Winters are here … brrr! Almost everyone in North India is diving under their blankets to escape its onslaught. Shawls are being pulled out, sweaters are being aired, and people are retrieving their long Johns from the darkest realms of their wardrobe. People everywhere are united and the general slogan doing the rounds is ‘Layer up! Layer up! Layer up!’
An excellent suggestion, we say, but it needn’t be restricted to people alone. Layering is also an excellent technique to create warm, cozy spaces at home. It adds visual interest and imbibes a room with depth and a sense of abundance, which is perfect for the winter.
While it sounds complicated, layering is actually quite easy, and at its heart lies texture. Texture is that wonderful thing that creates a feeling of movement in a room, that makes the stark inviting and turns cold and sterile spaces into comfy hubs.
But what exactly is texture, you may ask. Doesn’t every material have texture?
Strictly speaking, yes. Cotton has texture, so does linen, and leather, too. But these are considered colder materials. During winters, we look at warmer fabrics like wool, fur, velvet, and cashmere to create that snug look that we love so much.
This is not to say that you should pack away your leather armchairs or strip your bed of its breezy linen. Just spread a woolen or cashmere throw on the sofa and place some tartan or knitted cushions on the bed. It’s as easy as that to layer that summery room in your house.
Another great way to make your room feel warm is by bringing in some carpets. Not only are plush floor coverings a luxury in themselves, they also have several practical advantages.
To begin with, rugs are the quickest way to cover up wood and marble floors, which aren’t known for being the warmest surfaces. They also help retain heat during the colder months. Then, the ‘fluffiness’ of the rug (technically known as the pile) can shape your perception of the space. The fluffier the carpet, the warmer the room feels. Finally, rugs help anchor a space, bringing together all the elements of the room in a harmonious union.
From the walls, we next move to windows. During the summers, cool daylight is welcome, that too in abundance. When the months turn cold and bleak, too much of grey, watered down sunlight can make the room look flat. Besides, lighter fabrics also let the heat escape from the room, creating a cold and inhospitable space.
To prevent that from happening, swap out your light drapes for thicker ones in rich, deep colors, like navy blue, red, or purple. If you find that too bland, line them in contrasting colors like mustard yellow, orange, or fuchsia to brighten up the room. To further lock in the heat, go in for lining made from sheep wool and cashmere.
At the end of the day, few things beat the feeling of walking into the cocoon-like comfort of your home, of leaving the harshness of the weather at the doorstep, of feeling the chill melting from your bones. If you use layers to your advantage, it’s possible to create such a haven, and a home you will love coming back to every evening.