Winter Retreat: Restorative atmospheres to counter the cold

As the winter months draw near, the days get shorter and the temperature starts to drop. Feeling the cold is something we experience physically as well as emotionally; cool-white light, bare trees and long dark nights can leave us feeling pretty blue. The good news is that a cosy home will counter the cold outside, significantly improving our sense of wellbeing.

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For most people, the home becomes a sanctuary during the long winter months. The natural cycle urges us to slow down, prioritising rest and restorative activities. Plush cushions, upholstered furniture and layers of blankets and soft rugs help create a feeling of calm, particularly when infused with rich, autumnal tones.

 

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Embracing the language of textiles, Knit is the ideal companion for cocooning by the fireplace. Designed by Meike Harde, the collection conveys a sense of warmth through its tangibility, complementing natural materials such as wood, as well as large sofa arrangements, soft carpets and heavy curtains. Light seeps outwards through the fabric stretched out over its sensuous curve, bathing the surrounding space in an intimate glow.

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Natural light is scarce during winter, so indoor lighting is critical to creating a feeling of warmth and comfort indoors. The Flat floor lamp by Ichiro Iwasaki casts a warm, enveloping radiance, yellow light bouncing off its curved surface like the glow of a lantern. Delicate yet strikingly graphic, its horizontal plane doubles up as a coffee table for books or magazines, ideal for avoiding unwanted spillages by the fireside.

 

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The fixture comes in small and large sizes with either a single or double plate, available in a range of neutral or mellow earth-tones. When arranged in pairs the smaller disc captures reflected light within the larger plate creating a wider pool of diffuse illumination.

Small and compact with crisp lines and smooth curves, Flat is also available as a table lamp. Indirect light is projected downwards from an invisible source, creating a soft luminescence upon the surface on which it rests and lending the space a romantic sensibility.

 

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Often defined as the heart of the home, the kitchen becomes especially important during the festive season. A clean space with touches of warmth and texture, perhaps introducing some seasonal decorative elements, makes cooking and preparing food all the more enjoyable.

Africa generates a micro space within a space; an intimate atmosphere in which to focus your attention. The work of Francisco Gomez Paz, it is defined by a slender conical stem and high flow lighting. The fixture is portable and can be regulated to provide gentle, direct illumination wherever it is needed.

 

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A beautiful dining room reminds us of the joy of sharing food with friends and family. Designed by Lievore Altherr MolinaSkan hangs delicately from a slender cable, projecting a broad and comfortable downlight. Available in six rich earth-tones, its understated silhouette infuses the atmosphere with warmth and cheer.

 

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Finding balance and equilibrium at this time of year becomes especially important, even if that means staying under the covers a little longer. Mayfair Mini’s sleek profile is classic and unobtrusive, casting a contained pool of diffuse downlight that’s ideal for a bedside light.

 

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Colour is a source of emotion, particularly important during the winter months. Mayfair Mini comes in three rich and vibrant tones that infuse a space with warmth and vitality, or a neutral white for a subdued and soothing ambience.

For an eclectic bedroom style, Slim by Jordi Vilardell provides a dynamic and contemporary alternative, combining well with classic furniture and exposed stone walling. Suspended from the ceiling by a slender cable, its distinctly linear form is compelling, enhancing the bedside table with a delicate accent downlight.

 

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Warm, ambient light is essential for creating a comfortable environment, especially in winter. Like the natural light that ascends gradually at dawn or dusk, our approach to lighting should be circadian, experimenting with different typologies and subtle gradations of intensity, temperature and tone to create the perfect atmosphere at any time of day.

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