We don’t often think of winter as a time to start afresh. That seems to be left for spring, a season devoted to shaking off the cobwebs and thinking about getting our highlights done, or getting into clean eating again. Summer is all about a health kick, hitting up spin classes left, right and sideways for that week in the sun we have planned, while autumn signals time for a new wardrobe as we welcome in the turn of the fashion cycle. So winter is, well, for not doing much at all. We regress into knitwear, allow ourselves to indulge a little and generally let our comparably buzzing summer social lives become as dormant as the trees outside. In general: the home is key.
I am always the first person to say that I love winter, which, isn’t to say that I enjoy being cold, or commuting in the dark. Things I do like however, in no particular order, are as follows: champagne all nights of the week being fully acceptable, because it’s the festive season; icy country walks followed up by solid stints in good pubs; festive lattes; mince pies; Strictly Come Dancing (please don’t judge); cashmere; polonecks; bobble hats; sequins & glitter; CHRISTMAS…
You get the idea. I’m an easy woman to please. But, another thing I really do like most of all about winter, is embracing my home. I love snuggling up on a good rug, whacking the heating up, roasting a chicken. My bed becomes my favourite place, where I can happily sit with the papers all weekend under layers of Cath Kidston bedding and upteen cups of tea. This is before I get onto the scented candle situation, my love for which nearly cost me a roommate my first term at boarding school. Turns out not many people are as into Festive Spice as myself, which has since been noted.
The point is I think it’s really important for your home to be your sanctuary when it’s miserable outside, and our interiors play a huge role in that. A space feeling open and light is all well and good, but not if you still feel the need for heavy knitwear when running down to fetch your overnight oats from the fridge. It’s going to be cold for a solid five to six months – now is the time more than ever to consider a decor rethink. New York-based interior designer, Lacey Chaus, agrees. “When winter comes, I love making a home feel warm and welcoming,” she tells me. “Accessories and flowers are the perfect addition to transform timeless design into a more seasonal space, and they require a lower level of investment.”
“Fur throws on sofas or beds serve as warm welcoming notes too,” she adds. “When a wood burning fire isn’t an option, lighting Diptyque’s Feu De Bois candles throughout a home provides a wonderful aroma. Dark greens and deep reds are lovely floral accent colors to add a festive feel.”
Candles are also something West Elm London’s Home Stylist Ben Hanley recommends to combat grey skies. “Give the room a glow,” he offers. “Candles are a great way to make the room feel cosy and seasonal, and decorative lanterns are a great way to house them. This will give the room a luxe feel as the soft light reflects off the glass of the lantern, in turn creating a homely vibe”
He also stresses the importance of colour scheme and fabrics, which we might not otherwise think about. “Adding warmth is so important”, he explains. “Adding some hot colours and punchy patterns into the room makes all the difference – this could be through a few new cushion covers, some vases or decorative accessories that help give the room a fresh look for the season. Throws are also a great way to add some pattern and colour, and serve a purpose too!”
“Finally, always mix up your textures,” he adds. “A textural element, particularly on a bed or sofa, will make the room feel interesting. Incorporate luxe fabrics like lustre velvet and mixed metallics to bring in some character and add further warmth to the space.”
Warning: you may never want to leave the house again.
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