Winter’s a time to hunker down, snuggle indoors and enjoy a home whose decor matches the season.
This year, there’s an abundance of chic looks, taking inspiration from the latest interiors trends, which can transform rooms - but divine decor tends to come at a price.
Luckily there’s no need to despair if, with the expense of Christmas looming, money’s tight, and you fear you can’t afford your dream of creating rooms perfect for indulgent hibernating.
Pick one of our three on-trend schemes and either splash out on a full-on luxe interpretation, or get the look for much, much less with some carefully-chosen budget buys.
A dark, moody, monochrome palette, sensual textures and razzle-dazzle metallic touches conjure an opulent, elegant sanctuary.
A subtle change of colour may be all that’s needed to capture the atmosphere of this look - opt for mellow tones like fashionable greys, or muted taupes for a feature wall. Charcoal grey or black upholstery, cashmere and wool throws and cushions, plus decadent chandeliers and the soft light of candles in hurricane lanterns are the rest of the essential elements for a hotel-chic cocoon for winter.
LUXE LOOK: Designer John Rocha knows a thing or two about style, and his dark grey Elements Chaise Corner Sofa, currently £1,344 (usual price £1,920), Debenhams, is a handsome choice. Glamorous lighting always adds a ‘wow’ factor, and shimmering glass Deltra Ceiling Light, £189, Littlewoods, has contemporary grandeur. Compliment with a slim, silver Flos Miss K Table Lamp, currently £152.95 (usual price £180), Design55.
Extra seating’s useful when there’s an influx of family and friends at Christmas, and John Rocha’s dark grey Knitted Rope Pouffe, currently £88 (usual price £110), Debenhams, is a handsome perch. Decor divas believe brands speak louder than words, and Versace Home collection accessories, such as a black silk Vanitas Matelasse Cushion, £235, LuxDeco, couldn’t fail to impress.
STYLE SAVER: Luxury and comfort combine in a Shannon 3 Seater Pillow Back Corner Sofa, available in charcoal and black, and currently a bargain at £899 (half its usual price), DFS. Trip the light fantastic without busting the budget at Laura Ashley, whose Vienna Glass And Antique Brass Ceiling Light looks the business but is only £126 (usual price £180). Light a dull corner with a silver Anastasia Table Lamp, currently £64 (usual price £80), BHS. A Sabichi Knitted Pouffe, £75, Littlewoods, doubles as a seat or footrest, and all you need to give a sofa a cheap facelift is a black or grey throw, and then add upmarket John Rocha grey Beaded Flower Felt Cushions, £25 each (usually £32), Debenhams.
What could be more appealing than a log cabin retreat, with wood panelled walls and stripped floors, where you toast your toes in front of a traditional stove? The pure pared-back simplicity of this Scandinavian-inspired style isn’t difficult to evoke, and its colour palette of neutral tones is easy on the eye. Dress up with faux fur and velvet, or dress down with chunky woollen throws and rugs for a more homely feel.
LUXE LOOK: Wood burning stoves from companies such as Chesney’s start from around £895, and sanding, sealing and varnishing floorboards is characteristic of this rustic look. Timber-effect wallpaper is a fast way to transform a room, and Rockett St George’s Engineer Collection paper in Driftwood & Oak, £69 a roll, is super-realistic.
A Peppy Armchair, from £735, and Jonesy Sofa, from £1,095, both Loaf, have appropriate softly, curved lines and generous seats, and can be upholstered in plain linen or cotton fabrics. Pile on the luxe with a Faux Ermine Throw, £275, Lux Deco, and scatter cushions portraying a wintry landscape. A Blue Lake Cushion, £55, Unique & Unity.
STYLE SAVER: Cut costs and fake that glow: a Dimplex Tango 2KW Optiflame Electric Stove, £137.91, Amazon, while Galerie Wood Panel Wallpaper, £34.95, John Lewis, artfully mimics white-washed panelling.
Tesco’s furniture is a stylish steal, especially its Florence Sofa, from £599 and Pemberley Armchair, £399. Finishing touches make or break this look; Mink Luxury Polar Faux Fur Throw, £60, BHS, and Tesco’s accessory gems, an Ombre Shaggy Faux Fur Cushion, £12, and Frozen Tree Cushion, £8, would complete it beautifully.
Rich colour, including this season’s star shade; deep blue, teams brilliantly with jewel-bright reds and plums. That colour-combo will bring welcome warmth to any winter setting, and if you introduce key pieces of oak furniture, you’ll conjure a relaxed, unfussy, inviting parlour, suitable for a rural or urban setting.
Soft textured velvet or faux suede sofas will contrast well with polished wood, boasting a striking natural grain. Follow the theme with dark wood floors, gaily patterned rugs and, as a focal point, a pale stone fireplace.
LUXE LOOK: Invest in glamour with a Dusty 2 Seater Sofa, in blue velvet, £749, DFS. Well-designed wood furniture never loses its appeal, and a Naseby Coffee Table, in a rustic oak finish, £429, and Chunky Wood Tall Table Lamp, £149 (available late October), both Marks & Spencer, are solidly stylish.
Lanterns are an interesting alternative to candlesticks, and Sweetpea & Willow’s Criss Cross Lantern, £120, is decorative and appropriate for any season. Ward off the chills with a Chunky Crocheted Wool Throw, £190, Nutmeg & Sage, and add an injection of rich colour with Velvet Cushions in gorgeous glowing shades, £32 each, Oliver Bonas.
STYLE SAVER: A hard-wearing Rebecca 3-seater Fabric Sofa, available in teal cord upholstery, currently £349 (usual price £699), Very, would provide that shot of colour. Keep clutter to a minimum with a coffee table incorporating generous storage: Ripley Rough Sawn Solid Oak 4 Drawer Coffee Table, £249.74 (usual price £399.74), Oak Furnitureland.
Bring on more blue with a turquoise Gurli Throw, £5.50, Ikea, and Multi-colour Pattern Crewelwork Cushions, £20 each from selected Sainsbury’s stores. Lamplit makes any room cosy, and a Wooden Walnut Lamp, £20, from Asda’s George Home range, would match this decor.