Turn up the heat
As we batten down the hatches to hibernate for winter, it’s time to create warmth visually
Black Edition Goldwyn viscose velvet upholstry fabric from Romo, €90.90 per metre
Freestanding wood-burning stove from Fenton Fires, €1,715
Mongolian throwns add warmth and texture
With temperatures falling at last, we need our homes to feel warm and inviting. As well as turning up the oil or gas, it’s about creating the optical illusion of visual heat, explains author Ros Byam Shaw, former features editor of The World of Interiors and deputy editor of the British edition of fashion newspaper W. “Warmth is a psychological thing and curtains, rugs, and tactile fabrics all help raise the cosy levels at home,” she says.
The author of Farrow & Ball: Decorating With Colour, also suggests washing walls in warm colours.Your colour choice doesn’t have to be obvious. String, her favourite shade of green, adorns the walls of a Berlin apartment that has high ceilings, bare walls and a rug-covered parquet floor.
The green walls contrasted with a tomato-red upholstered Papa bear chair and honey-coloured parquet flooring “combine to push the mercury up” in a way that feels modern.
Stylist Emily Henson adds warmth with fur and folklore prints in a look she describes as modern rustic.
Henson started as a merchandiser and display artist for Anthropologie in Los Angeles. In winter she softens kitchen seating by placing small sheepskins on dining chairs, and creates a nest in the bedroom with soft mohair and felt blankets on beds.
For hibernation Hibernian style, you need a sofa that you can sink into where the stuffing is as important as the aesthetic.
“With time, foam stuffing wears out and sags, while feather-filled options wrap themselves around you,” explains Brian Gillivan, Arnotts furniture buyer, who favours the Berwick sofa, a design that can be tailored to your own down and feather requirements and costs from about €2,000.
The Arketipo sofa, described by Aoife Bushell of Bushell Interiors as “the Rolls Royce of sofas”, has a plush deep-button velvet upholstered, 100 per cent down stuffing upholstered seat. Its €6,390 price is eye watering.
A well-upholstered alternative is Ikea’s PS 2012 Svanby, €745, which uses mattress-spring technology and feels like you’re sitting on air.
Lorna Kee of Kee Interiors, one of the designers selected to show at Ideal Home at the RDS this weekend, is proud of her summer and winter home accessories wardrobes.
At this time of the year she puts away the clear glass votives and flower vases and brings out brassware for flowers and jewel-coloured tea-light holders. She changes the tea towels in her kitchen to ruby and burnt orange shades and adds cushions to kitchen chairs to add comfort and colour.
Kee also loves an open fire and buys logs and turf from farmers in her locale, in Skerries.
A savvy option is a glass-fronted insert fire that will give you all the visual warmth of an open fire but turns efficiency levels up from 12 per cent up to around 75 per cent. Bodart & Gonay’s multi-fuel and wood-burning built-in fires are one of the best looking on the market.
Where lighting is concerned, soft brass and copper metal hues on pendants, lampshades and table lamps are an on-trend way to get rooms to glow.
Pink neon is a contemporary way to make a room feel warm. B&Q has cool neon tubes, €22.55 each, that will make kitchens, halls and living rooms pop.
Candlelight is also very flattering, says Aoife Bushell. She stocks up on pillar candles and the tri-wick versions.
When bedding down, consider using textures that you won’t want to leave behind in the morning. A duck-feather mattress-topper will turn your bed into a comfy nest. Doubles at littlewoodsireland.com start from €52.