At this time of year, our homes should be a welcome retreat from the wintry weather outside; a place to snuggle up and feel protected, safe and warm. So if your house or flat is feeling a bit cold and bare this season, and you want to turn it into a really cosy home, read on for some suggestions:
Consider New Radiators
A warm home is naturally more inviting, but sometimes – especially in a cold snap – the heating needs a boost. You might be tempted to add a portable plug in heater or two, but before you do, why not consider a less bulky, more attractive alternative? Just as convenient as a freestanding unit, wall mounted electric radiators are easy to control and really effective. Certainly if you want to create a stylish home, they are aesthetically more pleasing – choose from sleek and streamlined models to blend in, or go bold with urban looking designs that make an eyecatching feature in their own right. The additional good news is that, because they are wall hung, they don’t take up valuable floor space and won’t pose a tripping hazard, as can be the case with other electric heaters.
The ones available from Electric Radiators Direct are really on-trend and efficient. My favourite designs are the Terma Ribbon which is available in three smart colours (black, copper and grey) and the Ecostrad VeeSmart which comes in a choice of black or white and as either a vertical or horizontal unit. Whilst the Terma Ribbon has that raw, edgy appeal for those who like a rustic or industrial interior, the VeeSmart ticks the box for those who prefer a cool and contemporary look, suiting more minimal or scandi-style homes.
Have you got a Fireplace?
A room feels instantly more warm and inviting when there’s a fireplace in it. But not all homes have one – so if you don’t, why not fake one? You can buy a second hand fire surround cheaply off sites like Ebay and put a basket of logs beside it and a firescreen against the wall to disguise the fact there’s no actual fire! If you have an empty hearth you can fill it with LED candles (safer than regular wax candles) or twinkling string lights over a pile of logs to give the impression of warmth and light. Whether you have a real fireplace or fake, adding a shelf or mantel above makes a great focal point and you can use it to display your favourite decorative items.
Add Layers of Texture
A layered room looks and feels a lot more warm and homely, than one with bare walls and floors. The best way to add layers is with textiles – so drape the sofa or your bed with velvet, knitted or faux fur throws and pile up cushions in woolly fabrics. Also make sure there are thick rugs on the floor for underfoot warmth. Blinds can look a bit stark at your windows at this time of year, so adding curtains are a good option option (you can even add one to pull across a draughty door.)
Tall plants and rattan or bamboo room divider screens can help break up a room into smaller, snug areas – think about the way restaurants manage to create intimacy by adding things like velvet booths and cosy nooks or corners. In your home, velvet ottomans and chunky knitted pouffes make great additions – I love this tactile woolly pebble from John Lewis:
As with layering textiles, a layered lighting scheme creates a much cosier vibe. It simply means having multiple light sources in your room so you can choose different lighting levels depending on the time of day or night or mood you want to achieve. Putting vintage light bulbs in your lamps ensures a warm, ambient glow around the room. Candles and twinkly string lights are also perfect for adding to the snug atmosphere.
Wall Colour is Important
People are often wary of using dark wall colours for fear of making the space seem smaller, but darker hues can actually trick the mind by blurring the corners and edges of a room, making the depth seem greater. They can also add a feeling of comfort and sanctuary, so if that’s what you’re after, be brave and embrace the darkness! You can even paint the ceiling in the same colour for a more enclosed effect – great in a bedroom where you want to retreat and feel cocooned from the world outside.
If you’re not ready to commit to fully dark walls, go for earthy mid-tones of biscuit, mushroom and nutmeg which will add a soft warmth. And you can always add lighter accessories such as a cream sheepskin throw.
I always think that baked goods make a home smell warm and welcoming. Even if you’re not a baker, there are some great scented candles and room fragrances that will create the same inviting smells. Go for scents with hints of vanilla, cinnamon, salted caramel or warm woody notes.
I hope these ideas have given you some inspiration for creating a stylishly cosy home this winter!