Winter warmer decorating ideas – guest blog by Charlotte Stafford
‘With winter snapping at our heels, it is a basic human requirement that we feel warm in our own homes, however, with fuel bills going up, making heating a home a very expensive business, we have to find other ways to give rooms that cosy feeling. Warm interior design starts with the walls.
To bring a sense of warmth, walls should either be papered or painted using colours that have warm tones, such as shades of orange and red for an intense look, or soft yellows and golds for a subtler feel. In keeping with modern design, walls can incorporate more than one colour. Contrasts can be struck by mixing neutral colours of grey, white and silver with rich reds and earthy browns.
If the floor is made of hardwood or laminate flooring, then throwing a rug down will immediately cosy up the room. It will also help to absorb sound and retain heat.
Curtains perform a similar function, including protecting against draughts, and these can be chosen to tie in with the wall colour, or to provide a stark contrast. For example, if the walls are plain, hang curtains that have a pattern, perhaps picked out in gold for a luxurious touch, or if the walls are patterned, choose plain but heavy and opulent fabric for the curtains.
What works well for the spring and summer months may not work for the autumn and winter, so it may be necessary to re-arrange the furniture in a room to create a more intimate, warming space. Pull sofas and chairs away from the walls to create a focal point in the middle. This will also help to stop cold from the wall seeping through into the furniture. Seating should be comfortable and inviting. Corner or L-shaped sofas are an excellent way to create a central seating area, whilst a chaise sofaprovides ample space for people to stretch out and relax.
To help define the seating area, group the sofas around a large fabric or leather footstool or coffee table. Layers are a good way to build up comfort, so ensure there are plenty of soft, deep cushions on the sofas, and provide a warm throw, perhaps made of faux fur, so that people can snuggle down and keep warm while relaxing.
Lighting and accessories
Once the room is decorated and furnished, use ambient lighting and accessories to create points of interest. Use floor standing lamps to provide ‘reading spots’ and to light corners of the room – the same with table lamps. Lampshades provide good opportunities to add accent colours.
Silver is particularly an on trend colour at the moment, and along with burnished gold, makes a perfect colour choice for lamp bases and shades. The shiny texture of these colours will also reflect light and bring a sparkle to the room.
For softer, romantic light, make good use of candles. Use large church candles on and in a fireplace to create a focal point, and put thin, perhaps coloured, candles in sticks on the mantelpiece.’