How to make your home look and feel more warm and cosy this winter

  • Work-from-home


Sep 23, 2009
United Kingdom
It may be cold, damp and dull outside but with some clever use of colour around the home those winter blues can be a thing of the past.
When it comes to cosiness, it's the colours we associate with fire that work best – think reds, oranges and yellows. The good news is that all of these colours can be toned down or tweaked depending on the mood you want to create – if you're a fan of red, consider compromising with a deep burgundy wall paint, or swapping a sunny yellow for a deep, amber hue, for example.
"Brown, gold, coral, and soft pumpkin orange are always safe bets," says Sherri Blum Schuchart at nursery designers Jack and Jill interiors ( "However, don't feel you must limit yourself to these wall colours in order to create warmth," adds Sherri. "Nearly every colour can be turned into a warmer tone. Take green for example: it lies between blue and yellow on the colour wheel; it's both a cool and a warm colour. If your chosen shade of green lies closer to the blue and has blue undertones, it will be cooler. To warm it up, choose a green with yellow undertones to keep things cosier and warmer in feel."
[h=2]Cosiness and kids[/h]This technique can be especially useful for children's rooms, where parents might be weary of bright colour combinations which could over-stimulate young children. If you'd prefer a plain colour on the walls of your child's nursery, why not up the cosiness factor with a few choice accessories? "Room accessories in warm colours are ideal if the room in question is quite small, as warm colours tend to draw the walls in," points out Toks Aruoture, founder of Punkin Patch Interiors ( Opt for brightly coloured toy chests and wardrobes, but don't be afraid to add splashes of warmth with colourful soft furnishings. "Consider red or sage green bedding, pillows and furniture finishes," suggests Sherri Blum Schuchart. "Overall, the trick is to have a good balance of warm colours within the room to make it inviting and warm for the comfort of your child."
[h=2]Flower power[/h]In larger areas such as living rooms, colourful accessories can also come in handy – whilst walls painted in darker colours such as deep orange or red can work better in larger rooms, these colours can still make a room feel closed in, so accessories are often the perfect compromise. Think about cushions, curtains and wall art, along with artificial flowers, which can work especially well at Christmas. Whilst poinsettias are always a popular choice at this time of year, Karen Barnes, head of floral gifting at Interflora, suggests experimenting with other flowers such as anemones, gerberas or roses. "Classic Christmas roses in a deep shade of red are also perfect to give your home a cosy, festive look and if cared for will stay looking fresh over the holiday season," says Karen. "They're a great choice for anyone looking for either a traditional or modern look and work equally well in a classic structured table arrangement or displayed in a vase with rich green evergreen foliage, such as spruce or pine – many varieties of which also have the added bonus of a wonderful fragrance."
[h=2]Let there be light[/h]You may well be a fan of the minimalist look but too much bright, white light can make a room feel like a science laboratory. "Having different lighting around the house is essential," points out Kelly Hoppen. "A dimmer switch will help to create mood and atmosphere and mean that you can create the right ambiance depending on the kind of mood you are after. You want to make sure the bulbs are warm yellow not white so they are not too stark." Using different types of lighting can also help – uplights, ceiling lights and table lamps can all create different effects which can help you to maintain a sense of cosiness according to the levels of natural light throughout the day.