Again it was because of the heavy Photoshop editing later on. I just focused on some reflections, for instance, on the wood terrace.
Some of the snow and wood materials applied to the scene
The VRayDomeLight is the main light with a HDRI added (vizpeople HDRI v1) and there are some smaller V-Ray light planes to light up the interior. To spice things up a little, I used some VRayIESLights here and there. For the light of the fire I chose a spherical V-Ray light with a warm color.
The lighting setup included V-Ray dome, plane and spherical lights
I used VRayEnvironmentFog to create the environment atmosphere, but I could have used ZDepth and post work. I just wanted to try it out.
Settings used for the VRayEnvironmentFog in the environment atmosphere
There's absolutely nothing special about the render settings. I used very standard medium quality settings.
The standard render settings used to render the scene
Again, nothing special here. There's no secret in just throwing elements onto the canvas and blending them into the picture. It's always fun to see your concept come alive.
Get your textures from cgtextures
Check out Csaba Bánáti's site
for more inspiring furniture designs for your scenes