Now that it’s getting dark earlier we all generally feel a bit low, we all love the daylight, even night owls like me. Lets be honest; bright, warm sunshine would be even better, but we live in the UK, we have to deal with the fact that its cold most of the time. But what if there was a way that we could bring warmth into our environments without relying on the gods?!
Think about using sensory to touch materials, materials that you instant want to touch, run your hands over – ‘tactile’ is the word here. I’m thinking wood, leather, felt and stone. These are all natural materials with different structures and textures and they instantly add layers to a space as well as warmth. Imagine wall to wall, warm, natural (slightly rustic) oak flooring, with cotton rugs and sheepskin cushions dotted around, lets not forget the hessian and leather sofa’s and feature chairs which instantly soften the look and adds that all important comfort factor and dare I say it – warmth!
Getting greenery indoors can also give us a sense of being enriched with warmth, ‘how’ I hear you asking? Well have you ever been for a walk in the forest or fields and picked up some foliage, bought it indoors and displayed it on a table or a window ledge – and instantly felt calmer? Nature has a way of instantly calming you, easing stress levels and detoxifying the air. It is also said to boost productivity and happiness…. see where I’m going with this? There’s your warmth – now if only I could bottle this up!
Maximise natural light coming in; now we are luckier than some of our European friends, who in winter months get nothing but darkness, but there are ways to increase natural daylight coming into our homes. I only have thin curtains and when they’re open the whole world can see in but you can use sheers instead of curtains, I know we value our privacy and that’s great at night, but heavy curtains, dense netting and Venetian blinds can somewhat restrict light free flowing into our spaces. If privacy is still a big thing then think about having thinner curtains or layering your sheers, plain voile with a patterned voile on top to create layers that you can pick and choose through depending on what you need at that moment in time or even black out roller blinds wound tightly into the window frame so that they’re hidden when not being used. Light grey or pale walls let any natural light coming in bounce off them, if you chose a paint that has a slight sheen its great for reflecting light too.
Now here is the obvious one, use lighting that has a warm glow about it, that means focusing on ambient and mood lighting rather than your big functional lights. Choose your colour temperature (technical term: Kelvin) appropriately, most LED bulbs now have colour charts on the boxes to make life easier for you. But to visualise each end of the spectrum, candlelight is about 1800 (kelvin) and a cloudy day is about 6000 (kelvin) so to achieve the warm glow that we are looking for you would choose a lamp about 2800 (kelvin). Keep your mood and ambient lights fairly low level, it creates a lovely intimate feeling within your spaces, I’m always inclined to suggest to my clients that they should have 2-3 different mood lights which help to add depth to the space and of course you can change the mood as it suits you, for that reason I would make sure that some of your lights are on dimmer switches. Don’t forget you also need your task lights to be at the bluer end of the kelvin spectrum as we do need to make sure we are practical and are able to complete tasks in enough light.
Do you have any other go-to’s for adding warmth to your space? If I was an expert baker I would say baking and the lovely wafts of cakes fresh out the oven, because come on, they do add warmth by invoking your sense of smell which you instinctively associate with warm!
Anyone agree? Anyone reading care to send me some banana bread or something equally delicious?