The cold months of winter can feel very long because many people are forced to spend more time indoors.
Anita Ndou, an interior designer in Johannesburg, says the winter blues can be beaten by sprucing up the home. A recent study showed that a clean home in winter makes 92percent of adults feel happier.
Ndou says this winter season sees old meeting new.
"Classic shapes from the 18th century are being reintroduced using high-gloss lacquer or contemporary bright prints in upholstery. The main looks this season are velvet and chenille upholstered high-back sofas, deep-pile button-in chairs, sofas and headboards, as well as smoky and black glass."
The trend is the play of light and shade reminiscent of the cinema of the 1940s. She says the couture of that time inspires an elegance which finds itself in the silky pastels and the dark shades of the colour range.
Ndou suggests warm, earth-toned colours with a redder palette for bedding, throws and pillows. Texture is also evocative and fuzzy, velvety fabrics are also appropriate.
"Camel, leather, rust, walnut and pumpkin satisfy the need for cocooning. The over-riding trend this season is over-worked fabrics with various types of surface effects. These fabrics are extremely tactile with a wild and raw feel and a slight asphalt gleam.
"Fabrics are mainly wool but in featherweights or reworked cottons. Wool fabrics are worked with textured effects on tweeds or Shetlands or with mohair for added lightness. Some of the more compact fabrics are rough-cut to create a threaded or patched-together effect."
Rich, expressive, colourful leather and wood will warm up the house, she says.
Here are a couple of tips on decorating a winter home:
l Use heavy fabrics to add more warmth. Velvet is ideal with its soft, mushy feel. Look out for bed sheets and cushions in vibrant rainbow colours. Add multiple cushions because they add a cosy feeling.
l Wooden lampshades and bright antique pieces in the drawing room will do wonders. l Original paintings and intricate crafts can be used to great advantage. l If you're fond of pottery, this is the time to show off your skills and embellish the beauty of your rooms. l Try out a bright wall paint like sunflower yellow or ruby pink. l Push furniture closer together for a cosier feel. l Kids' rooms can be decorated with lots of stuffed toys. Hang colourful posters and paintings. l Embroideries of various kinds can be used well in winter and find a place on all types of bedding.
Fur and velvet work well for the cold season.
Check out heavy blankets and quilts in bright colours that are soft to the touch and feel warm.
lUse photo frames innovatively. Change the photographs every season with something that goes well with the theme of the room and is consistent with the season. - Additional info from www.indobase.com