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Winter's soft glow

Nov 23, 2012:
WARMUPTO WINTER: Use a lot of cushions made in rich fabrics to add warmth to the ambience. (PHOTO COURTESY: ANUSUIYA BHARADWAJ)

Winter is here again, but you can definitely make your decor bright and warm to make your winter just a little more interesting. It’s easy to make for a cozy and vibrant interior with just a little imagination and creativity.

The best way to make the living room more inviting and cosy is to rearrange the furniture in a way that it gets people to sit closer. Move furniture away from the walls and arrange seating around the fireplace to create conversation areas.

Bring out extra throws and pillows and have them around for an added comfort. Light coloured furniture could be replaced with woody dark hues.


This is the time to set bright flowers and even fruits as centrepieces.  A basket of seasonal fruits makes for a delightful sight.

Chimney charm


A winter home is incomplete without a fire place. But a fire place can be cumbersome. How about a portable fireplace that can be hung or placed anywhere and dismantled and moved?

Look out for some options at the local home and accessory shop or get one custom-made.  The Internet can provide for some very English ideas!

Accessorise right


Replace your summer accessories. Do away with cotton rugs and use a wool version. Top that with a furry sheepskin (needn’t be real sheepskin, look out for synthetic ones) for extra cushioning for your feet.

Metallics when used in neutral surroundings like beige or cream can stand out and also add charm and warmth.

Go for bronze and copper elements that can add the right glam feel at the same time. Embroidered silk paisley bed covers and pillows add to the winter charm.

Play with fabrics


Toss a variety of throw cushions on sofas, chairs, even the floor. Cable-knit wools, cotton flannels, and fleecy fabrics are ideal. Lay a velvet-flocked runner across the table. Add solid cotton place mats and top those with washable gold ones for sparkle.
Just as you layer a T-shirt under a sweater and a jacket before throwing on a scarf and a hat to keep warm, you should top sheets with a coverlet and a comforter or a duvet, then accessorise with decorative pillows and a throw.

Create magic with printed pinks, deep brown polkas, checked-pattern wool or simply silk.  Burnt orange, chocolaty browns and ruby reds make for a warm wintery feel.

Serve your meal on a mismatched collection of plates that you love.


To keep the look cohesive, find dishes with complementary colours and patterns. Food too is deep and warm this season, especially around Christmas time, so make the best use of Christmasy decor items, red and green patterned runners and mats. Meera Shah of Delhi has already started to get her home ready for Christmas.

“I have removed the spring collection of vibrant mats and crockery and brought in the deep reds and Mediterranean blues and indigos to go with the season. My Christmas tree stands tall from December mid-week and the whole house participates in decorating it with their stars, bells and their favourite small-sized keepsakes,” she adds.

Heighten the drama


Paint walls with deep, rich colours to create the feeling of a cocoon-like embrace. Choose dark jewel-tone blooms like burgundy dahlias that match the wall colour for a sophisticated mood and effect. Paintings that depict snow clad forests, animal figures or Japanese cherry blossoms could set the tone.

However, do not follow any typical rules. Simply follow your heart and pick up whatever goes with your style.

Choose opaque lamp shades over white, ivory, or paper versions for fall and winter. If you choose black, navy or chocolate, select a shade with a metallic interior.

This will help direct the light for reading in bed. When you are curled up under the covers to work, write, surf the Internet or watch TV, an upholstered headboard gives your back some additional padding. Here too, colours can vary from shades of brown to golden to deep green. Bed sides can be made more interesting with a warm kettle of herbal tea ready to be sipped in vintage mugs.

T-cosy is my favourite winter accessory; makes for a cozy tea drape and look. Knick knacks are vital as they lend a space character — even more so than the window treatments, paint colour and lighting — so surround your bed with a few favourite objects. Urns, pots, photo frames, crafted mirrors are some options to look for.
Bare floors are cold. A large, soft rug will withstand the heavy foot traffic and keep the entry feeling warm.

Carpet tile is the new thing to look for. It covers the entire floor and gives a clean look and feel. Cover the walls with wintery designs for added texture or paint the walls in a light variation of a deep blue or yellow.

Let there be light


Turn off the overhead lights and use lots of candles of varying heights to give an appealing flicker that flatters everyone — and everything — at the table.

Muted or diffused lights are a great option with side lamps. Soft lighting makes for a perfect evening with friends and dear ones. Equip all lamps and hanging fixtures with dimmers to control the mood in the room. But remember, bright light too is necessary when you are hunting for old scarves or documents from the cupboard!

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