Tips to tackle the chill outside by doing up your home to exude cosiness and comfort.

With the temperature dropping, warm up your home with some rich earthy colours, soft fluffy fabrics, silk draperies, aromatic candles and colourful carnations in perky vases. Just as summer décor is all about coolness and light; winter spells cosiness and comfort. Here's how you can ensure that your home décor is always warmly welcoming.

Shift your furniture around and change the seating arrangements. Prop up existing décor scheme with couches, chaise lounges and futons in rich fabrics. Try recycling old silk saris and Banarasi borders to create interesting effects.

Use lamps with interesting shades to illuminate each corner and grouping. Go for warm-toned lights, rather than halogens and fluorescents. The best option would be a cluster of candles. Group them by colour, size and shape. Or take a bowl of water, scatter a few colourful petals on it and place floating candles. Place it in a corner or on the centre piece.

Playing with colours is very easy in the winter season. Make an intelligent selection for different corners and rooms. Very bold and loud colour schemes may overshadow other design elements. If it overpowers other design elements, you need to tone it down. If you're taken by the rich hues of maroon and Indian pinks, complement it with earthy plains here and there. Opt for cushions and pillows in dark patterned prints. Or experiment with a variety of fabrics; from silk, suede, satin, velvet there is plenty of choice.

Carpets and rugs are a great way of warming up your room. They are not only aesthetically appealing but they are good insulators as well. To anchor an arrangement of furniture or define an area, a rug or a kilim is the ideal solution. With so many styles, colours and textures available, you're sure to find the right one.

Now add special details to make the space sparkle. Choose your favourite fresh flowers of the season and spend some time arranging them in different containers. Change the arrangement and vases daily.

Another option is to change the lighting. If you have art pieces, go for Art Lighting. Track lighting helps you focus light on a specific space. A fun-themed lamp will give colour and texture as well as light to a specific area.

Combining different types of lights will make the space more interesting. Small light candles and lamps - with red or orange shades - will not only enhance your design but also add to the warm look.

On the popular trend of Old Meets New, Ami Bhat, Brand Manager of Atmosphere, Delhi, says, “Modern pieces and architectural settings, which are usually linear and uncluttered, can be teamed with traditional motifs. One can work the magic the other way round too. Consider a lovely chintz armchair or traditional sofa upholstered with warm neutral-coloured fabric or minimalist motifs. Add cushions made with traditional motifs. Experiment with fusion fabrics like the lovely Nisar, Laos or Pashmina. Yet another way is by coordinating ethnic fabrics with neutral ones.”

So use these tips to give your home a warm and inviting feel.

Winter tips

Shivalika Midha, Assistant Studio Director, KGD India, Bangalore:

Browns and reds are passé. Liven up your room with an accent wall. Try rich new colours like peacock green, eggplant, or pigeon grey. Add contrasting colours to the furnishings to spice up the space.

Use fabrics like velvet and silks for curtains. Try a beautiful ornate red silk runner on the dining table.

Colourful light shades with warm yellow lights will help you get over the gloomy winter skies outside.

Mirrors and large earthen pots add new character to the space

Add the scent of cinnamon, vanilla or other “warm” aromas to lift your spirits

Expert Speak: Interior Designer Manjeet Buller

For me, the open fire place - what we call, Singrees - is an integral part of winter décor. Additionally, carpets, rugs and kilims in old heritage look are essential. I like to have hand-woven or pashmina throws to curl up on sofas and couches. Then Khaja or a platter of dry fruits, should be placed on the coffee table. Finally, lamps glowing in real mustard oil and candles complete the picture. Nothing to beat the beauty of the open yellow flame.

Colour palette: Favourites are bright reds for the living room; placid blues with soothing platinum or silver; and terracotta or ivory white for other areas.

You don't have to be very rich to create aesthetically beautiful surroundings. But you have to be intellectually sensible to understand what is beautiful. Understand cultural nuances, explore, adopt and create a statement.

Sharmila Chand is a Delhi-based lifestyle and travel writer.