“Winter for most of us is both on a practical and mythical level a time of hibernation and keeping warm. As we often spend more time at home during the winter, it is essential to create a feeling of warmth and serenity in the home,” describes The Room Studio decorator Maayan Schwartz of the coming season. The only thing lovelier than lounging on a deck chair under the sun with a good book is curling up in your favourite chair with a good book. Not everyone wants the trouble of extra heating sources for, maybe, a month, so how do you winterise your home easily and temporarily?
“Colour, texture and lighting are the key elements to consider when ‘winterising’ one’s home,” is the short answer if you ask Geoff Fuller, managing director of interiors retailer Tequila Kola, and Schwartz agrees, noting rugs, fabrics and cushions are other elements to a winter space. Of those, rugs are key. “Rugs are probably the most important features in winterising your home. When you come home at the end of a long cold day or are hanging out with the kids in the afternoon during the winter, its nice to have the feel of a soft cosy carpet beneath your feet.” Rugs are one of the easiest elements to add to a home as long as you bear in mind your colour palette and ensure it is complementary to the existing design or has colours in a pattern that match.
“A great way to start winterising your home is to pick a soft pile rug then accessorise your sofa and chairs with cushions in soft cosy fabrics and textures,” concurs designer Natasha Grays. “Winter white and silver or reds and oranges tend to give that wintery feel. Sheepskin, faux fur throws, sequined cushions (for a touch of glamour). A cluster of glass votives or a large tray filled with candles provide the glow and ambiance for those cosy home winter nights.” And mix up your textures; throw in some wool. “This scheme works really well with neutral colours such as beiges and greys. These fabrics can be used on cushions, throws, warm blankets, poufs and so on,” adds Schwartz.
Perhaps not surprisingly, good lighting is a must — something true at all times of the year. In a season often dominated by grey skies and short days, the lights are on far more often. Not only is LED lighting more energy efficient, “LED … also offers a much warmer light. You may also want to use a dim lighting which creates a warm and relaxing mood,” notes Schwartz.
Fuller uses TK’s own Sarah series in a Moroccan style dining space as a way to demonstrate what all three are saying. “The mood is further enhanced by the use of warm, coloured textiles and lighting. Cushions, throws and rugs feature hues of red, orange and yellow — warm colours. The lampshades are a yellow/green colour and the light they create adds to the overall ambience.”
So now you know the “how” it’s time to dive into the what. Metals and metallics are one of the bigger themes for this winter, and “Brass is particularly important. Our Moroccan dining room features a large brass candleholder mounted on the wall… When lit for a winter dinner party the room will look very snug indeed,” says Fuller. Grays likes what she refers to as flint, the trend of, “Going back to our roots, using rich soft earth colours with neutrals, incorporating organic and hand made themes. It’s about using natural objects like fossils, baskets of gathered logs and so on,” she notes. Another style to watch for is the alpine look, which is about bringing the outdoors in. “Reds greens and browns are the colours and organic materials like cork and wood are used to make people feel happy and healthy,” finishes Grays. And Schwartz sees a lot of action in vintage, tribal and Art Deco movements — all in moderation — as well as black and white and shades of grey, which is an ideal way to incorporate many of the aforementioned components. “Grey is the new black,” finishes Schwartz. The shade is a great base against which to put bright statement pieces, wintery or luxurious fabrics and metals. “Grey can be used with such elements to create a more contemporary look. [It’s] also very grounding when using colour, so as to make a bright colour more palatable.”