JENNIFER BACKSTEIN INTERIORS

3 Ways to Warm Up Your Space

What makes a house feel like home? There’s no magic pill for achieving this cocoon-like cure-all for the outside world. However, there are three ways to make a space feel more “homey.” As a designer, I translate “warmth” as physical, visual and emotional. When it comes to creating a warm and welcoming home, ensure you explore every avenue.

First, let’s address the warmth that is experienced through touch. This is what entices you to run your hand across the velvet sofa cushions, and drape yourself in plush blankets with the rug beneath your bare feet. Window treatments, rugs, pillows, throws and your furniture upholstery go a long way toward achieving that overall sense of warmth and comfort.

TIP: Be sure to explore different types of fabric as a great way to layer subtle texture and pattern into your space. Cotton, velvet, linen, silk, wool, faux fur, chunky knits – the options are varied and plentiful.

Textiles are often left as an afterthought when designing a room, but I prefer to incorporate them in the design plan, as they are an impactful element not to be forgotten. If warmth is important to you, textiles could be something that’s worth splurging on.

Beyond the warmth that you can touch, “home” has to be warm on an aesthetic level, too. I’m referring to the type of warmth that is experienced visually. When you enter a room, try to see its “temperature.” Is it crisp and contemporary, soft and organic, or antique and storied? That’s not to say contemporary spaces can’t be warm – quite the contrary. However, when choosing your home’s overall aesthetic, be mindful of how different styles impact your emotions.

TIP: Light bulbs come in a variety of tints that can set the tone for the “temperature” of your space. They range from cool bluish-white to warm-yellows that mimic the look of candle light, and neutral “daylight” options. Consider what you’ll be doing in the room, and what type of lighting will best accommodate those actions. Warm light is commonly used in residential applications like living areas, bedrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, etc. On the other hand, cool light is ideal for workspaces such as an office, hobby or laundry room. Regardless of what you choose, put your lights on dimmers to keep it versatile.

Then there’s a third type of warmth that is felt within and tugs at the heartstrings. This can be achieved through a thoughtful medley of art, accessories and all the small details that collectively tell your story. Unpack mementos from your past and integrate them into your present. Collections, books, photographs and art all tell your story and give you “the feels” to turn an empty room into a reflection of you.

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