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Warming up to cooler nights


Published: 02/22/2013

by Kimberley Seldon

Fall is here and that can only mean one thing – it will continue to get cooler.

Being a native southern Californian, I find the very idea of winter daunting. On the other hand, there is no place I’d
rather be from October to February than nestled comfortably in a country house in Ontario with a cup of cocoa

 in my hands and a good book on my lap. In anticipation of shorter nights, cooler temperatures and winter

cocooning, here are some simple ways to warm up your interiors.


Add layers

Shortly after Labour Day, we dig out our scarves, gloves and topcoats in anticipation of colder weather

 and new fall fashions. This bundling-up process is equally warranted when it comes to our interiors. After all, 

we may love that  light, fresh and breezy feeling in July, but we recognize we need something more substantial

 for the winter months ahead.  Strategic layers provide added warmth and soothing comfort. Toss a cashmere throw on the arm of a favourite chair, place an extra set of pillows on the living room sofa, or add a coverlet to the foot of the bed.


Design tip: If storage space is at a premium, it may not be realistic to keep several sets of pillows in the house.
Instead, create a single pillow using two different fabrics – one for each side. Choose cotton or linen for the summer side and a heavier velvet or chenille for the winter side. Rotate as required.


Embrace colour and pattern

If beige is leaving you cold, introduce rich colours. Add a splash of cinnamon, chocolate or lavender to rooms. A
series of red vases down the length of a dark wood table strikes a dramatic pose. Navy blue toss cushions enliven a dependable tan sofa. Top a plain white duvet cover with a bed runner – a hot trend in hotel design.


To increase the colour’s impact, introduce pattern as well. Large-scale pattern is turning up on upholstered pieces such
as armchairs, sofas and headboards. Look to exuberant floral, exotic paisley and dashing animal prints to revive listless rooms and add warmth.


Design tip: Pattern has more visual weight than a solid colour, so it’s a welcome addition to rooms that require
warmth and depth. To successfully mix patterns, vary the scale; pair a small geometric with a medium stripe and a large floral print.


Make a switch

If patterned carpets had been stowed away for summertime, put them back underfoot. Luxurious wool provides physical and
psychological warmth. Exchange white or off-white lamp shades for dramatic black or red.


A dark, opaque shade stylishly highlights a favourite tabletop collection.If your home has a fireplace, it’s a natural
attention-getter. Try angling furniture away from windows and towards this central attraction from October to April. At the same time, pull the furniture into a tighter grouping and guests will feel cozier.


Design tip: Sheer fabric not only provides a modest amount of privacy, but warm, pale colours can energize the grey light
that accompanies drizzly days. Look for today’s most stylish sheers to have accent stitching for added depth.


Kimberley Seldon Design Group is a full-service design, build and decorate firm. For more information, or to
schedule a consultation, phone 416-780-9187 ext. 227, or visit


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