It’s easy to think that once our home is styled, that’s it – we are done. But it turns out that, homes – like our outfits – are at their best when aligned with the seasons.
Luckily, changing your home’s interior to suit the weather doesn’t have to break the budget.
“It’s actually a great way to give your home a quick revamp without it costing a fortune,” says Luisa Volpato, head of interior design at Advantage Interior Design.
According to Volpato a seasonal revamp is also a simple way to ensure you don’t get bored looking at the same items day in and day out. “You only really need to switch between two looks – a Spring/Summer look and an Autumn/Winter look. It’s no different to how you would think about changing your wardrobe when you pack away your summer clothes and dig out your winter woollens,” she notes.
Getting started setting up your home for winter
Once you’ve committed to the concept, start by tackling soft furnishings like cushions, throws, bed linen, rugs and accessories. “These are the easiest – and least expensive – things to change,” says Volpato.
Floor coverings are another good way to cosy up your home. “Choose a plush, soft rug that you will want to curl up on in front of the television – or in front of the heater,” she says.
Rugs can also be a good investment, simply because they offer so much bang for your buck: “Rugs cover such a large surface area in your home, so they can have a real impact on how a room feels. Changing the colour from say a light neutral in a natural material like sisal or jute for summer to a plush woollen rug with some art silk for softness and shine will really help transform your home in winter. Link the rug colour to the colours in scatter cushions so it all works together well,” Volpato says.
Winter is the time when table lamps and floor lamps come into their own. “In summer the focus is more on natural light, with less need for extra lighting, but in winter you can create a cosy ambience by having different light sources spread out around your home. Mix floor and table lamps for light at different levels or for different activities. You might use background lighting while watching television, but a more focused task lighting for reading,” Volpato says.
How to use texture and colour this winter
Texture has a big role to play in the cooler months, as do colours. “To get ready for the cooler months think cosy fabrics like faux fur, wool, cashmere or velvet for scatter cushions, throws and bed linen. You might choose a heavier quilted bed cover, or go dark and moody with your choice of colours overall in these cooler months,” Volpato says.
The interior designer prefers rich colours for her winter setups. “I love jewel tones like emerald, ruby and sapphire for this time of year. They are deep, moody and suit those darker, cooler months,” Volpato says.
Volpato says those less confident with colour matching can turn to the global colour leader: Pantone.
“It’s the international authority on all things colour. Their predictions are behind seasonal trends that pop up in everything from homewares to clothing as well as fashion accessories and even makeup,” she says.
While Pantone’s 2017 colour of the year is decidedly spring-like (it’s called Greenery), Volpato says navy is fast becoming the new black. “You can also take inspiration from autumn colours you see in nature – including pops of orange, red, green against a neutral backdrop. Nature provides some of the best naturally occurring colour combinations, regardless of the season,” she says.
Remember, when matching colours, you’re not always best to consider shades of the same colour “Opposites attract. Orange and blue are opposites on the colour wheel, which is why they work so well together. Think about the deep bright orange of Uluru against a magnificent blue sky. Similarly, consider red and dark green – reminiscent of the bulb and stem or leaves of a rose. One of the reasons these colour combinations work so well is that they are opposites on the colour wheel,” she says.
Tips and tricks with patterns
One of the many tricks a good interior designer will have up his or her sleeve is the ability to make seemingly disparate patterns or textures ‘play nicely’.
There’s a method to this, according to Volpato. She says when mixing patterns in something like cushions (a great way to cosy up a lounge room or bedroom) diversity pays big dividends. “The key to mixing patterns is to combine two very different patterns together. For example if you have six scatter cushions on the sofa (or spread over two sofas if you’re not a fan of too many cushions) choose two plain colours, two in a simple, repeated pattern like a pinstripe or small polka dot, and two in a bolder/larger pattern like a floral or large geometric. Don’t mix two florals or two geometrics of the same size as they will clash,” she says.