The sun has set and as you walk down the street, living rooms glow yellow. A cold breeze permeates through your many layers. You wish nothing more than to get home. As you walk by your favourite houses your mind wanders. You start to imagine the cosy interiors that are keeping the people inside warm. How have they decorated they’re living room for Christmas? Do your own living spaces invite a sense of warmth and comfort?
The changing of the season is a great time to revamp or redecorate familiar interiors. New colours and a couple of simple changes can turn a summer bedroom into a cosy place to hide from the cold. If your preferred style is shabby chic, there’s a lot of design freedom that works in your favour. From elegant glass-cut chandeliers to mirrored furniture that strategically reflects warm light throughout the room, here are some of the ways you can prepare you shabby chic spaces for winter.
A grand entrance
It’s easy to overlook your foyer, unlike the living room this space sees relatively little use other than to take off boots and empty jacket pockets of keys. The entrance to your home however, plays a large part in the psychology of your comfort. Create a space that’s instantly inviting and arriving home becomes a sigh of relief from the chilly winds outside. You don’t need much to create an inviting shabby chic foyer. A simple brass antique French style pendant light, a golden mirror and a creative homemade coat-rack using bits and pieces from broken antiques will create a space that’s instantly inviting and unique.
Christmas dinner served in style
The dining room takes centre stage during the holidays as it will be the hub of your Christmas functions. Christmas dinner with the boss. A place to mingle around hors d’oeuvres as family members trickle in from various parts of the country. Even simple family meals take on a festive feel with Christmas lights and pinecones adorning the shelves. A shabby chic dining table can be anything from a bespoke Rococo masterpiece to an antique French style dining table for a country home feel, the important thing is to not over-clutter. Keep ornaments simple and don’t overfill the room with furniture. You want people to be able to move around the dining room freely. As far as colour schemes go, it’s much easier to keep the walls white and touch on Christmas colours like your pine greens and burgundy reds with decorative items. An elegant red vase will be a standout item on your white dining table. Place an old dark green suitcase in one of the corners of the room and instantly add touch of rustic to the space.
Keep your dinner guests entertained
The living room was used by the Victorian upper classes to entertain guests. Modern occupancy of the space revolves around family and relaxation, but entertainment still plays a key role in the room’s function. It’s a space for everyone to be together and to unwind. Comfort is definitely a priority when you’re making your design considerations. Shabby chic is the perfect comfort style as furniture frequently incorporate rococo design elements which were created with comfort and elegance in mind. Seat backs were reclined and seats were set lower to the ground to encourage a relaxed posture. An elegant chaise longue can make a perfect reading nook while keeping in style with the rest of the room
As a general rule, simplicity keeps rooms easy to manage and redesign as desired. White is a neutral colour and leaving your walls white will help ease you into designs meant for warmer months. The living room is the exception. If you want to paint the walls in warm colours or deep earth tones this is the space to do it in. The cosier this room feels the better, just be aware that the room can feel smaller.
A better night’s sleep than Sleeping Beauty
Earth tones are naturally warm, so when it comes to the bed choose an elegant wooden frame like the Montpellier antique French style bed. Pillows and throws not only make the bed a more comfortable place to inhabit; they give the room a satisfying sense of warmth and can touch on some of the warmer tones like burgundy red that can be found elsewhere in your living spaces. Carpeting is important in the bedroom, a soft warm place to park your feet as you get out of bed makes a world of difference. Be sure to let in plenty of light, having a bright bedroom will naturally make the space feel warmer.
Use shabby chic’s elements of comfort, elegance and surprise to create living spaces that are warm and inviting. Earth tones and strategic lighting will help create a cosy atmosphere, while simplicity will help draw attention to festive ornaments. Designing any living space is about understanding the purpose of the room; keep it light and be creative, but always place function first.