Living Comfort

Roaring fires and toasted marshmallows, crisp, bright mornings and that favourite fluffy scarf – what’s not to love about winter? Interior designer and founding owner of Mezzanine, Lee-Ann Bell offers her stylish take on the most atmospheric of seasons. It’s time to bring warmth back into your home.

1. Layer upon layer

Comfort is key in winter. The time for hibernating calls for generous textural layering to add warmth and tactile appeal to interiors that serve as cocoons from the cold. Easily interchangeable with the seasons, throws and scatters in chunky knits, plush velvets and even heavy-duty felts are the most effortless (and affordable) way to instantly ‘winterise’ interiors. Change bedding from cool, light and airy to warm, wooly and quilted – and replace lightweight voile curtains with thicker lined window treatments.

2. Colour rebooted

Avoid the winter blues by infusing spaces with pops of intense colour. Rust, burgundy and rich tanned leather will brighten up the dreariest of days, while burnt orange and muddy pinks are a moody, modern take on cooler confines. Change up accessories by replacing pastel pillows and cushions with scatters in richer, darker hues, ensuring neutral spaces don’t look stark and cold. Deeply hued elements can also last well into spring and even summer, providing more bang for your decorating buck.

3. Glimmer of hope

Make the most of the limited light of winter days with the addition of mirrors and reflective materials. Bronze and brushed steel are modern metallics that impart a more filtered effect than the polished brasses and gilded surfaces of seasons gone. Ambient light from strategically positioned lamps focuses attention on curated table vignettes, the reflected glow capturing silhouettes that emerge beyond their pools of interest. And bronzed mirrors with rounded edges introduce depth while simultaneously softening a scheme’s ambience.

4. Rugged good looks

With the focus moving inward, rearrange the furniture in your living spaces in a way that creates cozy gathering spots for cold-weather gathering. Pull pieces toward the centre of the room and add a rug to help define the zone and create a sense of intimacy. In living rooms, rugs define the conversation areas and should be large enough so that at least the front legs of the furniture are on them. In the bedroom, you want to feel the rug’s warmth and texture underfoot the moment you get out of bed.

5. Daylight saving

With the shorter days, it’s time to maximise what natural light is still available. Hang mirrors on walls opposite large windows to multiply those precious rays and use sheers for privacy, but keep the heavy curtains open until nightfall. Because floors absorb a lot of a room’s light, pay special attention to underfoot coverings. And create your own natural light with lanterns and candles, whose flickering light will play evocatively with the evening shadows, which are now long and deliciously deep.

Consult Lee-Anne for her signature contemporary yet timeless interiors. Visit Mezzanine at 45 7th Avenue, Parktown North, and