7 Ways To Add Warmth To Your Home Decor

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Not many words are more evocative, especially in this most chilly of Junes, than those associated with a proper, roaring hot summer.

‘Warmth’. Say it out loud so you know how it feels. We don’t know about you, but suddenly our world is soaked in a hazy golden hue, our heating bills reduced through a simple utterance. That’s verbal visualisation at its finest, right there.

But today we’re not talking about tangible temperature. Instead, we’re after that elusive, hard to define and even harder to get right, warm ambience around the home. Because turning on the heating in what-should-be-summer just feels too perverse, let’s instead consider some ways to add a sense of comfort in the face of some truly miserable weather.

If that’s something you’re after – and let’s face it, who isn’t? – then read on; our 7 ways to add warmth to your home decor.

A Wooden Way Forward

Wood, preferably unfinished and lightly rustic, is a great way to bring warmth to the home. We’re not suggesting you grow a tree right through the floorboards of your living room, but some small, subtle touches can bring a cozy feel to urban and rural pads alike. 

Modern interior design places a lot of emphasis on bringing the outside in, and wood is a great way to do this. You can add panelling to cabinets, fashion ledges and shelves from recovered wood, even construct a headboard for your bed from an old barn door. 

Wooden picture frames and table mats add even finer detail. The key is to be creative and harness the power of upcycling where possible.

Organised Chaos

Have you noticed that the houses which feel really, truly cosy aren’t always in perfect order? Furniture may not be aligned, items certainly aren’t placed at right angles, and scant regard for symmetry is obvious. This ‘lived in’ feel creates real warmth, and can be enhanced with a few interior design touches. Areas of exposed brickwork, for instance, bring that rugged look we’re extolling in droves. Ditto random, mismatched furniture scored from antique dealers.

Be warned. While cobbling anything that carries a single digit price tag at the jumble sale may serendipitously result in a synergetic style, it is, frankly, unlikely. Better to have thematic thread running through your design ideas – such as matching lines or motifs, giving a little guidance to your thrifty foraging.

Time For The Tactile

The idea of warmth is inextricably linked with touch. It’s vital, then, to add as much texture as you can to your space. This is best achieved with throws, rugs and extra cushions and pillows, but also by a broad range of materials, like knit and satin. 

When it comes to layering, start from the ground up. Firstly, don’t be fooled into thinking that a rug only belongs on a wooden floor or a floor. Layer a rug on top of a carpet can add a whole new level of depth, texture and ultimately warmth to your home. Secondly, look at your soft furnishings; blankets, throws, and cushions really are the best way for you to crank up how cosy your home feels.

Then cast your eye upwards and look at your windows furnishings. Your choice of curtains and blinds can have a dramatic effect on overall impression and feeling of warmth in a room. A block-out lined curtain can bring warmth, texture and colour to your room instantly. Here at IDEAL, we’re fans of the very theatrical, falling from ceiling to floor length curtains.

Finally, it also pays to take a long hard look at your lampshades, which brings us to our next point…

Read: Is your home not cosy enough? Here’s how to change that

Fire It Up

Of course, we all know the benefits that a roaring fire can bring to the temperature of your house, taking it from two-dog to toasty at the flick of a match. But we’re here to talk about atmosphere and ambience.

And it’s that flickering, fervent flame that adds warmth to the room by throwing shadows, and acting as a point of intrigue; the part of the room where all attention gathers. Truly, it’s a multisensory stimulator; the crackle of trapped steam and vapour is so cosy and reassuring, in fact, that its soundtrack has apparently been marketed.

If you’re lucky enough to have a real fireplace or log burner then embrace it; there is nothing better than curling up on the sofa to cosy comfort of a real crackling fire. If you’re worried about the emissions of your fire, add an electric fireplace instead.

Alternatively, if you live in a new build and don’t have a real fire place at your disposal, consider creating a faux fireplace, which can bring just as much warmth and ambience to a room. To really capture your guests’ gaze, framing your fireplace with an oak fire surround will further draw people in.

If none of that feels or fits quite right, you could simplyu turn your TV into a virtual fireplace, all via the power of Netflix!

Or, Create A Warm & Cosy Glow With Lighting

Warmth and cosiness go hand in hand, and if you use your lighting cleverly, you can effortlessly create an inviting and decidedly cosy atmosphere. 

If you don’t have young children – or cats, for that matter – you can place lit candles around your lounge and dining room when night begins to fall, for that gentle flickering glow. Of course, if you do have young kids or curious felines, flameless LED candles will work just as well. 

Another wonderful way to create a cosy atmosphere with lighting is by hanging twinkling garlands of fairy lights around the home, or placing Himalayan salt lamps in strategic spots. Salt lamps are supposed to have a range of health benefits, as well as emitting a warm and gentle light. 

You can also layer your lighting to harness the power of ‘light and shade’, creating cosy corners in contrast. Indeed, by layering your light, you can ensure you have plenty of practical light during the daytime, then transform it into a relaxing, gently lit space and night.

Consider a combination of wall lights with dimmer switches, floor lamps and table lamps, all of which will help to create a warmer and more intimate feel. Of course, it’s not just the lamps that adds warmth, equally important is the role of the lampshade. High-quality lampshades that reflect your tastes are ideal here. We’re big fans of silk lampshades which can add a natural, warm glow to any room.

All of these additions can add a sense of tacit tactileness that you simply can’t help but sink into. In fact, we think we need a lie down after writing that!

Colour Scheme Caution

The temptation when trying to warm up the domestic space is to throw as much yellow, orange and red paint at the walls as you can and pray this sunkissed affect sticks. 

In reality, it’s advisable to exercise caution with the colourscape; sure, channel golden hues, but in a restrained fashion perhaps on one wall of a room, matched with more muted tones making up the other three quarters.

In the bedroom, especially, bright colours can be overwhelming, with traditionally ‘warm’ colours such as red, orange and yellow considered to be stimulating. Instead, colours best described as calming are far more appropriate here; think blush pinks, rich aubergines and calming peaches. And if you do have your heart set on yellow, orange and red colours, opt for deeper shades like mustard yellow, terracotta and the deepest garnet red.

And for more on that particular subject, do check out these IDEAL colours to paint your home to inspire creativity and wellness.

Embrace The Power Of Aroma

Our final tip for adding warmth to your home is to engage the often-overlooked sense of smell. Scent has a profound impact on how we perceive our environment, and the right aroma can evoke a sense of comfort and warmth.

Consider using scented candles, essential oil diffusers, or incense to fill your home with inviting aromas. Scents like vanilla, cinnamon, sandalwood, and cedarwood are particularly effective at creating a cosy atmosphere. You can also experiment with seasonal scents; for instance, a hint of pine or spiced apple can make your home feel especially snug during the colder months.

Additionally, incorporating natural elements like dried lavender or eucalyptus in vases can add both a visual and olfactory layer of warmth. Not only do these scents enhance the ambience, but they also contribute to a sense of well-being and relaxation.

And with that, we’re off for a well earned lie down in a cosy, warm corner of your home! Care to join us? Actually, that sounds a little weird…

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