Beat the chill this winter with these tips for making sure your living room is toasty.
The last thing you want to do after a long hard day of weathering the winter is to be cold in the evenings too. Yet you don’t want a year round warm look and feel with South African summers to deal with. While our climate doesn’t in general justify central heating, here are some quick switches to get the best of both worlds and make sure your living room is toasty come nightfall.
The right colour palette can instantly warm any room, but that doesn’t mean you need to start painting your walls red or orange. No matter what palette you prefer choose the warmer rather than cooler tones on the colour swatch for year round relaxation and comfort and remember than a quick swap of summer and winter accessories can warm up a space in an instant. Keep walls, floors and major furnishings neutral and then change scatters, lampshades, pots and other small furnishings as the seasons dictate.
Winter is a time to embrace that oversize plush ottoman, the open weave throw on the couch, the fluffy scatters, and the knotty lampshade. A combination of tactile finishes and textures really does help cosy up a space as the layers add warmth and dimension. An ottoman is great to rest feet on, hold a tray of warm drinks, and if it comes with storage facilities, store those winter throws during the summer months.
A fluffy area rug is not just warm underfoot, but visually centres a room, making it feel warmer and closer too. The great thing about a fluffy rug is that it can be rolled up come summer and put away until it’s needed again.
While blinds and shutters are fabulous for controlling the heat in summer, consider adding a layer of warm curtaining for the cooler months. Heavy curtains don’t just absorb sounds making a room instantly cosier, they stop drafts and keep the cold out and the warmth in far more effectively than a shutter or blind alone. Close them before the sun sets so that a room retains its heat as night falls.
A few well-positioned lamps can heat a room significantly both through the heat created by the bulbs and also by the ambience they create. Use warm tinted bulbs in the winter months and cooler bulbs in the summertime. A coloured shade can warm a cool bulb too. Install dimmers on lights and lamps to that you can control the light output.
Along with the move away from technology in living rooms, is a move back to the hearth. The ultimate focal point, even in areas where an open fire is banned, new age fireplaces offer all the ambiance, warmth and calm of the traditional wood burning forerunner, without the smell, pollution or hassle.
Adding a few sentimental objects to a room goes a long way towards warming it up. Use books, candles, special photographs, an odd piece of furniture, a favourite plant on shelves or side tables to add their own special touch. Adding your own personality to a room can make it feel wonderfully welcoming.