It’s still August but the evenings are drawing in, we’re getting April showers and there’s definitely a chill in the air. I see many people have already started lighting their fires and stoves in the evenings. I’ve been tempted to but so far, have resisted, relying on throws and cushions to make me feel cosy.
Although the weather is to be good for the next few days, it’s time to get ready for autumn, not just in your wardrobe with more layers and winter boots, but also in the home. Having a cosy home makes it more welcoming in the evenings, a place to feel enveloped in comfort, almost like being wrapped in a snug blanket. So, what do you need to do? Will it take a lot of work and expense? Here’s our top tips.
I remember walking into a living room once and feeling chilly even though it was a blistering summer’s day. The floor was tiled, the sofas were leather and apart from the curtains, there wasn’t one bit of fabric in the room. It felt bare, hollow and cold. The obvious, quick and easy tip for adding warmth is adding more texture to your design scheme. Fabrics and textures absorb sound, they are tactile, they add cosiness effectively with very little effort.
Don’t forget about more textures in the bedroom too. An upholstered headboard is lovely but even a throw on the bed and a textured cushion on a chair makes a difference.
If you’ve been considering installing a wood-burning stove, now is the time to do it. Stoves don’t necessarily need a chimney either, just a flue on the exterior wall. Alternatively, installing a gas fire or even logs displayed in a fireplace will create that cosy appearance.
The lighting can make a huge difference to a room. One central light won’t be warming as could be too bright and harsh. Your aim is to create warm pools of light. Wall lights or lamps are perfect – they create atmosphere and yet provide enough light to work or read by.
Candles in lanterns by the fireplace, tealights on the mantelpiece or even a line of fairy lights will also warm up the space while highlighting particular features.
Bring in warming colours with your accessories. What are warming colours? They are the hues on one side of the colour wheel, from mustard to orange to red to a hot pink. The cold colours are blues and greens so you need to minimise those.
5. Bring the Outdoors inside
We spend lots of time in the garden during the spring and summer. Even now, I’m looking out the window at hot pokers in the garden, admiring how their vivid fiery crimson warms up the flower bed. Plants within the design scheme, particularly if they are flowering plants, will add vitality and life.
6. Create a Snug Area
While open-plan homes have become more popular for many good reasons, a snug area is often needed for those days when you feel like you need some TLC. Even just walking past an inviting reading nook can make your whole home feel more welcoming. A reading nook can be a space on the landing, or a corner of the kitchen or at one end of a large open place area. All that is needed is a cosy armchair, a small table with a couple of books stacked on it, and a reading lamp.
What is on your walls? If it is paint, what colour? Whites and creams make a room look really fresh, particularly in summertime but darker colours will add variety and warmth. If you’d prefer not to opt for a dark navy, patterned or textured wallpaper is perfect for warming a room. Pictures or a gallery of framed photographs adds layers and interest too.
8. Natural Sunlight
Too much natural sunlight in the summer can make rooms stiflingly hot and you’ll find yourself drawing the curtains during the day to make bedrooms bearable at night. But natural sunlight streaming in really works well to warm rooms during the winter so south-facing rooms will be ideal.