We are in deepest London midwinter.
Whilst it has been a relatively mild season, February is the time to snuggle down in a perfectly styled cosy interior, drink hot chocolate, look stylish in merino wool etc etc.
When it comes to styling a winter interior, how it feels is as important as how it looks. A really good quote comes from interior designer David Collins who said
“the only thing that makes my projects have an effect is people’s reactions to them. Emotions are what counts. I don’t always know at the beginning of a project what a place will look like, but I do know what it should feel like”.
So with that in mind, here are My-Studio’s 10 steps to a stylish, colourful, luxury winter interior.
1. Add a big rug
If you can’t bear the beige haze carpets in your home, cover boring floors with large, over-scale rugs. Rugs will add pattern (geometrics), texture (flokati) and colour. Not only will you get the look you want, it will protect your chevron floor, or hide boring beige carpets. Vanderhurd have great geometrics, try West Elm and Rockett St George for textured Beni Ourain style rugs.
2. Design your lighting so it’s warm, soft and layered
Ditch the overhead light (too cold and clinical) and layer your sitting room lights. Layer with floor lamps for task lighting (we love the Grasshopper in warm grey by the amazing designer Greta Grossman for Gubi). Add table lamps, wall lights and finish with the twinkly light of candles, fire, and fairy lights. Layering is your magic wand. From experience I find I need at least eight sources of light in my sitting room.
3. Up the comfort with throws, cushions and upholstered furniture
Layering with textiles will build up texture, colour, pattern and make your space feel more luxurious. We love to add merino wool, velvets and felts for texture. We’re not big on rules at My-Studio (rules are meant to be broken, right?) but when mixing patterns, edit colours to three or four, mix pattern scales and add solids and textures to balance things out.
4. Keep heat in with well made luxurious felt or velvet curtains
Velvet is a classic look for curtains. To give it more edge choose a velvet in midnight blue or warm grey. We also love felt for curtains as it’s super tactile, warm and contemporary. Alternatively if you have a smaller budget, roman blinds are a cosy, practical and more cost-effective choice.
5. Add warmth to your walls
Don’t be afraid to go dark. People will tell you it will make the room feel small (it won’t), it will make the room feel super cosy.
6. Light a fire
If there is one thing that will transform your London townhouse or cottage into a cosied-up winter snug hole then it’s lighting a fire. It’s the smell, the sound and the heat. We love wood burners for their look but also because we can use them in smoke-controlled zones (good for our London friends!). Our favourite thing is to customise the standard black stove colour and paint in any number of heat-resistant hues. Our favourite is Dulux Flint. Add an artfully style log basket and your look is complete.
7. Introduce warming winter scents
If you can’t light a fire, then do the next best thing and introduce warming winter scents. We love candles and you will get an amazing smell of burning fires from Diptyque feu du bois. We also love Paine’s Red Cedar incense, available from Labour & Wait. One time I was helping to style an event at Monocle’s London office, and they were burning it in the lobby. It was the smell of a stylish Scandinavean lodge. Truly heavenly.
8. Create a quiet corner with an occasional chair
Something with a high back, in felt or velvet, that will wrap you up nice and warm. We love the Egg chair for it’s modern look and soft edges.
10. Keep the colour
Just because it’s dark and cold outside, don’t ditch the colours. I get even more of an urge to keep things colourful inside from November to March precisely because it’s so mizzly outside. Style up your rooms with colourful artwork, against walls and on surfaces to keep things relaxed and informal. We love punchy, edgy florals too on cushions, they provide a flash of bright colour to a dark monochrome day.
So there you have it. Designing your sitting room so it feels amazing, while keeping the colourful, contemporary look to banish the winter mizzle is the most gratifying thing ever.