Warm up interiors with accessories

Making the inside warm does not have to cost much since you can use what you already have. Throw pillows, rugs, the fireplace, books, and even group activities, easily create warm spaces on a budget. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • Generally, accessories in rich, warm colours with luxurious texture such as wool, candlelight and nature, accompanied by an interesting read, soft background music or a movie over a bowl of popcorn, are enough to add warmth to any interior.
  • Since many people remain cooped up indoors in cold weather, the key would be to bring the outside indoors. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is through nature and colours.
  • Also pick accessories such as vases, candle holders, and bowls made of stone, wood or flat glazed ceramics, and fill them with sculptural leaf plants or oversized hydrangea heads and place them on either side of the fireplace or a doorway. The bigger and chunkier they are, the better the effect.

The rainy season is with us, and although the cold temperature outside might keep you from spending much time outdoors, you should not let in dampen the mood inside your house.

And you can do this by creating an interior that is warm and inviting. The last thing one would want during this cold season is to return home to a chilly house.

Luckily, making the inside warm does not have to cost much since you can use what you already have. Throw pillows, rugs, the fireplace, books, and even group activities, easily create warm spaces on a budget.

Generally, accessories in rich, warm colours with luxurious texture such as wool, candlelight and nature, accompanied by an interesting read, soft background music or a movie over a bowl of popcorn, are enough to add warmth to any interior.

WARMING DECOR

Below are tips to keep the décor warm throughout the cold season.

Since many people remain cooped up indoors in cold weather, the key would be to bring the outside indoors. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is through nature and colours.

House plants are a great way of not only contrasting modern interiors with nature, but also adding a touch of the outside to the inside. Possibilities include dracinia variegeta, alarm lilies, ferns, golden palms, philodendron, cordylines and gingers.

To enhance the warmth, other accessories such as rugs, throws, or even curtains, can be used. Cool colours such as blue, green and purple have a calming effect while warm colours like red, orange, and yellow fire us up, making them good choices for the cold season.

If you are stuck with white walls, incorporating warm earthy colours such as fire-hued tones of gold, orange, terra-cotta, and red will give an instantly cozy feel to a room or home. Even the softer tones like yellow, gold, brick, and rust have a similar warming effect.

You could opt for warmer-toned wall art or hangings incorporating brown and red. But this should be done with moderation to avoid giving a modern interior a log cabin look.

Also pick accessories such as vases, candle holders, and bowls made of stone, wood or flat glazed ceramics, and fill them with sculptural leaf plants or oversized hydrangea heads and place them on either side of the fireplace or a doorway. The bigger and chunkier they are, the better the effect.

You can also add a few new towels in the bathroom, a set of sheets in the bedroom, candles in the living room, a fruit bowl, vase or container for plants for the kitchen, or a bouquet of flowers anywhere in the house.

Throws are great accessories for the cold weather, and they are affordable. They not only add colour and pattern, but are also close at hand to wrap around chilly knees and feet.

Drape throws over furniture since they will come in handy, not only when one wants to curl up on the sofa, but also keep the space warm when one is away.

EYE FRIENDLY SPACE

To make your space tidy and eye-friendly, do not have throws in too many different colours. Whether they are made of cotton, wool or velvet, throws are both fashionable and functional, but tweed, tartan, or a chunky knit go well with suède and leather cushions.

Throws can be used on the living room couch, the bed, reading space furniture, and even on kitchen chairs. Throw them on the arm of a couch or chair, or at the end of the bed as an added touch.

Dress windows by switching to heavier draperies, or layer existing ones with sheers or blinds. Drapery and other window treatments add warm layers to the room and help trap heat indoors.

Curtains made of fabrics such as cotton also help keep out the cold. Hotels can benefit from suède, velvet, tapestry, or tweed because their weight helps block light and keep heat in.

However, nearly any fabric can be lined with a thick, insulating material to keep out the cold.

One can also rearrange furniture away from windows and doors, and organise them at a spot in the room that is warmer, preferably near the fireplace, for those who have one.

Bare hardwood or tile floors are great in warm weather, but can feel downright uninviting in cold weather. There are fewer options in flooring material more beautiful and stylish than hardwood, but they are certainly not cozy.

In chilly weather, it is advisable to use area rugs to give a warmer feel underfoot. For hardwood, tiled, or bare floors, area rugs are a simple yet effective way of adding warmth. The variety in size, range of colours and patterns, means rugs will work nicely in any home. Rugs also help spaces feel more unified.

Versatile rugs

The kitchen, with all its steel appliances and cold countertops, can be made cozier with a big rug. Rugs are also versatile because after the cold weather, they can be rolled up and stored until next season.

There is something about books that adds instant warmth to any space. Fill your shelves with them and add a comfortable chair and spend part of the season catching up on your favourite reads.

Books are also décor-friendly, since you do not need a book shelf only in the study or reading room; you can have one in the lounge, the sun room, and some even on the coffee table. This way, you can successfully achieve two cozy looks with one decorating move.

RELAXING FIREPLACE

There is no cozier place than the fireplace to relax, read or just chat with friends.

The fireplace also warms up the whole house. But you do not necessarily have to have a fireplace to make your house warm.

Whether you have a fire going or just a set candles on the coffee table, flickering light creates intimacy and warmth. Nothing will alter the mood in a room more than lighting.

Install dimmers around the house, from the dining and living room to the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. Dim light heightens the atmosphere. Avoid overhead lights. If you need more light, consider adding lights lower to the floor such as a table or floor lamps.

However, you should not forget to aerate your house, especially the small spaces, since with most windows and doors closed to keep the cold out, they are sure to become stuffy.

Open the windows and doors in the areas not currently in use allow in fresh air. For instance, if everyone is in the lounge or living area, you can open a door or window in the kitchen and bedroom to keep fresh air circulating.

You can also fill your home with the warm scents such as apple, cinnamon or pine. Candles, food, and scented sprays are other ways of adding soothing scents to a space.

Cap it all by choosing activities to engage in with the family, such as enjoying the family photo albums, or even playing a board game.

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