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Saturday, April 19, 2014
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Don't let winter chill your decor

There’s plenty of warmth you can introduce to your home over the next few months
By Shaheer Choudhury

Originally published in our Bayview MillsBeach-South RiverdaleBloor WestRiverdale-East YorkForest HillLeaside-RosedaleNorth TorontoNorth York print edition(s).

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Shorter, slushier and colder days are coming — winter’s almost here.

But if you’re longing for the warm and cozy feeling of summer, there are ways to trick out your home to suit your needs.

For Ryerson University’s Andrew Furman, who teaches in the School of Interior Design, lighting is important over the long, dark winter. He says the blanket of snow is the best way of bouncing the darkest time of the year into a really glorious kind of evening light.

“Turn off all the lights, take out the curtains, then wait for that blanket of snow to develop on your front porch or backyard,” says Furman. “Just take in that natural magical glow that this time of the season offers, rather than retreating with distractions of flashing electronica.”

For those needing artificial light, Laura McLellan, a senior designer at Lux Design, suggests candles.

“Candle light naturally warms up the place,” said McLellan. “It kind of provides a warmer glow.”

But when playing with fire, safety is important. McLellan suggests keeping candles out of reach of children and pets and having a fire extinguisher handy just in case.

Décor is also important and McLellan says she likes to be surrounded by pillows and throw cushions, but she warns you can have too much of a good thing.

“Less is more. Keep it consistent,” says McLellan. “Repetition in design is a good thing, but not a billion times. You want to make sure there is a cohesiveness to your space.”

Another of her favourites are faux fur rugs, which, aside from feeling warm and fuzzy under your feet, can also solve the problem of having to walk barefoot across a cold tile floor.

When preparing to decorate your house for the winter, McLellan suggests starting as early as possible. Even if you don’t plan on putting up your new decorations right away as stores may run out of stock quickly.

“So just make sure to plan ahead,” says McLellan. “Make sure you call the stores and check the stock so you’re not running around looking for things last minute.”

Although you might be inclined to spend as little time outside during the winter months as possible, Furman believes time spent outdoors is the only way to gain real appreciation for the indoor environment.

“You don’t mind actually putting up the armchair by the window,” says Furman. “Because you know one shoulder is going to be cold, but eventually you relish in the fact that you are in a warm and safe place.”

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