Winter is the ultimate time to bring texture and warmth to the home. Not only because of that inevitable drop in temperature, but also as indoor aesthetics, and the comfort they bring, start to take greater precedence during the shorter days and longer nights.
And let’s face it, we’re all going to be spending a lot more time in our homes this year, for better or for worse.
While we’re accustomed to introducing velvet cushion covers, thick, fluffy throws and flickering candles to create a warm Winter ambience, we often ignore our curtains, keeping them the same all year round. But given the role windows play in adding privacy, conserving energy, regulating temperature, and bringing an extra element of visual intrigue, we think it’s folly to so often overlook them.
A twice-yearly approach to dressing your windows, then, is the answer. Indeed, one of the easiest and most effective ways to decorate your home for Winter while keeping it warm is to finesse your windows. With this in mind, here are 5 stylish ways to dress your windows this winter.
MORE SWAGGER, LESS GLARE
If you’re squinting at the screen trying to read this, with the glare of the sun shining directly on your screen, then this point is for you. With Winter comes shorter days and a lower sun, meaning its glare when you’re working is often increased. Indeed, even though Winter is the darkest season, the light coming through the windows can become a bit of a nuisance. Excessive glare makes it hard to see computer screens – not great when we’re all working from home, desperately trying to avoid digital eye strain.
A stylish solution to this problem is to add a swag, valance or cornice to your window. Not only do they bring character and architectural interest to your window dressing, but they can also block the sun’s beams from entering through the top part of your window.
While curtains and blinds are good for reducing glare, they aren’t the only solutions – you still need to enjoy the view and what little sunlight we have, after all. Moreover, constantly messing with the blinds to prevent the glare all day can be a pain. The answer? Use a glare reducing window film. While not exactly a glamorous response to the problem, they’re certainly a simple and cost effective solution. And there’s something stylish about thrift, right?
LAYERED WITH A LUXURIOUS FABRIC
Just as layers play a defining role in our winter wardrobes, so layering your window dressings can also make a difference to how your home feels when it gets cold outside.
The first layer, closest to the windowpane, should be purely for practical purposes (just like a vest). So, a blind is most effective for blocking drafts on windy winter nights. Next, it’s time to choose an outer outfit for your window that will not only look good but also provide the requisite layering for keeping the cold out and the warm in.
Sumptuous, sensual velvet is ideal for the job. Not only does it drape beautifully, but it also lends a luxurious feel to the room. To drag the metaphor out way past its natural conclusion; we often associate velvet with evening wear and we, erm, also close our curtains in the evening. It just makes perfect sense, right? We particularly love crushed velvet here, and Chenille curtains seem to drape particularly beautifully.
When it comes to choosing your curtains in the most luxurious fabric available to you, make sure they are full length and heavyweight to keep the cold out. It’s a good idea to get bespoke curtains made if you have room in the budget; have the length of the ceiling to floor, as well as the proportion of the window, measured as bespoke curtains can ensure your curtains are long enough to graze the floor while at the same time being wide enough to be completely closed.
You can read more at Yorkshire Fabric Shop, who recommend that ‘’these curtains will match perfectly in any window (and) also contribute to the house’s overall aesthetic. The only thing you need to make sure when wanting perfect fit curtains is to measure the length and width of your windows carefully’’.
MATCH CUSHIONS & CURTAINS
If you’re really looking to go the extra mile with that bespoke, tailormade aesthetic, then consider getting curtains made with matching cushions for a bold, brave look. Whether you choose pleat, eyelet or any other style of curtain is your choice. Just look for heavier drapes made from a closely woven material to help keep the blustery weather and icy temperatures at bay. Remember that winter curtains should always be lined, or better yet, thermal.
When it comes to choosing the material and colours, be brave by adding a rich and sophisticated palate to your home. Deep tones like plum and midnight blue are great for Winter and can create an opulent feel. Berry hues of burgundy and jewel tones of emerald green and ruby red can also bring that festive cheery touch, while earthier shades like forest green and burnt orange are equally appropriate, seasonally. Floral patterns against a dark backdrop can look particularly striking, particularly when they’re reinforced by the synergised aesthetic of matching curtains and cushions.
ALL THE GLITZ & GLAM
When it comes to winter, we all need a little sparkle in our life. Hey, that’s what all the tinsel’s for at Christmas, right? Enter trimmings, tassels and tiebacks, fringes and more, all in shiny, shimmering fabric. Let’s face it, though we’ve been extolling the virtues of investing in new curtains, accessorising your drapes is a far more budget friendly option, and can have just the same effect on the aesthetic of the room. The quickest, most affordable way to livening up a room which feels cold? It’s this.
A WINTER WINDOW SEAT
Many of us have taken to gazing out of the window, wondering what post pandemic life will be like; yep, we are all Edward Hopper paintings now. While you’re staring out there into the abyss, musing on how much the world has changed yet everything stays the same, you may as well make the most out of that strange, fleeting connection with the outside. As a rule of thumb, you usually want to avoid putting things in front of windows, however, creating a DIY window seat for winter (or any season) is the exception; you might be inside for a while, so you might as well get comfy!
If you’re lucky enough to have a bay window, then build in some seating to it. If not, installing a small chair with the best view in the house offers a warm winter sunspot, where you can bask in any sunlight streaming through the windows. Cosy up by pilling up the cushions and dressing them in the same fabric as your curtains, add a snuggly blanket and perhaps strategically place some candles close to hand and you’ve created a wonderful window space to cocoon yourself in. We’ll see you on the other side of the season!
Should you be looking for more inspiration on decorating your house for the months ahead, check out our tips on the IDEAL interior design colour tips for Autumn and Winter 2020.