As the days draw in and the nights are cooler, it’s time to turn your bedroom into a warm and nurturing boudoir.
Or, as designer Manuela Candido of Studio Manuela puts it, we need to generate some warmth and cosiness for winter.
She believes a winter boudoir should appeal to all the senses and has a six-point checklist on how to achieve that.
“Winter is dark and cold, so to counter that we need heat and light. “Fire is the primal source of heat and makes a difference, not just in terms of temperature, but is also warming psychologically.
“People can be intimidated by the idea of lighting a fire or installing a fireplace but there is no reason to be. “A fireplace in the bedroom is a wonderful luxury, allowing you to curl up in the privacy of your own space.”
If a real fireplace is not possible, Candido suggests installing a beautiful gas fireplace, which doesn’t need a flue, just a vent. “The flames are the thing that provides the atmosphere. So, failing fire, try candles because they also provide a sensory dimension.
“In addition to providing a flame, candles can be a lovely source of scent, although be careful about what you burn, as animals can be sensitive to very strong oils, as are pregnant women.
“The scent of roses is good for calming, and eucalyptus can help if you have a cold. “I love those expensive imported Christmassy ones that smell of cloves and spices.” As for lighting, Manuela suggests changing all the light bulbs from cool white to warm white to provide a glowing light. Fluorescent lighting is out in a boudoir.
Curtains and flooring are important if you want to retain the heat in a room. “Heavy, thick, interlined curtains are great, as they create a wonderful enclosed atmosphere and prevent draughts, so add a winter layer of velvet curtains.
“If you have a wooden or tiled floor, get a rug. They are sensuous and practical – if your feet are warm you don’t feel the cold.
“You can also buy under-carpet heaters, which work beautifully and are cost effective and energy efficient.”
“I’m a great believer in cosy throws. They add colour and are wonderful to wrap around your shoulders while you read or watch TV. “Choose fabrics which are as natural as possible, such as cashmere if you can afford it or pure wool.
“They add weight to your bedding, which is increasingly being suggested as an aid to sleep. Buy the best your pocket can afford, because you keep them for years.
4 Colour Therapy
“Warm, winter colours might be autumn shades of pinks, burgundy and other wine colours, navy or teal. Or, if your walls are dark, choose creams and fawns to lighten the room. Rich colour can also be added to the walls, suggests Candido.
“Wallpapers can add warmth, but if that’s too much, try painting one wall a striking colour. You can easily change it come summer.”
“It’s all about nurturing yourself and keeping warm. Electric blankets are brilliant and I’m also one for hot-water bottles. You can get real ones or those beanbag ones you put in the microwave.
“And there are lovely brushed cotton sheets, which means no icy cold shocks when you push your feet down in bed.”
6 Taste and sound sensation
Go for delicious warm winter drinks. Candido recommends hot cocoa, dark chocolate and herbal teas such as cardamom or chamomile. You can also get mixed herbal teas like rose, chamomile and lavender, or cardamom, ginger and orange.
“And then, of course, there is red wine, gluhwein and hot toddies.” To wrap it all up, add sound, says Candido. “The crackle of a fire, beautiful, soothing music, mantras. “In this way, you have created a retreat which will appeal to all your senses.”