Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Your Winter Checklist

Well there’s no denying it – Winter is well and truly upon us, but that’s certainly no reason to pack up and hibernate. The cold outside is the perfect excuse to freshen up your interiors and create a feeling of warmth and cheer. We’re in for the long haul guys - so here’s a few simple but effective ideas for getting your ‘cosy’ on this year.

The Heart of the Home 
Firelight will not let you read fine stories but it's warm and you won't see the dust on the floor.  ~Irish Proverb

Nothing says ‘warm-inside-when-it’s-cold-out’ more than a fireplace right? If you have this special luxury in your home you know it’s often the centre of your family – where everyone gathers in the evening, where you entertain guests, where you snuggle with the one you love... What better reasons are there to make it look super snazzy?

Add a decorative fire screen and fire set (practical as well as pretty!) and a big woven basket or vintage crate for storing firewood. If you have one, use the mantle for photos and vases, the kid’s latest masterpieces or even your collection of ceramic cat figurines. Mix it up whenever you get bored of it. How about hanging a beautiful piece of artwork or even a stunning mirror or oversize clock above the mantle? Or, if you’ve got the room, roll out a shaggy rug and a couple of beanbags in front for long evenings chatting and gazing into the flames.

Snug as a Bug
Home, the spot of earth supremely blest, a dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest.  ~Robert Montgomery
Don’t forget to bring out the flannel sheets and pj’s. Or if you’re feeling cashed up, splash out on a new set in a colour or pattern you’ve never had before... Oh and for the next few months slippers are going to be your best friend so best grab a pair of those too (may we suggest some Aussie made uggboots?)

Ps. If you’re an electric blanket user make sure you check it regularly for damage or wear.

Smell the Roses 
Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.  ~Chinese Proverb

Ok, so you’re all toasty in your new pj’s and you’ve settled down with a good book... or maybe you’ve got the neighbours over for dinner and you’re all relaxing in the lounge room with a cup of tea and some chocolate pudding - Is it not the perfect time to light a scented candle? Actually, you don’t even need a reason do you? Stock up on natural soy candles for the winter months and treat your nose to something spesh! Vanilla bean, lemongrass, raspberry, French pear, cedarwood, coconut...

It’s all about the ‘ambience’ darling...
Light is good from whatever lamp it shines.  ~Author Unknown
Can we be bold and say lamps are possibly the single best way to make a room cosy and inviting? Have you got one beside the bed? Have you got one in the kids room? Have you got one in the lounge room? Study? Entry? If you answered no to any of these here is what we suggest you do.... GET SOME NEW LAMPS! Now ‘new’ doesn’t necessarily mean expensive either. Op shops are deadset treasure troves for old lamps and if you stick with a reputable chain (Salvos or Vinnies etc) they are generally always checked and tested by a qualified electrician before being put out for sale. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Evenings with the TV
There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.  ~Jane Austen
Add a few extra cushions to your couch and pull out a throw rug or two for snuggle time in front of the TV.  The added bonus to this is that you could turn your heating down a degree or two and not even notice – and if you listen carefully you will hear the ‘ka-ching, ka-ching’ from all that money you’re saving...

If you’re in the market for new cushions don’t  be afraid to go for bold patterns and rich colours for added warmth. If you’re a dab hand with a sewing machine you could even churn out a few new cushion covers in a couple of hours (search YouTube for hundreds of how-to vids.)

Oh, and while you’re on YouTube, search for tutorials on how to knit or crochet. A handy skill that not only keeps you entertained on cold winter evenings but will keep you and the family in constant supply of scarves, beanies, cushion covers, tea cosies, jumpers, cardies etc.