Saturday, March 9, 2019

Colors of Winter

We so often think of winter as being rather colorless. Everything is gray or white or brown. But driving a few days ago after a snow storm I realized how beautiful the colors of winter really are. The white of the snow has so many variations (read undertones) that are truly gorgeous. There are blues and grays depending on the light and the shadows. Just like the icicles on the cliffs by the side of the highway. Or hanging from the porch eaves. And the sky! Not only are there blues and smoky grays but the intense pinks of a winter sunset. And the yellows of the sunrise. And these are just for starters!



And I realized that not only is winter landscape filled with beautiful colors,
they are colors that are perfect . . . for summer! We bring in warm reds and golds in the winter to warm our homes. The opposite works in the summer. The blues and grays of winter keep us cool in the summer. And because the winter sky is cooler than the summer sky (read undertones), even those warmer colors are cooler in winter - and perfect for summer.

And to keep the rooms from feeling too cool, as well as to bring in the beautiful colors of spring and summer accent in true yellows of summer sun, oranges of spring poppies, the greens of grass and trees. Then relax in your comfortable, inviting, cool space!


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Keep It Simple. . . and Soft

If you're like me, once the holiday decorations go down, the house looks a little bare. I used to feel a bit sad about that, finding the space just a little too cold and empty. But in recent years I have figured out how simple it is to add a little warmth and softness to my rooms, while keeping it simple.

That certainly doesn't mean stark. To warm the open spaces I use a lot of texture. Soft pillows and throws warm both the room and me on cold winter nights. Soft rugs underfoot make a big difference. But take it even a step or two further and wrap glass vases in something soft. And what a great use for an old sweater! (They may beautiful pillows as well.)

Lighting is important to me as well. For the holidays I have lights everywhere. On the tree, the mantel, the roping down the stairs. Some of that has to stay during the winter months, just in slightly different places. I love the battery operated small strands of lights that fit perfectly in vases instead of candles. They go anywhere - tabletop or mantel. And something to reflect the lights is important. Mirrors of course, but also metallic accessories are beautiful.

And if the starkness of the landscape really does give you the winter blues, force bulbs inside. You can stay with clean white like narcisus. I love how this beautiful mantel works for the holidays as well as into the winter. If it still feels a little much, remove the ornaments. The lights, the flowers, and the softness of the fabrics will easily carry you into spring. If you prefer a little more color, daffodils are a nice substitute. Or go all out with a beautiful amaryllis.

Bottom line for me, the softness of simple lighting, the coziness of warm fabrics, and the beauty of simple, natural surroundings make a beautiful post-holiday home. Time for a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. Happy New Year!