With winter just around the corner, now is the time to up the cosy factor at home, ready for the shorter days and colder nights. 2020 is a year none of us is likely to ever forget, but it’s also been the year for home comforts.
Our homes provide a sanctuary during challenging times and with national lockdowns continuing, it’s more important than ever to ensure the home is comfortable, inviting and cosy to boost wellbeing this winter.
Coordinating your interiors to complement the changing seasons is about simple yet clever design touches to provide the ideal setting to hunker down and hibernate whilst also embracing the colder weather.
In Norway, we’ve perfected the art of being cosy in winter. For us, winter is not a time to be endured, but something we embrace and make the most of – this is what we call cosyology. We spend a lot of time in our homes during winter and they provide the perfect place to relax, unwind and disconnect, which is so important given the year we are experiencing.
Cold weather and fewer daylight hours give us an excuse to spend evenings with a mug of hot chocolate and a cosy blanket. Similarly, lighting the fire and watching the flames is a very meditative process that is thoroughly enjoyable.
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Switching up your home interiors for winter is about making it as cosy, comforting and warm as possible, which is just what we all need at this time of year.
Much like we switch our wardrobes from summer to winter clothing, it’s time to bring out those thick and cosy throws and blankets and put them on your sofa for evening cosiness – you could also combine a stylish bedspread with your bedding ready for the cold nights.
Add more cushions to your sofa and consider adding long pile, richly patterned rugs to replace thinner summer rugs. Or you can even layer your rugs for an eye-catching look. Bouclé is on-trend and provides a good balance of cosy and textured for a stylish Scandi look.
Curtains are another way to add more colour and warmth to a room, especially if you have a patio or bi-fold doors, which can let in the cold winter air. If you have thinner curtains in summer, such as nets or linen, you could add another layer of curtains for winter. Rich velvet curtains in block colours such as deep red or midnight blue add a luxurious touch.
Being at one with nature is a popular summer interiors trend but can easily continue into the colder seasons. There is a powerful relationship between interior design and nature, driven here in Scandinavia, by the many Nordic forests and abundance of outdoor space.
Bring the outdoors in by adding nature’s own materials and fabrics into your home - think rattan, wicker, wood, cotton, leather and stone. Warming autumnal tones such as rust, ochre and terracotta will enhance the warming atmosphere and can be added through accessories such as vases, ceramics and crockery.
Greenery & plants
Dried flowers are a hot trend – not only do these last a long time but they also offer a range of textures, warming colours and even fragrance to a room. Adding dried pampas grass or poppies to a tall vase is a stylish winter touch, or try wooden bowls of potpourri, which can be changed throughout the season.
Displaying houseplants is one of the easiest ways to introduce nature into the home. Plants also give a home an inexpensive yet instant uplift. Group plants together in height order or add hanging plants and ivy to doorframes or curtain rails for a unique look or simply add cacti and smaller plants to shelving.
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Candles & scents
Scandinavians use a lot of candles during winter and have perfected the art of the inviting glow in the home. Candles sit on the windowsills, adorn the table and festoon the living room. Group candles in different heights and shapes for a textured, stylish look. Using a warming scent in the evenings adds to the relaxing atmosphere. Nutmeg, cinnamon and winter berries work well as diffusers or scented candles through the colder months.
Nothing beats the glow of a real fire, so if you have a fireplace be sure to make use of it during winter, but ambient, soft lighting can create a cosy, warming atmosphere too.
Table and floor lamps create soft pools of light and it’s worth adding a few more to darker rooms to make them even cosier. Overhead lights can feel too bright in the evenings when you’re winding down, so consider using rows of fairy lights and draping these around window, door or mirror frames for added cosiness.
Balance & lagom
Lagom, the Swedish art of balance, is an important aspect of the Scandi-style cosy home. When it comes to design and interiors, nothing should be too fussy or over the top. Keep in mind that less is more in Scandi design; you want the interiors to be cosy but uncluttered, so choose pared-back and sleek furniture, layered up with cosy cushions and throws.
Interiors are important but bring lagom and balance to other aspects of your life too. Make sure you are getting daily exercise and taking regular breaks from work, screens and technology to give your mind and body a break. Get out into nature whenever possible, particularly during sunny days for much-needed Vitamin D. Take time for yourself and be kind to yourself, whether that’s cooking a nutritious meal or enjoying an evening bath. Small steps can make a big impact on your happiness and wellbeing, so find ways to keep positive and do what works best for you.
*Do connect with me on Instagram at @KiranSinghUK for behind the scenes, daily updates, inspiration and more!