Need help with hibernation? Get cosy with these winter warmers
Best in class: As the weather cools off, it’s time to get into a nicely-styled comfort zone
Olympia bath from Ashton & Bentley, €3,693
Sink into the bath
The weather is turning and memories of summer heat have utterly evaporated. The good news is that this makes way for bathtime – a glorious way to escape the freneticism of everyday life. It is especially restorative if you add salts – either Epsom to draw out toxins or Himalayan pink salts for a mineral hit. You can buy either in good supermarkets for less than a fiver for a bath-worthy quantity. The Olympia bath, pictured, by UK-based Ashton & Bentley, costs about €3,693, ex delivery. If you’re about to upgrade a bathroom, consider electric under-floor mats that you can time to come on before you rise, so bare feet don’t have to brave cold, bare tiles.
Artefatto Design Studio’s Snow White collection for Scarlet Splendor features sheepskin upholstery on the brass-framed Coronum seating. The armchair costs about €5,362 while the three-seat sofa costs from about €12,147. The skin rug, with support structure so you can sit on the ground on a sheepskin but still enjoy a certain level of back support, 224cm by 90cm by 72cm, costs about €3,933, ex delivery from Scarletsplendor.com
Feather your nest
Bed down with a feather topper, a deliciously tactile extra layer that will make slumber more nest-like. Bottom Drawer at Brown Thomas sells a well-stuffed range. Tactile bedding like Urban Collective’s new strong-coloured range of duvet covers, from about €167 for a double, and sheeting are restful to look at and the cotton/linen mix is tactile to the touch. You can pre-warm the bed with an electric blanket that is timed to switch off, or an old-fashioned hot water bottle. Dunnes Stores is selling a range of the latter, from Francis Brennan’s sheep, €15, that kids can cuddle to Paul Costelloe’s damson-coloured faux fur design, €20. Slippers too.
Snug with rugs
The Nordics know how to bring in texture using sheepskin as bedside rugs underfoot in bedrooms, on fireside chairs and on benches in the kitchen. The rugs even make sitting outside on a dry day feel temperate and can be used to insulate backsides against the damp on steps and dry decks. Every season Broste Copenhagen produces a range in covetable fashion colours. You can order these through Dublin online store Home Lust, about €167, or check out the collection at Mac’s Warehouse, Islandbridge – although bargain hunters should know that the larger branches of TK Maxx and sister shop Home Sense sometimes also supply the same range but at about €15 cheaper.
Light bedside reading
One of the most tempting things to do on a cold winter’s night is to retire early with a good book. To make sure this is as pleasurable an experience as possible you need to give some consideration to your bedside lighting. If using traditional table lamps on bedside lockers, make sure the bulb isn’t too bright; you’ll find that when you’re lying in bed reading your eye level is generally below the lampshade. Soft, warm tungsten-style bulbs offer a gorgeous glow – try Sostrene Grene for affordable options – as these side lamps at the Elizabeth Hotel, London, which also features a lovely textured wall covering by Lincrusta, demonstrate, but may not be bright enough to read by.
This kitchen punches above its weight
This on-point kitchen belongs to Massimo Buster Minale, the founder of London-based Buster & Punch. He and his family use the waterside house in Sweden to ice skate on the nearby lake and enjoy the sauna. The butcher’s kitchen is a collaboration with Canadaköket and features handles and lights by Buster & Punch. The house is great for making the dark winter brighter, says his wife, Jessica. “All our lights are dimmable LEDs and, alongside open fires, makes them cosy rather than depressing.” The lights atop the custom counter include small Caged satin black wall light with black marble, about €303, and the large five-bulb version, about €1,288 ex delivery. The closed bar handles in smoked bronze cost about €104 for the medium and €120 for the large, ex delivery.
Get your carpet just right
Wooden floors are lovely to look at but in a livingroom a carpet underfoot with a rug topcoat adds very welcoming texture to Irish homes. Play with contrasting colours and finishes. Here a velour sofa is sat on a Westex Westend carpet in a pine green, about €52 per sq m, with a Noble Diamonds rug overlaid atop it, from about €55, both from branches of Carpetright. TC Matthews, Walkinstown, and M Kelly Interiors in Sallynoggin both sell really good quality wool carpets with a small range in basic neutral colours held in stock. Prices start from about €55 per sq m upwards.