A cosy refuge on wintry days

Inspired by Iceland’s rugged beauty, the Vinter collection from Ikea brings a touch of the wide outdoors into your living room

When it’s cold and grey outside, few things are more enjoyable than settling down with a hot cup of tea, a good book and a cuddly blanket.

With simple resources and a small amount of dexterity, you can turn your home into an oasis of cosiness and tranquillity. Candlelight is an absolutely essential element, of course, providing the warmth and comfort we so yearn for on gloomy days. Arranging a few pillar candles or tea lights on a tray takes no time at all, and you can even add dried fruits, pine cones or spices as decoration. Gütegemeinschaft Kerzen (the European Quality Association for Candles) is a useful source of ideas for people seeking inspiration.

Thawing out in front of an open fire

When it’s bitterly cold outside, and we arrive home with red noses and stiff fingers, what could be better than thawing out in front of a roaring fire. Whether ethanol stove, fireplace or tiled stove, fires of all kinds exert an almost magical attraction at this time of year. In the past, those purchasing additional sources of heating were mostly interested in energy costs and potential savings. Nowadays, however, aesthetic considerations are more important, and the stove has transformed into a decorative item of furniture. HKI – the Industrial Association of House, Heating and Kitchen Technology – provides a useful overview in its Ratgeber Ofen internet portal.

A  leisure-time retreat

Although stretched out on a fur rug (lambskin and reindeer hide are currently the trendiest) may be the most stylish way to enjoy a roaring fire, sitting on an armchair or sofa is definitely more comfortable for your back. Upholstered furniture of modern design is the ideal place to spend those precious periods of leisure – alone with a good book, together with a favourite companion, or surrounded by the entire family. The latest sofas and armchairs boast adjustment and configuration options that rival those of a bed. You can lower the backrests, pull out the seats and fold over the head and side sections, thus creating an amazing range of seating or lounging positions.

Snuggling up to something soft

The tactile properties of decoration and upholstery fabrics result from the ingenious ways in which they are woven or embroidered and from the diverse haptic qualities of natural fibres such as wool, linen or cotton. Nuzzling up to them is pure enjoyment. Attractive fabrics not only create a homely atmosphere, they’re also extremely versatile to use – fluffy ones for snuggling up in and delicate ones as decorative eye-catchers. Simply replacing the sofa cushions can change the character of an entire room.

Knitted materials and hides are all the rage

Cuddly plaids made of cashmere, merino wool, mohair, camel hair or alpaca are extremely popular. However, wrapping yourself up in a cosy blanket of roughened cotton is also an extremely inviting prospect. Knitted materials and hides are currently in trend as well, and increasingly popular as covers for sofa cushions.

Natural tones create a cosy environment 

The colour scale is broad – starting with warm, natural tones such as honey, caramel and chocolate brown, continuing on to the grey shades we see almost everywhere at the moment, and right through to today’s trendy blue in all its nuances. Blue has a calming quality and creates a relaxing atmosphere. The darker hue brings a feeling of security, but is best reserved for larger rooms.


An article by Tanja Müller

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