Temperatures are dropping, the wind (and rain!) is whipping up, and we’re spending more time in our homes.
Autumn is the time of year many of us seek to add warmth to our homes. Here are some great ideas to turn up the heat, without turning up your thermostat.
Use warm paint colors.
Did you see my recent post about the future of grey paint? Although there are both warm and cool shades of grey, most people report they feel grey is a cool color. If you’re looking to warm up your space, use “warm” colors. Even neutrals such as beige and white have both warm and cool hues.
Not sure about committing to a whole-house paint job? An accent wall in several rooms is a great way to start.
Behr just released their 2022 colors – and I’m loving the possibilities of some of these!
Even a small amount of wood can add instant warmth to your home. Furnishings are an obvious place to start – perhaps you might replace a glass-topped table with a wood table.
But there are other possibilities as well. Hardwood floors, shiplap paneling, and wood or wood-beam ceilings are all possibilities. Not ready to make such a large commitment? Consider wood accessories such as bowls and trays.
Layer with rugs.
Hardwood (or hardwood-similar) floors have become the go-to for many homeowners. While they have many advantages, there’s no doubt they’re less cozy than carpeted floors so adding a rug can warm things up.
If you have hard-surface floors, consider adding layers. It’s one of the best ways to add depth, texture, and physical warmth for your feet. This might mean using more than one rug in an area … or it could mean selecting a rug with more texture than basic carpet. I love the look of a natural fiber rug over hardwoods, and then seeing that topped with a fluffy sheepskin. Yummy!
Pro tip: There’s a great article on Overstock that takes the mystery out of combining area rugs if have an open floor plan.
Texture can generate warmth instantly, and often the items that provide texture are less expensive than you might think. Think about pillows, art, throws, and blankets. Mixing up your textures – cashmere, linen, velvet, wool, cotton – is a simple way to create the perception of warmth.
Mix old and new.
You don’t want your home to feel like a furniture showroom – how cold is that? Instead, create a warm and welcoming home by incorporating old or vintage pieces with your newer pieces. I’m not suggesting you purchase a houseful of precious antiques; in fact, second-hand pieces passed down from family and friends (or even great finds at your local thrift store) can do wonders to warm up a space. A cabinet like this sourced from Craigslist is a great example. Or what about these fun wooden stools?
Incorporate something organic in every room of your home.
Bring life to your space by adding flowers, plants, fruits, or vegetables to every room of your home. If you don’t want fussy plants, search out ones that are easy to manage such as ZZ plants, olive trees, and fiddle leaf fig trees.
And if you have a big budget, and want to make a bold statement, there’s always the amazing variegated monstera … this year’s “must have” plant.
Cozy it up with snuggly items.
When was the last time you changed out your pillows and throws? If you want to make affordable seasonal changes, this is a great place to start. It’s so easy to learn how to mix and match styles and patterns to create interest.
A blanket draped invitingly over a sofa or chair is an invitation to relax. Chunky knits are extremely popular right now!
Architectural Digest had a fun article to help you coordinate pillows if you find this difficult – check it out!
You probably won’t be surprised to hear me suggest you use warm-toned metals rather than cool-toned metals.
Instead of reaching for chrome, polished nickel, or stainless steel consider brass, copper, and gold tones.
Think beyond cabinet pulls and faucets when it comes to your use of metals. There are plenty of other spots you can introduce a warm metal element. Perhaps that’s a copper tray for your coffee table, a side table with a brass top, or a gold mirror on your walls.
Set the mood with lighting.
Having a variety of lighting options in your home gives you unlimited variety when it comes to setting a mood. There are both “warmer” lights and “cooler” lights. You can create an intimate and cozy feeling with warm bulbs, while leaving cool bulbs for focused tasks such as reading, studying, or working on crafts.
You’ll want to think about multiple sources of light. Pendants and floor lamps work well for focused tasks, while candles and sconces add drama and romance. Overhead can light or track lighting is important as well, and that light can be supplemented by desk-top lamps.
Of course, dimmer switches really put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to setting a mood.
And don’t forget candles and fireplaces, both of which add instant intimacy and warmth.
We hope this post will encourage you to embrace the cooler, shorter days of autumn and winter by creating warmth in your home!
Now light a candle, pour a hot cup of tea or cocoa, pull up that cozy blanket and stay warm!