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Have you ever noticed how your home feels so much warmer and more inviting when the sun is streaming through the windows? Even if its freezing cold outside with snow on the ground, the sun creates a beautiful feeling of warmth and comfort (as well as showing up all that pesky dust!!).
One of the best ways of really making your house feel like a home is to create a space that feels warm. This isn't just about temperature, it's more about how you decorate. The colours you paint with, the accessories you display, and the textures you choose, can all help to create a welcoming, comfortable space that the whole family can enjoy.
It can be tempting to think of curtains as a little bit old fashioned, especially if you live in a contemporary style home. Personally I prefer blinds, but I do believe curtains have their place in certain rooms. Both the bedroom and the sitting room are spaces you want to feel comfortable and cosy, especially during the long Winter evenings.
All paint colours have either a warm or cool undertone which can decide the entire mood of a room. If you're looking to create a cosy, comfortable space, look for paint colours with warm undertones. If you struggle to know which is which, try placing the colour chips beside pure brilliant white, you'll soon notice which have a yellowish undertone and which have more of a blue hue.
A simple and cost effective way of creating warmth is to include wood in your decor and furniture. This could be a wooden fruit bowl in the kitchen, a wooden coffee table in the sitting room, or wooden photo frames in the bedroom. Don't be afraid to mix up shades of wood either, the contrasts between light and dark shades will create depth and interest.
If you're a fan of going to flea markets or furniture auctions, one of the best things you can look out for are area rugs. Really good quality rugs can last for many decades! Adding rugs in high traffic areas can not only help to protect the floor, but also create a more comfortable environment. Think about places in your home where you stand for longer periods such as your kitchen or bathroom sink, a rug won't just keep your feet warm, it will help to cushion your joints too! Rugs can also be layered so play around with contrasting colour, texture, and pattern combinations.
If you have kids in the house, rugs can be a perfect alternative to carpet. Machine washable rugs are readily available and throwing a rug in the wash is much easier than trying to get blackcurrant juice out of a lush cream carpet!!
Rugs are great for warming up the floor beneath our feet, but adding texture above the ground is also important for that feeling of comfort and cosiness. If you have a leather couch, try adding a couple of soft throws and cushions to warm it up when you're settling in for the evening. Swap any sateen or percale bed sheets for flannel or brushed cotton, they will feel warmer to the touch and keep you warmer at night.
Adding fabric wall hangings to a room can also make it feel warmer. Whether its a macrame plant hanger (a great option in kitchen or dining room where fabrics can be tricky to clean) or a beautiful tapestry, try to choose warm colours which compliment the rest of the room.
If your bedroom feels cold and uninviting, try adding a textured throw and some fluffy cushions on the bed, it may not make the bed feel warmer but it will make it look much more inviting after a long day!
No, I don't mean that organic food will make your home cosier, although it may make you feel better! The organic I'm talking about are things like plants, dried flowers and seashells. Anything that is, or once was, alive.
Science has proven that having living plants in your home has numerous health benefits including improved concentration and productivity (by up to 15 percent!), reduced stress levels, and higher immunity to colds and flus. Plants also help to make a room feel warmer and more inviting, although if they look neglected this can have the opposite affect!
If plants feel like too much work, just adding seashells (perfect in bathrooms), dried flowers, or beautiful pieces of fallen tree bark, can bring a calm, grounded vibe to a room.
Kitchens in particular can feel cold and a little bit clinical, especially if your units and counters are white or black. Choosing warm metals such as copper or brass can provide a counter balance. Displaying your collection of copper pots or swapping chrome door handles for brass ones will instantly make the room feel softer and warmer.
In other rooms of the house you can include warm metals in your fireplace accessories, your bedside lamps, and even your plant pots.
A recent study showed that that raising a child in a home filled with books positively impacts their future academic growth and job attainment. But even if you don't have children in your home, books are still a great addition to every home, creating a feeling of comfort and security.
Books don't have to be confined to a bookshelf either. Try creating a stack on the floor with a lamp on top for some layered lighting, or choose a few of your favourites to go on the coffee table. If you are using a bookshelf, play around with how you display them. Colour co-ordinating might be your thing, or having some lying down amongst the upright ones could create the perfect platform for a beautiful ornament or photo frame.
We all know candles are soft and romantic, but you don't have to wait for a special dinner date to enjoy them! Candles are great because they can be easily moved, can be relatively cheap to buy, and come in all shapes, sizes and scents. If you live in a busy family home, you will need to consider safety so try using hurricane jars, lanterns or LED candles to avoid any risk of fire.
Having a candle lit in the front windows of your home creates a warm and inviting atmosphere when you have guests coming over, or creating a collection of candles in your fireplace during the summer can be a great substitute for a cosy fire.
A good way to think of lighting in any room is like making the bed. You start with the sheets, then add the duvet and pillows, and finally add throw blankets and cushions. With lighting you start with your primary light source, add in some ambient light, and then finish with task lighting as needed. This layered effect could look like an overhead pendant light as your primary light, wall uplighters for ambience, and a small table lamp for reading.
Whatever your light choice is, make sure to use warm or soft white bulbs if you are hoping for a warm, relaxed atmosphere. Bright white is better suited for the kitchen, bathroom and home office.
It’s time to get strategic on where your room’s furniture sits to avoid cold air from windows and walls and enjoy the few days of warm sun. If you work from home during the day, place your desk near a sunny window to take in the sun’s heat. Move your couch, armchair or bed away from a cold, drafty window or poorly insulated wall to keep yourself warmer and cosier.
Also make sure your couch and other larger pieces of furniture are away from your heating ducts or radiators so the heat can flow freely in a room.
Some other little tips include having a no shoes policy in your home, not only will it make for less cleaning and reduced noise levels, but it will also make you more aware of where you need some nice area rugs to cover cold floors.
Keep your entrance and hallways cosy and inviting, but uncluttered. Transitional areas can easily become dumping grounds with poor lighting, but yet they are the areas we walk through more than any other! Again, aim for layered lighting so you can reduce the brightness in the evening, relying on just a table lamp for a warmer, cosier feeling.
If you tend to sit and read in the evening, and you have a TV which is connected to YouTube, try searching for a lit fire and leave it to play on your screen. It won't give you real heat, but it actually does trick our brain into believing it's warmer!
If you're looking for some beautiful candles to add some warmth to your home, check out my full range of handcrafted decorative LED candles...safe for use with the whole family!
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These activities are just a few ways you can immerse yourself in a more authentic, mindful version of Christmas, creating wonderful memories and making the World around you shine a little brighter this festive season.
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