Interior designer Deirdre O’Connell shares her tips for styling your home this winter
As December descends and the dark evenings prolong, interior designer Deirdre O’Connell reveals how to bring a sense of comfort and cosiness to your home this winter.
Layers of Lighting
As the days shorten, lighting becomes a critical part of creating a cosy, welcoming home. The low level, warm and atmospheric hues of table and floor lamps dotted around a room, give a space of calmness and warmth.
Pretty table lamps and shades don’t need to cost a lot. Add an extra lamp or two, place one each in opposing corners of a room. Switch off bright overhead lights, and relay only on the soft glow of table lamps with warm bulbs. A floor lamp by a deep, comfy armchair is a perfect nook for reading and rest.
Try vintage and antique stores for lamp bases or browse Pooky.com for beautiful decorative lights.
Give thought to a fabric lampshade, a very effective way of adding colour into a room. Shady and the Lamp in Dublin can help you craft a unique classic shade for any base.
There are clever remote control plugs available on Amazon which makes controlling a few different lights so easy.
Layers of Warmth
Add a chunky wool throw or a vintage Kantha Quilt over the back of your sofa, armchair or seating bench, to give not only real warmth, but the idea of warmth too. Foxford and Cushendale are beautiful Irish woollen mills.
Use prints or texture on the throw fabric, a little pattern in a warm tone or some patchwork panels add to the restfulness and cosiness of a room.
Backing a wool throw or quilt with a layer of cotton or soft linen adds to the weight and cosiness of the blanket.
Layers of Botanicals
Indoor plants and flowers enliven a room with pretty colour and charm. Whether real or faux, they remind us of nature and life’s rekindling, and they bring the outside in.
Place small plants and succulents with beautiful colour tone vases around the house. Prickly Plants in Cork and Hopeless Botanics in Dublin have wonderful ranges, and Folkster are a go-to for dried and faux stems.
Layers of Design Styles
For the trend watchers, Japandi is the name to drop. The fusion of Japanese minimalism and Scandinavian functionality, its principles apply well to winter styling and living, in a contemporary home.
Taking the ancient wabi-sabi lifestyle values of simplicity and slow-living from Japan, and the hygge practices of cosiness and wellbeing from Northern Europe, choose paired back, neutral colours and wood tones for this cosy yet clean aesthetic.
No matter how you choose to style your home, the bigger picture of your home’s heat and insulation is key. Very practically, if you’re in an older home, calling in the professionals for a heat loss inspection can help you understand colder or drafty corners in your home.
The thermal imaging will highlight problem areas which will need future insulation works, but in the short term, simply moving seating away from these areas offers an immediate improvement.
As Winter can offer a time to reflect, rest and hibernate, treat yourself with a warm, comfortable and cosy room at home to retire and unwind in.