Happy Home

We all know the key to passing a comfortable winter is to stay cosy. And it’s easier to achieve than you think. Because our winters are relatively mild compared to some other areas of the world, we don’t need to completely discard our summer wardrobe, we simply layer warmer items over the top of it. The same is true when decorating a home for winter. The first step is working out how to keep the cold out and the warmth in. Address any insulation issues and install draught stoppers on exterior doors. Then use door `snakes’ to prevent warm air leaking under internal doors. Window treatments Curtains act as a barrier against the cold of glass windows, so they should be made from a solid fabric, with a pelmet affixed above to prevent warm air from escaping over the top and being cooled by the window behind. Curtains should extend beyond the frame on either side of the window, so they effectively seal the wall that contains them. Heating Now your home is draught-proof, you can think about heating. Hands down, the most aesthetically pleasing solution is a fireplace, gas or wood burning.

Fireplaces create a great focal point in a room and are a far more appealing element to position your furniture around than a television. But if installing a fireplace is a step too far, there are plenty of gas, electric and ethanol fuelled heating solutions to keep you feeling snug all season long. Bedrooms Work with your existing bedlinen and furniture by layering soft furnishings that help create visual as well as physical warmth. Cable-knit wools, faux fur or sheepskin cushioning and throws will give you the right visual and physical cues. Greys, beige and neutrals are a good base palette for winter. Team them with indulgent wine and jewel hues, gold or midnight blues. Floors Hard flooring is beautiful but come winter, it’s definitely worth thinking about throwing down a rug. Felted wools, plush cut-piles, synthetic or natural fibres… anything that’s soft underfoot will give you an opportunity to tie in your new winter colour palette as well as keep your feet from absorbing the cold from the timber, laminate, concrete or tiles. Ambience It’s the little things that make a room feel inviting. Tactile throws are essential in a winter living. Great way to keep a room interesting. Close the curtains and choose lamps rather than overhead lighting to make a room feel like a cocoon. Think about swapping your pot plants or f loral arrangements to winter-blooming varieties such as lavender and winter rose. These traditional and pretty flowers will give you something colourful and fragrant to enjoy when you’re spending more time indoors.

Mix up your display of objets d’art to work in with your new winter decorating scheme. Try to minimise items made from glass and silver and replace them with copper, brass, gold or pewter. A few textural pieces made from wood or woven sisal, wicker and rattan will also create a warm ambience. Think, too, about the warming glow of a fire. If you don’t have a fireplace or the ability to create one, invest in candles of all shapes and sizes and arrange in groups throughout your home. The flicker of the candle’s flame creates a relaxing, even meditative, ambience. Choose your candle scents to add a final layer of sensory delight. Although always pretty, sharp citruses and light florals will seem a little out of kilter before spring, but favouring anything woody, earthy or smoky will satisfy all of your # senses through your winter hibernation.