For a touch of warmth...

For a touch of warmth...

Winters are cold and drab, but your interiors can definitely help you feel pepped up and lively. Here are some suggestions that will cheer you up even when the weather goes much against, writes Swati Kapur.

It’s that time of the year once again when temperatures dip down, making it hard to be outdoors. That’s exactly why you need to pep up your indoors all the more. Let your imagination and creativity take over as you create a cozy inviting den.

Furniture focus

The best way to make the living room more inviting and cozy is to rearrange the furniture in a way that it gets people to sit together, and a bit closer. Pull furniture away from the walls to create conversation cocoons. Bring out extra throws and pillows and spread them around for people to curl up to. Light coloured furniture could be replaced with woody dark ones. This is the time to set bright flowers and even fruits as centre pieces. A basket of seasonal fruits on the dining table makes for a delightful sight — even feng shui thinks so. 

Chimney charm

A winter home is incomplete without a fireplace. But fireplaces can also be a cumbersome impractical idea in flats. How about a potable fireplace that can be hung or placed anywhere and dismantled and moved with the season? Look out for some options at the local home and accessory shop, or get one custom-made. Internet can provide for some very classy ideas!

Accessorise right

Swap out summery accessories. Replace cotton rugs with nubby wool versions. Top that with a furry sheepskin (needn’t be a real sheepskin — look out for synthetic ones) for extra cushioning underfoot. It’s time to bring in the plush carpets in deep reds, burnt orange and rusty browns. Matte metallic colours, when used in neutral surroundings like beige or cream, stand and make a statement. Go for bronze and copper elements that add the glam feel without overdoing the sheen. Embroidered silk paisley bed and pillow covers from Kashmir or even Turkey for that matter make for a perfect setting.

Thick fabrics

Toss a variety of throw cushions on sofas, chairs, and why leave the floor — casually throw in some on the floor as well. Go for cable-knit wools, cotton flannels and fleecy fabrics. This is the time to not shy away from velvets and furs. Lay a velvet-flocked runner across the table. Add solid cotton place mats and top those with washable gold ones for a sparkle. Just as you layer a T-shirt under a sweater, under 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 the magic with printed pinks, deep brown polkas, chequered-pattern wool or simply silk. Burnt orange, chocolaty browns and ruby reds add to the warmth.

Cast a soft glow

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 cosy evening with friends and dear ones. Equip all lamps and hanging fixtures with dimmers to control and set the mood as per your liking. But remember, bright light too is necessary when you’re hunting for old scarves or documents from the cupboard!

Yuletide dinner

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, so make the best use of all the leftover Christmasy and New Years décor items, red and green patterned runners and mats. Smriti Sharma of Delhi says, “I remove my spring collection of vibrant mats and crockery and bring in the deep reds and Mediterranean blues and indigos to go with the season. Even guests get me wintery home decor items that add to the warmth of our home.”

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 too can be changed this season to snow-clad forests, safari animal figures or Japanese cherry blossoms. However, do not follow any typical rules. Simply follow your heart and pick up whatever goes with your style. After all, spring is just round the corner.

Dress your bed

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’re curled up under the covers to work, write, surf the web, 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. Bedsides 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,” says Shehnaaz Vaadia from Gurgaon. “We picked some up from different parts of the world and use them as per occasion throughout winters,” she adds. Well, something tea lovers will look forward to. Knick-knacks are vital to rendering a distinct character to the space — so, surround your bed with a few favourite objects. Urns, pots, photo frames, crafted mirrors are some options to look for. Even coffee table books with interesting covers add to the decor — so, keep changing their positions from time to time. 

Cover up

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 it 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. Wallpapers offer a variety of options that look good both in winters and summers. If you’re a painter, then do hang some of your work that sets a warm tone to the otherwise cold walls. Last but not the least, never shy away from re-using and re-cycling for a refreshing look and feel.

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