Friday, December 10, 2010

Preparing for the Cold

When nature appears lifeless, a new season comes to life…

 When nature hibernates for the long cold season, we tend to do the same thing. We stay inside without really seeing the beauty outside. The best way to full embrace winter is to bring some of that ‘unknown beauty’ into your home. There are so many ways to bring the outside in and this year, retail has made it easy for us. We are seeing trends with faux furs and natural fibres such as wool and other types of sheared products such as alpaca, cashmere and Mongolian sheep skin. These materials are being used in pillows, throws, chair coverings, bedding and more.  100% cottons are also being seen in knit products such as pillows and throws.  These natural fibres will give your home that warm feeling and also the element of the great outdoors. These are all great ways to keep warm and also up on the current trends- but really, when is staying warm during a cold Canadian winter trendy? It’s just common sense! There are so many ways to showcase your natural products. When using faux furs, matching the colour of the fur is not a necessity. Mixing colours up will add more variety and interest and since they are the same texture, you won’t be overwhelmed. Draping throws over chairs, benches and wood chests are a great way to cozy up a room and they also look great.  Displaying anything made of natural fibres can be done the same way.  


Another way to bring the out doors in is to literally bring the outdoors in! Pinecones, dead branches, logs, and of course, your “real” Christmas tree can all be used. Pinecones can be displayed during the Christmas season with ornaments or Christmas balls, and branches can add some interest to a corner.  You can leave the dead branches at their normal state or add even more interest and paint them white, black, silver, gold or any other colour that works with your space.  Logs* can be stacked by a fireplace, even if you don’t intend to burn them. As for your real Christmas tree, you know what to do.
*please be sure to air the logs out before you bring them into your home. Creatures such as bugs and worms can be living in them and you will want to avoid bringing them in too. Also be careful if you are stacking logs on your front porch, you may want to watch for mice.   

Fireplaces and wood stoves can make for a great focal point. Not only do they take up a large space but they are most important in the winter, used or not.  Whether you have a wood burning, gas, or electric fireplace, they can all be used to host a party around, start a conversation or it can even be a personal sanctuary after a long day.  Displaying items on the fireplace using seasonal items can be one way to make a focal point and another is to display your natural belongings with it.  If your fireplace is being used be sure to display things far enough away from it to avoid a fire and if it isn’t being used, a great alternative to a roaring fire are pillar candles. Arranged how you like them place all the candles inside the fireplace and light them when entertaining, just another way for your fireplace to get noticed!

Thanks, keep warm!

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