Winter time is upon us. I have always been in awe of how the seasons change. The beautiful way in which they transform and merge into each other. The blatant contrasts between the seasons and the awe inspiring effects it has on the world around us. It has always been very fascinating to watch the natural and animal world gloriously adapt to the ever changing surroundings.
We all have a romantic view of winter time. It falls around the two most important times of a year, the end and the beginning. We have celebrations and festivals and holidays and it is a time to unwind and reflect on the year that has just been. People are tired, wanting a break but also looking forward to the year that's coming. I find that people are more optimistic and reflective at this time of year. They will be moaning about the weather and the cold but at the end of the day they secretly love the atmosphere of winter. I know I do.
As it is the end of the year, many people do not want to make major adjustments to their homes. They have other expenses to cover this season. However, there a few little things that you can do around the house to style it up for winter. A few subtle changes here and there can make a world of a difference.
Image: Stephanie Harvey
Layer It Up
There really is not a better feeling than coming home on a cold winters evening and sitting down on a sofa and just sinking into a beautifully soft abyss of sofa and blankets. Try not to be tempted to go for one thick blanket, but it is actually better to have multiple thin layers, as the heat distributes better. And multiple layers just means that there is ample opportunity to incorporate more designs and patterns into the interior. I mean what better way is there to accessorise the living room or bedroom than with throws and blankets?
Explore different textures and fabrics, create a look that excite the senses. Play around with colour and add contrasting shades and tones. For a more subtle and calming atmosphere, try playing with and layering solid blocks of neutral colours and keep pattern to the minimum. Try not to forget to pile on the cushions. Add try to add a rug or two, especially in areas with hard flooring. Rugs are perfect to use to soften up and area and also change the look of the place.
Warm It Up
Everyone dreams of spending cold winter nights curled up in front of a hot roaring fire. Feeling all kinds of warm and toasty. But unfortunately hot roaring fires might not be ideal for certain homes. Candles are helpful for times like this. I find candles to be a beautiful accent to an interior, but my love for candles is not hidden from you all. Try creating interest by playing around with an asymmetrical arrangement, with candles of different shapes and sizes. Try exploring with the idea of making candles statement pieces and pick out ones with patterns, colours or in beautiful glass or ceramic. Try grouping together scents that compliment each other, as there is nothing worse than overpowering the room with a clash of multiple scents.
Curtains also help retain heat and help create a warm and cosy atmosphere. Thick fabrics of dark or neutral colours will work well this season. Again curtains can be amazing statement pieces so trying exploring patterns and colours. Curtains and window dressings are also excellent for introducing new colours into the interior.
Image: Julian Hochgesang
Light It Down
Dark and light, a beautiful contrast and what better time to exploit this than during winter. The outside light during the winter months is minimal, the day times are shorter and generally people spend more hours in the dark than light. So instead of having a light and bright atmosphere inside, I prefer to mimic the natural lighting conditions of the outside world, which sounds kinda crazy but it does work.
Creating little spots of lighting around the room is far more effective than one lighting source. This works because it balances out with the natural environment. Lamps are always popular during winter time, as smaller light sources help create a more intimate environment, reflecting the nesting qualities of nature.
The short and cold days are made better by spending the night bundled up in thick fluffy blankets, cradling a steaming mug of hot chocolate. The wet and cold environment of the outside is replaced by plates of hot desserts and endless helpings of comfort food. The dull and grey atmosphere is replaced by mood lighting and candles. There is just something about firelight and the beautiful colours of yellow, orange and red that lulls us into a sense of relaxation, in a grey and dark world. But a few style changes in the interior can really help amp up that glorious winter feeling.