For the past couple of months, we missed the streets due to the lockdown and recently, the blistering cold brought to us by the Winter season. This means we get to spend even more time in our homes. Spending time at home provides an opportunity for redesigning, personalising and restyling. Winter décor is all about bringing together elements of rich textural layering, patterns, lighting and colour to gear up our spaces for cosying up and hibernating.
According to Lungile Nkosi, Founder and Creative Director of Interior décor and styling studio, The Pillow Fluffer, a lot of our homes have not been designed and built with the consideration of season or climate change. ‘’Most of our homes get very little sun in Summer and none in Winter making for very cold, dark and gloomy Winters. Homes designed with careful consideration to the change of weather are usually North facing. That’s what you really want. A north facing home allows for a cooler home in the Summer and warmer in the Winter as you will get most of your sun filtering into the home in Winter. However, even if you’re not in the North, you can influence how warm your home can be. Changing the interior as the weather changes will give you full control over how your space feels throughout the seasons,” she says.
Lungile shares five interior design tips on winterproofing your home, using your five senses this Winter.
Lighting: Layering of lighting is a very important element in interior spaces. It creates a mood. To begin, look at three sources of light. Primary general light: Take a look at recessed lighting as an example, which is our main source of light – the overall light of the room. I recommend going for soft white light which has a warm undertone but does not give off a yellowish appearance which can make a room look a little cloudy. Optimize on natural light. Natural light won’t only make your room look and feel warm, but it will also have a very positive impact on your mental state especially with the harsh reality of COVID and lockdown.
Secondly get a task light, this is more of a focused light, like a traditional side table lamp. As the name suggests, this light focuses on an area where there is a task being performed like reading or cooking.
Lastly, ambient lighting means bringing ambience to a room or highlighting architectural features like a feature wall, artwork or a dull corner using a standing floor lamp. Using these three light sources will add dimension to every one of your rooms.
Colour: Introduce colour into your space. Yes, even for you the minimalist, monochrome lover. Color evokes emotion. Like your blues and greens will make you feel calm, whilst your yellows will enhance your creativity. Find a colour you really like, read up on it and introduce it in small doses. Green in your plants, orange perhaps in the spine of your coffee table book and blue in a muted ceramic vase in a possibly unusual shape. See how that lifts the mood of your space.
Layering: Layering is a huge trend for Winter. Layering your fabrics with different textures in your home will give your space volume and added comfort which is what you need in Winter. A faux fur throw will instantly warm up the room and a Sherpa scatter for that additional comfort.
Texture: Your use of texture in a room will determine how it looks, feels and how one must behave in the room. When it comes to styling your room, start with what is fixed. What are the architectural elements in your home? A built-in fireplace could be made of steel. This is one of your textures, steel and perhaps glass. Tiled floors are another texture and the wooden frames of the window and doors act as another texture. You have three textures Steel, wood and porcelain tiles as your fixed and base textures. Then take a look at your bigger items, your 100% breathable polyester couch, velvet occasional chairs and marble top coffee table are another three textures. Tie these in by looking at a woven rug to add warmth to an already cold floor. A linen fabric for your curtains is delightful as linen works both in Summer as a very breathable fabric and in Winter as a thermal fabric retaining heat.
Scent you ask? Absolutely! How a room smells can trick the mind in to thinking it is warmer or cooler than it is. Design is about creating spaces that influence our feelings. Floral scents have the potential to remind you of Springtime and Summer. If your approach to this Winter is escapism, then florals and fresh scents will transport you to warmer climates. Scents like sandalwood, pine, palo santo, patchouli and cedarwood have a very woody scent which can remind you of burnt wood. Its full-bodied aroma will make the room feel fuller and cozier
Sound plays a very important role in design. A room with a great amount of echo will make a space feel empty and cold. Fabrics with high density like wool and cotton absorb sound which makes the room feel closer and much warmer.
This one is interesting but a very fun approach to design. Colour evokes taste. Introducing burnt orange can make you think of a delicious hearty curry. Burgundy could remind you of a delicious red wine. Cream, a foamy hot chocolate or a decadent pasta and browns a rich chocolate cake. All the delicious hearty things that make us feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Your space is everything. So do take the time to change things up a little, using these techniques in order to create an environment that will give you comfort and peace of mind.