July is here. For some, the cold gloomy weather offers respite from the heatwave that characterised the first half of the year. It is a time for sips of hot chocolate and fuzzy blankets leaving the closet to swaddle adults and children alike. Staying indoors amid the ongoing pandemic can also mean that your immediate living environment could use a breath of fresh air - rich colours, textured fabrics and little accessories and details that keep your home warm and inviting while grey skies dominate the world outside.
In an article published on Psychology Today, an impact on the environment one lives in can lead to an elevation in mood and aids in honing one’s personal aesthetic. These alterations can be as simple as rearranging furniture or as drastic as a change in the home’s general theme. Raise your spirits this cold season with these tips to help you curate your own snug hibernation space guaranteed to keep cabin fever at bay.
Throw blankets have become somewhat of a household staple in these times, ideal for people who want the comfort of a bed without actually having to get into one. While keeping your feet warm in the daytime, throw blankets can come in quite handy when infusing textures into the home decor during these cold months, making any environment look lush and comfortable. A colourful throw could easily tie the aesthetic of a room together, draw the eyes towards the furniture it lays on and communicate the character of a snug room in an often understated way. For outdoor spaces, use a Maasai shuka or two that can easily be grabbed by guests looking to keep their feet warm while enjoying the crisp air outdoors.
Playful lighting fixtures
The phrase ‘Christmas in July’ can take its own meaning in your home. Dim lighting is in this season, perfect for cold nights as you watch television alone or with loved ones. Fairy lights and Moroccan lanterns are the order of the day (or night) for a battery powered lighting option that could also save you during blackouts. If you like to shop online and are looking for a wide variety of interesting designs to curate your personal space, visit Nairobi Nights (@nairobi_nights) or Pixie Blend Decor (@pixie_blend_decor) for a selection of quirky lighting fixtures.
Candles, aromatic or other, are also a great way of infusing both soft light and light aromatics to keep the air in your home deliciously ardent. Think white pillar candles stacked in an unused fireplace, or cinnamon-scented candles keeping you company as you take a hot shower to ward off the cold. Cut the wicks and watch the burning time to keep these candles in good condition throughout the cold season.
Rearrange your furniture
There’s nothing quite like a bit of feng shui to keep the organisation of a room fresh and exciting. If possible, keep furniture away from windows that invite cold draughts during this season, moving them closer to the centre of the room for extra warmth. Investing in an area heater for your home could also prove beneficial for the chilly weather, and rearranging large pieces of furniture such as the sofa to accommodate this addition could end up being just the mood booster you need.
Bring the greenery indoors
A bouquet of flowers fit for the season speaks to the fact that your home is in full bloom amid the cheerless weather. These would be perfect as a centrepiece in the dining area, but can also sit comfortably on a bookshelf or TV stand to provide a point of optical focus. The cold season is still green within the tropics, but some houseplants could also use a bit more tender love and care when moved indoors. Winds may affect their foliage, and bringing them inside the house could be just the trick to keep them alive to continue the course of their growth during the warmer months later of the year.
More time spent indoors could also open up your creative side, giving you more time to explore what more your hands can do for your home. Old sweaters could come together to create a wreath or a cosy throw pillow, and clean, neutral fabrics could turn into a gorgeous lantern hanging from the ceiling, bringing texture to any space.
Wooden trays and well-varnished logs can also provide sturdy support for candles and tea lights, visually adding warmth into your home.
Consider changing your curtains
Cold draughts seep into the home through discreet openings under doors and around windows, which can be frustrating when trying to keep your home insulated. Heavy duty curtains can be beneficial in keeping cold draughts at bay, and even better, keep the home dim and cosy for lazy mornings in bed to ward off gloomy weather.
However, if you’re looking to inject a bit of visual warmth in spaces such as the living room, you may benefit from switching up the drapes to a light fabric in a brightly coloured shade like mustard or amber to keep the room feeling airy while maintaining the privacy of your home.
Invest in a lush area rug
While the rest of the home speaks of warm temperatures, your feet could also use a reminder in the form of a lush area rug. High piles remain the reserve of bedrooms and other spaces with low foot traffic, with jute carpets and layered designs dominating the living and hallway areas. This rule is especially important because the pile of the carpet determines how easy it will be to clean and its durability in the long run. While it may seem tempting to use a fluffy carpet in the space where you host, consider layering instead to keep the carpets from accumulating dust and other allergens that may affect the residents of your home.