Wanda Michelle Hadlow: Winter Warming
As winter begins to close its icy fingers around the Southern Hemisphere, we thought we’d look at different ways to warm your home with design features.
It is true that a lot of countries down south don’t experience the biting cold of our northern cousins – but that is precisely why we need to prepare more. Although temperatures regularly drop to freezing (0°C) during the cold months, it is rare to find double-glazed windows or central heating in homes. Accordingly, we have somewhat more creative methods of warming our bodies and spirits during winter.
It’s In Material
The fabrics you use in the home affect the feel and flow within. Light, airy silks and cottons are great for summer breezes which float airily through the house. And they’re exactly what you don’t want when those winds turn icy. Thick, rich textiles and heavy drapes are perfect both for absorbing the winter sun and insulating your home by trapping the heat indoors. We recommend, for example, using luxurious sheers in front of heavy duty block-out curtains to keep the warmth inside.
Deep, heavy carpeting and rugs also provide the winter comfort you won’t get from marble or tiled floors. Rugs are obviously more versatile as they can be stored during the warmer months again and can be changed to suit your décor whims.
The same can be said for accessories such as throws, blankets and cushions in thick linens and faux fur which can be draped over sofas, beds and bodies alike. Wrapping up in luxury will also reduce your heating costs and is planet-friendly.
The Colour of Warm
Walking into a room painted snow white with touches of icy peppermint-blue and fresh turquoise may not actually lower your temperature, but it may as well:
“It is a long-held belief that reddish colours induce warm feelings while bluish colours induce cold feelings. Such an association is a common practice in the fields of interior and industrial design and has been shown to influence people’s impressions of the environmental thermal conditions and produce warm or cold feelings even without physical presentation of thermal stimuli.” – (interestingly though, this is taken from a study that shows the opposite effect when actually touching warm or cool colours).
Thus, to create the feeling of warmth in your guests, use warm neutral colours and accent them with warm hues of warm, bold colours.
The same goes for your lighting – when choosing bulbs, go for warm white or yellow over cool white. Even energy-saving LED lights come in a cosy glow, but for the hottest and trendiest winter styles, opt for carbon filament bulbs.
Our final tip is to use timber as much as possible. Wooden furniture and cabinets provide a sense of warmth and also absorb and then radiate heat freely. The same goes for wooden flooring which retains heat better than other hard floors. As mentioned earlier, rugs add an extra layer of warmth and personalised design touches.
As the cold creeps in this winter, apply these tips to make your home just that little bit cosier. And perhaps add a mug of decadent hot chocolate, or a glass of your favourite red wine for good measure.