With autumn now well and truly upon us, a glance just a little bit further ahead in the wall calendar reveals an impending long, cold, British winter. Fortunately, something equally British can be your salvation, and by that of course, I mean turning to crafts to beat the cold snap.
Bedrooms can be easily converted from large, airy, brightly-lit summer spaces, to a warm and cosy den for hibernation throughout the winter – and you’ll be amazed at the difference items such as over-sized pillows and scatter-cushions, blankets, quilts and bedspreads can make to both the metaphorical and literal warmth of a room.
What can possibly be more comforting and relaxing through the winter months than curling up with your loved ones, cocooned in a soft, warm blanket? These items can be surprisingly expensive if you choose to buy one from a designer outlet, but producing your own designs and creations can make this a dream a far more inexpensive reality – and in my opinion, significantly increases the “snuggle-factor” over their shop-bought counterparts.
Block quilts are really easy to make, and since you can choose the type and pattern of each square of material on your design, take advantage of fleecy, woollen and velvety fabrics to ensure that you are wrapped up in only the most comforting of materials until spring arrives.
And when you’re not curled up within one of these, they also work brilliantly as a focal piece for a bedroom when they are left spread across a bed with some cushions and plenty of layers. Minimalism is a summer luxury, but in these darker months, it’s all about making your bed look like a refuge from the cold and something that you genuinely look forward to being reunited with at the end – or even in the middle of – the day.
With this hibernation in mind, your choice of bed is also important, so for those of us who haven’t quite figured out what they might be looking for as a Christmas present, I would recommend a “TV bed” from Bed Star. These come with a remote control that can sit you up in bed to guarantee you the optimal viewing position of the 42” plasma screen that rises up from the foot of the bed as if from nowhere. There are no loose wires to suggest a life more in keeping with ‘The Jetsons’ than ‘The Waltons’, and with each bed available in a range of soft leathers and fabrics, this addition to your bedroom will be perfectly in keeping with your cosy, winter-proof design scheme.
And this design scheme can be easily added to and tweaked with just a few small additions of your own. For example, large, white walls, so revered throughout summer months, can be broken up and softened by hanging fabrics against them. These “wall curtains” are easily swapped around depending on your mood, but as a rule you should aim for autumnal colours such as reds, oranges, yellowy-creams and deep browns.
Crocheted decorations, ornaments and soft toys adorning mantle-pieces and surface tops will also increase the warmth and intimacy of a bedroom, whilst mountains of cushions or pillows on beds, armchairs and chaise-longues will break up sharp edges and increase the layering effect. Another added bonus of shedding the minimalist approach will be reflected favourably by reduced heating bills, as these soft furnishings actually trap heat, slowly releasing it throughout the day.
In fact, the only downside to all of this intentional “clutter” is a slight increase in the amount of dusting and hoovering that will be required – but that’s what a spring clean is for, right? In the meanwhile, you get to play with all of your favourite fabrics, you’ll have an excuse to be crocheting day and night, and will even see a reduction in your heating bills compared to last year – so what are you waiting for?!