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By: Jamie Simpson
Creating warmth in your home's decor is as simple as making the right choices in colour and materials. Your home can look and feel cosy and welcoming without a major investment. From richly hued walls to electric heaters, every room can look and feel invitingly warm all year round.

If you plan on diving into a complete home makeover, it's a great time to warm up your home's decor from top to bottom. Re-doing your walls and floors in warm colours and materials makes the rest of your job easier. Consider vibrant oak or rustic pine flooring, or opt for the richer look of cherry or mesquite.

Painting your walls in golden or reddish hues imbues any room with warmth and cosiness. Pantone's 2012 colour of the year, Tangerine Tango, combines the best of both worlds. The colour is a blend of passionate red and warm yellow, culminating in a vibrant look that's both chic and accessible.

Choosing the proper finish is almost as essential as picking the right colour. The finish determines how much light your walls reflect. Go with an eggshell finish for just a hint of gloss, or boost the shine quotient just a bit with the subtle sheen of a satin finish. These finishes reflect just the right amount of warmth-inducing light.

Soft lighting creates a lovely, flattering ambiance. Low-watt bulbs in strategically placed lamps or dimmer switches help achieve the right effect. Wall sconces distribute light around a room without appearing harsh or too bright. Some electric heaters offer an attractive glow, in addition to removing the chill from a room.

Fluffy throws and pillows not only provide a quick way to warm up; they also add visual warmth and cosiness. Pillows and throws create a lived-in, homey look, especially when casually placed on comfortable, welcoming furniture. Sectional couches in particular inspire relaxation and a sense of warmth.

Try mixing fabrics of varying textures to add visual interest and personality. From curtains to accessories, texture adds warmth to any area of your home. Combining chunky, tweedy textiles and sheer, ethereal window treatments in the same room creates a charming, warm effect.

Vintage pieces are equally effective at injecting style and warmth into any decor. Whether you choose Victorian tchotchkes or sleek mid-Century furniture and accessories are more to your liking, even a few small vintage items create a lived-in charm that's harder to achieve with contemporary home decor items.

Antique books are especially appealing. Place them amongst your favourite reads on an attractive bookcase to express your personality and invite conversation. Well-stocked bookshelves, a pot of tea and strategically placed electric heaters just may inspire the whole family to curl with tempting tomes and stay in for the night.


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