You know that your living room is a special part of your home when you yearn to relax there at the end of a long day. In many ways it’s the heart of your home, as, after all, your living room needs to be warm and welcoming for guests as well as cosy for you and your family.
Time was when this was difficult to achieve in one space and many quite small houses had a smart but tiny parlour or sitting room where visitors were entertained, as well as a living room for everyday use. Nowadays, however, clever design tricks make it possible for you to create a living area that is both smart and warm, so that everyone feels comfortable there. The best ideas are often the simplest, so here are a few hints and tips to help you achieve a welcoming, relaxing haven in your home.
Weathering the winter
During the winter months, it’s doubly important that rooms are snug and warm, as when outside temperatures drop, family and friends will want to feel the benefit of a cosy interior. It’s useful to know that this doesn’t necessarily mean turning up the thermostat, as the use of warm colours, textures and styles can improve even those homes that might have cooler attributes, such as exposed brick walls or beams, and rooms with high ceilings.
Start with practical steps such as minimising cooler currents of air by using draught excluders at the bottom of doors. These can be easily stowed away in warmer months when not needed, while during winter you might be surprised how much they improve the warmth of interior rooms.
Thick, heavy curtains have traditionally been used to cover windows in an attempt to reduce loss of heat, however, although curtains mask your window openings they are not fitted to them, unlike the stylish, elegant shutters you will find at Shutters.co.uk. These can be made to measure, so they are a perfect fit, no matter how old your property is or what shape windows you have in your living room. Elegant and reasonably priced, shutters are excellent for improving soundproofing as well as contributing to thermal insulation.
While wall-to-wall carpet might be your preferred option in a bedroom, hard floors are increasingly popular in living and dining rooms. To warm the surfaces up for winter, strategic use of area rugs will work wonders, particularly around sofas and chairs, or under coffee tables, so that there is warmth underfoot when people are moving around the room. Also, if your furniture is smooth textured and cool to the touch, as is leather and vinyl, for example, you may want to add a few throws and soft cushions to warm it up and make it more comfortable.
Wool is one of the warmest fabrics available, alongside silk, flannel and fleece, so choosing some or all of these for accessories instantly adds a dose of cosiness to your living room. From knitted footrests to crocheted blankets or fleece throws, you can turn your living room into a comfy nest in no time at all.
Using warm colours in winter doesn’t have to mean completely redecorating your living room. Instead, use a pop of bright colour on your cushions, throws and rugs, and accessorise the space by making a few clever additions or changes. Warm shades such as chestnut or gold can look great on wall art, on mirror or photo frames as well as on trims for accessories.
Greenery is often associated with spring or summer, however, in winter, you can use indoor plants to clean up stuffy air as well as inject some warmer hues into your living room. Plants such as amaryllis and poinsettia, traditionally in red and green and in abundance for Christmas, add that much needed bright touch during the darkest days of the year, conjuring up log fires and Yuletide simply by their splendid displays.
Did you know that just changing the light bulbs in your lamps can make a real impact? For example, there’s a range of ‘white’ light measured on the kelvin scale to reflect colour temperature. If your bulbs are at the cooler end of the scale, say 6000 K down to 3500 K, simply switch them for those with warmer temperatures for winter: 3000 K is cosy, while the warmest white is 2700 K.
In general, it’s not difficult to warm up your living room when it’s cooler outside, so don’t hesitate to give it a go and enjoy the results.