Now the temperature has finally dropped after a wonderfully warm spell resulting in those gorgeous, intense, autumnal colours, bright, crisp sunshine, blue skies and green fields, what happens when the sunshine no longer filters through the window and those dark evenings and rainy days make us dread those winter blues? If you haven’t had joyous memories of the more wintry months start to create them with positive connections enabling you to look forward to each season rather than just the warm ones. We often think about what we wear with the changes of seasons but how do our homes change and how can we keep cosy and happy through the darker, colder days and nights.
There are the bigger choices you make with a property; like underfloor heating and the colour temperature of integrated lighting, which can make a huge impact on comfort and your mood and with these ever more popular options you can have timber or stone flooring and feel as cosy as you would with carpet.
On a smaller scale create warm, soft, ambient lighting with side lamps and consider buying lamp shades with gold lining for a rich, warm soft, subtle glow. Gold has become more popular again and there are lots of attractive pieces of furniture and accessories to add a hint of warmth out there without going overboard. Think about adding subtle touches of it in your home with an old gold distressed frame for a piece of artwork or photo and for a coffee table or side table with a gilt base try Made.com.
A fireplace can be wonderful to come home to on a nippy evening and there are so many choices out there enabling you to enjoy that feeling of an open fire. Get an expert to assess the possibilities and make sure that it’s heat capacity compliments any existing heating you may have; be aware that overheating can be as uncomfortable as under heating.
Times used to be when one would have loose summer covers for one’s sofa and chairs which would be packed away for winter. I think this is still a great idea and something that should be considered; cotton and linen for summer and velvet for winter, how delicious. The other practical benefit being that it makes your furniture last longer. See sofa.com for their fabulous upholstered furniture and range of exquisite velvets.
Draughts can affect all types of properties old and new and a fabric draught excluder may seem terribly old fashioned but why not get them made bespoke for windows and doors in your own choice of fabric? Cosying up on the sofa or covering the bed with a wool or cashmere throw is a treat. Going for pure cashmere from a reputable source is an investment bringing lasting enjoyment but there are also some great budget options out there, which can be surprisingly soft. Try West Elm or Zara Home. I also love a traditional bed quilt on top of my duvet for extra snugness. Steep your toes into a sheepskin rug last thing at night and first thing in the morning Skandi style from 'IWOOT.
Don't be afraid to add a bit of texture and colour and humour into your home. Mix the old with the new creating a home that looks like it has evolved over time. I love Graham and Greens Blue Jellyfish Paperweight and their bright appliqued Character cushions. For something a little more classical try Robert Kime or Chelsea Textiles for truly beautiful, traditional embroidered and ethnic cushions. For quirky and stylish check out hutchingsandbrandt, their Metal stag hooks are both seasonal and stylish.
Creating a cosy ambience isn’t complete without the fragrant glow of a candle. For a beautiful winter sensory experience check out Jo Loves for candles with wonderful names such as ‘Smoked Plum and Leather’, ‘Salted Caramel’, Red Truffle 21’ and ‘Log Fires’. A personal favourite of mine are the Manuel Canovas candle range from Colefax & Fowler, each one has a comforting, warmth to it. Smells don’t just have to reflect winter though consider those which generally make you happy. I tend to be drawn to a mixture of Vanilla, Jasmine and fresh cotton and these keep me happy all year round, so keep your favourite spritzer on hand for a quick squirt to lift your mood.
Finally, I can highly advocate having a pooch around the house. My dog Furio is small and white and looks fabulous in any interior, whilst also keeping my feet toasty warm. But seriously, whilst considering all the commitments having a pet entails; he forces you to face the elements and stride out into all weathers experiencing incredible winter mornings of star filled skies and when it’s not so star filled his happiness is infectious, just make sure you clean his paws before he walks across your sheepskin rug.
Author - Rachel Niddrie
Winchester based Interior Designer. Sharing my design experiences, likes and loves and all things I find beautiful, useful and inspirational in the world of interiors