Cosy up


By Ann-Marie Appleton


It’s that time of year where not only are we making a complete wardrobe switch and pulling on our winter woolies, we all want to close the curtains, light the fire and candles, turn the heating up and sink into our sofas with a cup or glass of something very tasty!

The key word to making your home cosy this winter is ‘layering’ – layer upon layer of textures will create depth and warmth to any interior.

Here are some suggestions to make your home more inviting this winter:

If you are considering a new paint scheme, on trend colours for 2014 are olive, wine, jade, scarlet, mustard, indigo, ink and midnight blue – these work really well with great neutrals such as taupes and warm greys.

Navy is considered the ‘new neutral’ for its ability to blend with colours and other styles.

For the lovers of the “snow white look” balance the rooms with rich and various shades of white to avoid the sterile and cold look.

There is a huge and varied choice of wallpaper available which often has a warmer feel than paint, especially the heavily textured and patterned designs. Be brave and hang on all four walls – it really makes an impact.
Use rich, dense fabrics such as velvet, suede, wool and corduroy, these can be used on furniture and accessories such as cushions and throws. Throws are great to have on hand throughout the house, not just the bedrooms.

Knitted accessories are fashionable at the moment – cushion covers and pouffs are modern and fun in a chunky cable knit.

Faux furs look and feel fabulous either draped over yourself, on furniture, like a hard back chair or on top of the bed.

Traditional tartan wool checks look smart in both the town and country and are now available in more contemporary colours.

Throw a thick, chunky rug or runner on timber and tiled floors for extra warmth underfoot and to introduce another ‘layer’ – essential on a cold winters morning if you haven’t got under floor heating.

Candles are great all year round, but come into their own in the winter months. Vary the size and colours to spice it up a bit – try mixing pink and orange together if you want to try something different from the white/ivory classics.

Diffusers and room sprays come in a range of ‘winter’ scents if you prefer not to light candles. Hurricanes and lanterns are a good safety option and contain a lit candle safely.

Switch off the overhead ceiling lights and switch on the lamps – table and floor lamps create ambience and used with candles casts a warm, soft glow throughout the space.

The ‘appearance’ of wood adds immediate warmth to a home. If you live in an older house, you might have a paneled wall. If not you can pick out ‘wood accents’ with wooden boxes, furniture and accessories.

Insulate your home in every possible manner and add curtains and blinds to reduce the heat loss – all your time and effort will be well worth it!


Ann-Marie Appleton is the director of interior design company Frobisher Interiors. She holds a diploma in interior design and is a member of DINZ. Visit

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