8 Ideas To Make Your Home Your Sanctuary This Winter

Talking with our clients over the last few weeks it’s become apparent that, given the combination of up and coming Covid restrictions and shorter days, for some this winter’s going to be a bit of a challenge. If you love the darker nights and are making cosy your interiors, then you’re already on the case, but if the approaching months are filling you with dread, from fireplaces to a fine tipple, here are a few ideas to turn these months into quality time.

1. Find your focal place

Especially in winter, a sitting room needs a focal point such as a fire or candle-filled hearth around which to congregate. For our client in Maidenhead this will be his first winter in front of his new Bespoke Fireplaces (www.bespokefireplaces.co.uk) built-in fire set into a bespoke cabinet containing his music and book collections (abovve) – perfect for recharging on a dark evening.

Give your fireplace an inspiring new look  – add light reflecting mirrors above, lanterns or candlesticks on the hearth below and dress the mantlepiece with candles, seasonal flowers or a curated selection of your favourite items.

2. Turn TV viewing into a cinema experience

With theatre and cinema-going impossible, don’t miss out on some of the great things that are happening via your TV screen. Follow your favourite theatre to see what productions they are streaming online, find a good source of reviews that talks to your interests and remember to make a note on your diary or calendar to ensure you don’t miss those programmes you really want to see. Is it time to be thinking about a home cinema room? Take a look at the one we installed for clients in Wentworth on our Portfolio pages.

3. Make eating in the new eating out

Even if it’s a take-away, at least once a week set the table with your favourite place settings – perhaps inspired by your last holiday destination or somewhere your planning to visit as soon as you can. Then sit down to fully savour the occasion of a meal. Music in the background? Maybe. While you’re there, take a look around your dining room. Is it time to think about redecorating? Take a look at Dulux’s Colour of the Year 2021, Brave Ground, an updated warm taupe perfect for the earthy colour and fabric trend kicking of the coming year. Alternatively try moving around your accessories or artwork: “It’s astonishing the difference a little reorganisation can make, ” suggests Marion Falchi.

4. Pimp up your patio

Just finished installing your patio in time for the cold weather? Now make it work for the family this winter – patio heaters and firepits are being snapped up around the country so grab one while you can. Electric infra red heaters are a greener option than gas and there’s lots of advice and comparison tests available online to establish which would work best for you. Firepits provide the atmsosphere of candles and the heat of a roaring log fire. Christmas cocktails on the patio, anyone?

5. Get the lighting right

While you’re spending more time at home, check out your lighting. As tempting as it is investing in a lighting redesign from a professional company such as Onlight Lighting (www.onlight.co.uk) if that’s not on the cards for now, begin with your bulbs. A clean bright light is great for motivating you during the day but if you’re looking for something cosier to help you relax choose a more golden light. Dim to warm LED lamps fit most light fittings and vary from cool white at full brightness to a warm white when dimmed.

6. Update your reading list

Turn your bookshelf into a library. There’s nothing quite so cosy and homely as a favourite collection of books, even if it’s just a stack on your side table. Take those you’ll never read again to the local charity shop and treat yourself to at least one new title a month. Look online for lists of new authors and titles, pre-order and then sit back and wait in anticipation for your winter treats to drop through the letterbox.

7. What about your bedding?

Is this the time to be thinking about a new mattress and pillows? Finding the right mattress shouldn’t be rushed into, they need to be tried and that’s almost impossible during lockdown, but a new pillow can affect your night’s sleep almost as dramatically. It’s hard to beat John Lewis for a good selection and their goose-down pillow comes recommended by India Knight of The Sunday Times. A favourite hotel of ours on the Isle of Wight swears by the Heritage Lucy Pillow from £45.99 from www.mitrelinen.co.uk. Rumour has it it’s a royal favourite.

8. What can I get you?

Finally, set yourself up a home bar, coffee and/or tea station. Stock up on your favourite tipple, try something new or become a grape, bean or leaf expert. Now’s definitely the time for a bit of self-indulgence.

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