Well, that’s Christmas season done and dusted. The presents were opened, the feast was enjoyed and I’ve benefited from (finally!) putting my feet up for at least a few days.
However, here we are, right smack in the middle of January. It’s always a funny time of year - neither here nor there, really - and it feels like the cold snaps haven’t quite started flexing their icy muscles just yet.
It’s always a manic month in the Redden household, too. Not only have we barely come down from all the Christmas excitement, we’ve got no fewer than four family birthdays stacked around New Year’s Eve (including my own!). Once the 4th of January rolls around, there’s a bit of a comedown with not a whole lot to look forward to until the next family birthdays, seemingly impossibly far away in May. My approach to staving off the winter blues? Well, I’ve just gotten back from a trip away with some wonderful friends… the perfect way to top up the serotonin and make some fantastic memories filled with laughter.
No matter how you’re feeling after the madness of the festive period, now’s the perfect time to shake off those winter blues and apply our design skills to get us through the next two months. Indeed, there’s plenty of opportunity to seek out the best bits of the season and start looking forward to springtime.
Getting hygge with it
Winter decorating and interior design doesn’t have to revolve around Christmas, and by this point of the year we’ve all had our fill of holly, ivy and all the rest.
I always think when it comes to wintry design, our Nordic neighbours tend to do it best. I first came across the Danish concept of hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) a few years back, and I always find it an inspiration especially at this time of year when we’re huddled up inside away from the frosty air. It’s essentially a celebration of the cosy, the comfortable, the warming and the rustic, and bringing a bit of hygge into your house can be as simple as lighting a few scented candles in the evening, revelling in some chunky knitwear (or adding some knitted throws to snuggle into on the sofa) and indulging in earthy, wooden tones reminiscent of a Danish woodland.
Personally, I like to leave some of the (less ostentatious) festive decorations up - a few fairy lights in the living room and bedroom do the trick nicely, as do wooden garlands and other items made from natural materials. It’s a great way of stretching that holiday feeling a little further, and stopping the living spaces from suddenly feeling so ‘empty’ after all the fun of the season comes to an end.
How else can you bring a pleasant winter ambience into your home? Try using ambient lighting, or setting your lamps on timers so a warm glow awaits you when coming home - I love the welcoming feeling of stepping into a beautifully lit room. You could also explore using more candles, burning seasonal incense or wax melts, exploring rustic, earthy colours and textures like hessian, and bringing some warm metallic tones like brass or rose and yellow gold into your interior design efforts.
It’s also a great time to start hinting at spring in your colour choices and interiors. Look out for the first spring flowers at your local florist to bring home, or start introducing some vibrant shades of green and gold to get you excited about the months to come.
At its core, however, hygge is as much about people as it is about design. Creating a warm and cosy atmosphere can be achieved by inviting friends over for tea and cake (or, to use another Scandinavian word, indulging in a ‘fika’ of coffee and cinnamon buns!), catching up with those closest to you and making plans for time spent together. It’s sometimes the simplest and most rewarding way to uplift the soul, especially at a time of year that can often feel pretty bleak.
Dates to note:
As for my ongoing mission to spread the joy of design and artisanal crafts to the people of Bristol and beyond, it’s all go for 2024. Here are some key dates for your diaries - as ever, it’s always a joy to meet like-minded creatives and those as enthusiastic about design as I am, and I’m really looking forward to hosting more courses and workshops as the year progresses.
My popular Interior Design Course, which runs for five weeks, is back this Spring at The Bristol Folk House, Park Street, Bristol. There’s a January start date or a February start date for you to choose from. As ever, these courses are in high demand, so I’d strongly recommend booking in advance if you’d like to guarantee yourself a place.
Like the idea of taking an interior design course, but can’t commit to the full five weeks? You can come along to one of my Workshop Days, which is my Interior Design Course condensed! - Sun 25 February or Sat 16 March at The Bristol Folk House, Park Street, Bristol.
Large Lampshade - Friday 23rd February at Creative Space, North Street, Bristol.
Mothers Day Lampshade Workshop with Afternoon Tea at The Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Saturday 9th March.
I hope to see you at one of my workshops or immersive courses soon, but until then - stay warm, stay cosy, and let’s make this winter a wonderful one.