Interior design: ‘Increasing sources of warm light enlivens your home’

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JANUARY is an ideal time to analyse what works in your home.

Leaving aside the glitz of Christmas decorating, ask yourself, what was it about your seasonal decorations that made your rooms come alive? What did you introduce as seasonal touches that added warmth and beauty?

It is fair to assume that your Christmas decorating all came under the category of accessorising and that you did not carry out any major design changes. How simple then it is to create just as pleasing a look for the rest of winter by using your Christmas accessorising as a template. Assuming you used extra lighting, natural greenery and colour, examine each room to establish which of these remain as permanent features.

Despite shorter days, most of us are guilty of maintaining the same lighting levels in our homes in winter as in summer, except for the festive season when candles and fairy lights spring to life. From earliest times, mankind used fire as a source not only of heat and protection against predators, but also as a way of raising spirits during the long hours of darkness. Increasing sources of warm light enlivens your home in the winter.

Natural greenery and colour – again in short supply in winter – also brighten living spaces. Pot plants, cut flowers and flashes of deep colour will act in the same way as Christmas trees, baubles and ribbons. Choose a deeper and warmer shade of your existing colour scheme or introduce a flash of complementary colour for two or three accessories. Adding a deep tone cushion and matching lampshade will lift any scheme. Aim for colours at the warmer end of the spectrum, avoiding those with a blue tinge.

Pat Elliott, The Borders Design House. Visit our website for design services, courses and workshops. Start a new career in 2013 as a Homestyle Advisor or learn to ‘Be Your Own Designer’ with our distance-learning interior design courses (07765 057 409,