Lynnette Peck looks inside the home for ways to give a warming welcome from room to room as the seasons change.
Lynnette Peck looks inside the home for ways to give a warming welcome from room to room as the seasons change
My home from September to March has to be the cosiest it can possibly be.
Homes are our retreats from the outside world, and happily, small but effective changes to our rooms are all we need to add much needed warmth in the colder months of the year.
Keep heat in
Let’s start with physically keeping heat in your home.
- I am a huge fan of draught excluders and feel sure they need to be back in fashion again (not that I have ever stopped using them). Pop them at the bottom of doors, to stop heat escaping through the gap between door and floor. You don’t even have to buy them – cut a pair of old tights and stuff them with old socks or leftover pieces of material.
- Curtains also make a difference and thick velvet or linen ones will stop heat escaping through windows. Buy ones with a thermal lining or line them yourself with some cheap fleece. I also like to do what my grandmother did and place curtains in front of doors to add another layer – although she only had one coal fire for warmth and not ten radiators like I do…
Lighting makes a big difference to the atmosphere of a room.
- Put it at different levels, by using table and floor lights, to create areas of pools of light for warmth on winter nights.
- Soften a room with firelight. If you don’t have a real fire then fill a blocked fireplace with a few pillar candles or buy some vintage candelabras and add beeswax candles to them or use glass hurricane lanterns around a room.
Use scents in your home to create a wintery atmosphere.
- Think spices, firs and ginger scents in air fresheners, room fragrances and burners and candles.
- Even better, make your own home fragrance by popping herbs, spices, fruit and essential oils (look for ingredients such as star anise, orange peel, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, pine sprigs, juniper berries, root ginger, bay leaves, lavender oil) in a pan of warm water and leave on low heat for a few hours. The whole house will smell exquisitely seasonal and welcoming.
- Plus, head outside and forage for pinecones, leaves, berries and branches and make your own indoor seasonal wreath or arrange them all in a vase for a natural winter look.
These are the quickest way to transform the look of your home from summer to autumn.
- Opt for velvet, faux fur, silk, cashmere and wool textures on cushions and throws.
- I have summer and winter cushions and throws that I rotate every year. I even have cushion covers with squirrel prints on that only come out in autumn. Don’t judge me too harshly.
- Rugs are essential too in houses without carpets to trap cold air, insulate rooms and add texture and warmth. Look for seasonal patterns such as tweed, herringbone, plaid and tartan. I also recommend a couple of furry poufs to sit on by the fire.
Getting creative with design
Some of my favourite places to shop and look for inspiration are Farrow & Ball (paint), Graham & Green (wallpapers), John Lewis (cushions), TK Maxx (rugs) and antique and junk shops for furniture, lighting and quilts.
But most of the time I am creative with what I already have at home, rather than spending a fortune with each new season.
- I cover my dining room table with runners made from old scarves, winter fabrics and thin blankets.
- Side tables get covered with cloth in winter too, plus it gives me extra space underneath to store boxes.
- In bedrooms I layer bedding – winter means extra pillows and three bed throws in the same colours but with different patterns.
- Lastly, I often buy gold spray and use it on mirror frames, candlesticks and other accessories – gold is very warming and warming is just what we all need at this time of year.