Showcase Alpine Style
Marion Lichtig makes the case for taking inspiration from Alpine chalets. In a client’s vacation home in the U.K., she already had the perfect framework in place: rustic wood-paneled walls. To complement these, Lichtig chose to “introduce subtle colors to reflect the icy snow and sky outside.” She also recommends that clients swap out fabrics and materials where possible from season to season. For summer, “use linen throws on the bed,” says Lichtig. And in fall and winter, “mohair-checked blankets or anything wooly.” Now, just add fondue.
It may seem like a tall order to make a 45-by-22-foot double-height space feel cozy, but Suzanne Tucker, cofounder of Tucker & Marks, created a sense of intimacy in a Northern California ranch home’s expansive living room. Tucker says that the space’s “scale and proportions are inspired by the soaring landscape outside. Less isn’t always more.”
To inject warmth, she recommends “focusing on a handful of items you feel very strongly about.” Here, she added folk art, kilims, knotted rugs and soft textiles to contrast with the space’s stone and wood surfaces.
Fill Out Large Spaces
High ceilings and ample square footage may be coveted residential features, but come wintertime, these assets can make for a chilly space. In the living room of a New York City apartment designed by Consort, the solution was to “balance the scale so the room doesn’t seem cavernous,” says Mat Sanders, a principal at the firm.
He opted for “tall, sumptuous curtains in rich colors that unite the span of the wall and add color and warmth.” For others tackling similar spaces, he recommends breaking up a large room into separate, cozy nooks by arranging furniture in small lounging, working or conversation areas.
Use Rugged Materials
Outdoor exposure in the wintertime? In California, you can do it. A Napa estate’s patio and deck acts as a “unique bridge between the indoor and outdoor worlds,” says S. Russell Groves. To create this all-seasons space, the designer outfitted it with rugged bespoke furniture that was also weatherproof.
He chose simple, neutral materials to make the area feel clean and modern. “There is beauty in the gap,” says Groves, adding that, “designing minimalist spaces often means literally minimizing. It’s about proportion and ensuring that furniture and fixtures are balanced with openness and even emptiness.”
Pile on the Pillows
When in doubt, add a pillow. It’s an easy but impactful move, and one that Consort’s Mat Sanders utilizes to great effect. In a Telluride home, he loaded a built-in bench seat with a variety of soft options. “Layer on luxe accents like plush velvet pillows and chunky knit blankets to add interesting texture and inviting comfort,” the designer says. “There’s really no such thing as too many pillows or throws.”
Consider the Color Palette
When the weather outside is frightful, it makes sense to adorn your interiors with delightful colors. At her country house in Millbrook, New York, Katie Ridder painted the walls of the main bathroom in a yellow hue that practically glows. The paint and the fire-red runner are offset by towels in cool blue tones. Tucker explains that an “easy trick to instantly ‘winterize’ a room is to add a dose of seasonal color along with fresh greenery and flowers.” A tub filled with hot water helps, too.