As the weather turns colder and the nights draw in, there’s nothing quite like snuggling up on the sofa in a warm and cosy home. And, as we spend more time inside at this time of year, we must make our homes feel… well, homely.
And you don’t need to spend a fortune on a huge makeover to transform your home into a comfy sanctuary either. Here are 5 clever ideas on how to get your home ready for winter and turn it into the perfect hideaway.
Add winter textures
As you’ll be spending a large amount of your time curled up indoors over the winter, why not pump up the comfort level by creating some cosy spots for relaxing?
Big, squashy cushions instantly add texture and warmth to a seating area. Go for a mix of sumptuous materials like mohair, cashmere and velvet for the ultimate feeling of luxury.
Also, make good use of throws. Drape them over sofas and dining room chairs to add rich textural layers and seasonal colour. And don’t forget your bedroom. Pack away your airy summer linens and replace them with warm winter materials like wool, fleece or fur. As well as making your home look snug, throws double up as a cosy blanket for you too.
Another area where you can add texture is on your floors. Nobody likes the feeling of a cold hard floor in the winter. So, spare your toes by adding rich, warm rugs. They’ll improve the actual warmth of the room, as well as the feeling of warmth. And you don’t have to restrict them to hard floors either. Layer them on top of carpet to create depth. Deep pile rugs are perfect for creating your cosy home.
Bring in natural light during the day
We all know sunlight is good for our health, but it can be tough to get enough of it during winter. And the winter blues can really cast a cloud over our mood. So, maximising the amount of sunlight we get into our homes is essential.
The first step is to ensure that curtains and blinds are drawn well back during the day, as far as they will go. Then clean your windows, inside and out, and cut back trees and bushes that block the light.
Then think about how the light flows through the whole house. If you have a particularly dark room, but the room next to it gets more light, change the adjoining door to a glass door to allow the light to pour through.
Use mirrors strategically by placing them in areas where they’ll bounce light back into the room. The best place is usually on the wall opposite the window. And the bigger the mirror, the better. Not only will they considerably increase the amount of light, they’ll also make the space feel bigger.
Finally, think about the colours of your walls. Light colours will help to reflect light, while dark colours will absorb it. White is a perfect choice, but soft silvery greys, pale blues and beiges work well to create a cosy home.
Add soft lighting in the evening
There’s no better way of making a home feel snug on a cold wintry evening than by adding soft ambient lighting.
First, think about your main ceiling and wall lights. Turning on bright lights in the evening can mess with your natural body clock. So, if they only have one setting, try putting in dimmer switches so you can turn the brightness down. But even better, make use of table and floor lamps. Put them next to the sofa or nestled against a wall and change the bulbs to warm light LEDs. The lampshade is important too. A paper or linen shade will diffuse the light, making it softer on the eyes.
And don’t forget candles – they’re not just for the romantics! Using a mix of candlesticks, hurricane lanterns and pillar candles, you can group them together on coffee tables or sideboards for instant ambience. Make them scented candles, and you can add all sorts of wonderful winter smells to your home too.
It may look bleak outside, but it doesn’t have to be gloomy inside too. Make your home feel brighter by bringing nature indoors.
Fir tree and holly clippings aren’t just for Christmas decorations! Use them indoors throughout the whole winter season to add touches of greenery to your home. Other suitable varieties include ivy, cedar, juniper and spruce. Have fun with them by creating table-top centrepieces, drape them over mantle pieces and up the stairs. Or you can put them in vases to create beautiful displays.
Photo: Room for Tuesday
You can also add house plants. Varieties such as succulents and cacti are easy to look after and instantly add vibrancy to your home. And, for pops of colour, buy winter-flowering houseplants such as Begonias, Cyclamen, Hyacinths, Azaleas and Poinsettias.
But, if you don’t have green fingers, fake it! There’s a wide range of remarkably realistic greenery and faux winter florals available. Try picking varieties that would be flowering outside, like Hellebores and Snowdrops.
Make the room design cosy
Large, airy, spacious rooms in warmer weather are lovely. But when winter arrives your room could feel a bit cold and unfriendly. And that’s where changing the design can help.
To make a room feel cosy and intimate, try re-arranging your furniture. Move seating closer together, and if you have a fireplace, position the chairs closer to it. Pulling furniture away from the walls and windows also helps to keep you out of draughts.
Photo: House Beautiful
Bare walls can make a room feel chilly and stark in the winter too. So, try adding some large colourful art pieces or family photos in wooden frames. They’ll instantly give the room a lift and make it feel welcoming.
If you need help getting your home ready for winter contact Amberth and talk to a member of our team!