Warming up your home as temperatures drop

Baby its cold outside!

The older I get the less tolerant I am to cold weather.

I know it’s an age thing when my fiancé and I talk about moving south for the winter, do we get thin-skinned as we age? I am sure that by moving to a warmer climate we would miss Christmas in the snow but at this point I’m ready to take that chance.

There is opportunity to warm up your house while still being stylish. Think about how a cocoon is built to protect the inhabitants inside, it’s all about layers. Take a look at the rooms in your home your family spends the most time in (excluding bedrooms because there are always cozy blankets available to snuggle under!) Is there a way you can layer these rooms to add warmth and comfort during the cold winter months? Of course there is!

Start with the colour and scent of a room. Deeper shades on walls and furniture combined with warm spicy scents will help a room feel toasty, even if it is only psychologically. Cinnamon, vanilla and apple are all very good choices. When I applied paint to our new condo the room magically transformed from a stark white space to a cozy retreat, everyone who visits comments on how ‘warm’ it is.

The best way to layer colour in a room is to choose varying shades of the same colour and use it in different elements. This is called a monochromatic colour scheme in design and is used successfully with neutrals and most colour palettes. For example, my walls around the windows are a dark teal (C2 Titan) and I have layered on top of those walls drapery fabric with a chestnut brown background and teal and bronze polka dots.

The colour then fades to a teal/grey tone in my area rug and in various accessories around the house. The layering not only compliments the colour theme but also serves to block the cold from coming in the windows when I draw the drapes closed.

Texture is also a very important part of layering. If you have leather furniture and hardwood floors you are probably in need of some texture especially in the winter months. An area rug will give the toes something to dig into and various blankets, toss cushions and drapery will buffer the room and keep sound transfer to a minimum.

Keep chenille, wool, velvet and flannel nearby for your family and guests to snuggle up to on cold nights. Bright satin fabrics and silks are not the warmest choices for fabrics so you might want to switch out those elements in the winter. These accessories can be very stylish if you keep the colours of your room in mind. I recently saw some cable knit pillows and throws in a store, they looked very cozy.

If you have the space, why not consider an electric fireplace for ambiance and a bit of warmth?

I don’t use mine often but even having the flame on gives the room an instant coziness and you actually feel warmer! The same goes for candles – used on tables or on wall sconces this will give immediate ambiance and warmth to a room without wreaking havoc on your utility bills!

Stay warm, keep winter outside and stay fashionable all at the same time. It’s time to go shopping!

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.

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