New York City Pros: Cool stuff to look at, history, spring and fall, offers superior people watching experiences and no temptation to drink and drive. Yay for public transportation.
New York City Cons: Cold freaking winters trapped in a few hundred square feet with a dry heat radiating through the air causing dehydration, headaches, and if you are cool like me, frequent nose bleeds while escape means trudging through slushy grime miles a day to subways through blizzards and freezing temperatures. Also, there are no trees.
Usually I love winter. An excuse to stay in and drink from mugs, I can get behind that. Yet, this winter has crossed a line and given most of the country a big middle icy finger. I picture it as Mr. Stay Puft from Ghostbusters, just stomping on everyone’s good time. It is clearly mocking us, laughing as we slip around like yarn-covered marshmallows. Maybe it’s mad we ever questioned climate change in the first place? I don’t know but let’s warm up.
Whether you choose to incorporate natural materials to create that rustic look with weathered elements or use bold colors, let us explore some strategic ways to warm up your walls:
The Wood Approach:
Modern Living Room by Los Angeles Architects & Building Designers Studio William Hefner
As you may have gathered, I deeply miss a good, nice-looking tree. The smell, the bark, the insects, the fresh air it provides #swoon. Using wood is ideal for creating a rustic feel, particularly when styled with industrial accessories. Pair these features with dim, solid light fixtures to create that cozy, sizzling vibe like a kindred, at-home sauna or a cabin retreat.
Contemporary Hall by San Francisco Architects & Building Designers SB Architects
The rope, the knots, the netting: so much nature inspiration or Fifty Shades of Grey depending on your take.
Industrial Powder Room by Mirabel General Contractors Les Collections Dubreuil
These efforts do not have to be over the top expensive. Find reclaimed wood (sorry New Yorkers, not many barn doors nearby) or, like this owner, paint an ikea shelf red for an eye-catching accent (yay New Yorkers, we have an ikea).
Asian Kitchen by Manhattan Beach Design-Build Firms Beach House Design & Development
Asian-inspired, pretty cool amiright? I am really feeling the red accents with the wood.
Contemporary Dining Room by Eugene General Contractors Jordan Iverson Signature Homes
A focal wall can change the whole room. Notice how the weathered wood is pulled in through the table and chairs paired with red accents (including the locker chest in red from ikea).
The Brick Approach:
Transitional Kitchen by Houston Home Builders Thompson Custom Homes
Now brick will not actually make your walls warmer, but the effect adds an organic and sometimes quirky appeal. Brick can suit any style whether you are into a modern, contemporary, traditional or eclectic vibe. Finally, New Yorkers, something that may be applicable to you!
From the sleek, modern surfaces to the traditional cabinetry under the rustic, reclaimed wood beams, this kitchen pulls off artfully eclectic. Not to mention the contemporary touch of the glass light fixtures, yummy.
Industrial Bedroom by Boston Interior Designers & Decorators Twelve Chairs
Who says brick should be naked? Painting your brick white will preserve the texture but soften the feel. Painted brick will make your room appear sleek and less cluttered.
As the above bedroom proves, even cozy and romantic. Shout out to the white painted beams.
Eclectic Living Room by Herndon Photographers StruXture Photography
Make sure to care for that beautiful brick. Cover your brick with a slight gloss finish to preserve and protect from erosion over time. Consider applying a matte sealant over your brick if you don’t want to change the look. It will also keep away the bugs.
Eclectic Bedroom by Philadelphia Media & Bloggers Sara Bates
No matter what, make sure to bring out your brick’s character as well as your own to achieve the ultimate, full effect. Mine would be eclectic nerd.
The Stone Approach:
Traditional Family Room by Las Vegas Interior Designers & Decorators Interiors by Cary Vogel
Maybe it’s the homage to dungeons, but there is something warm about the coolness of stone.
Who in their right mind would not want to curl up on that chaise lounge and read a book or drink wine by that roaring fire! WHO?
Rustic Kids by Big Sky General Contractors Highline Partners, Ltd
Every kids sleepover dream: the bunk beds and that sink-in couch both at an acceptable viewing distance from a huge TV. There is even a bean bag chair, a BEAN BAG CHAIR! Let’s hope these parents have parental controls on that TV…
Traditional Spaces by Portland Architects & Building Designers Fraley and Company
I mean how cute is this. The stone and slate and wood combo around a wood-burning fireplace and it is red. I repeat the adorable fireplace is RED!
Traditional Family Room by Seattle Architects & Building Designers Bosworth Hoedemaker
So maybe it is not dungeon inspired but more castle inspired. The stone in this space allows the fireplace and bed to create the most snug nook ever.
Modern Living Room by San Francisco Architects & Building Designers Mark English Architects, AIA
Who says stone can’t be modern? AND who says modern can’t be cozy? The sleek fireplace, open windows and shag rug all collaborate to pull off this modern yet comforting look.
The Warm Colors Approach:
Rustic Hall by Scottsdale Architects & Building Designers Don Ziebell
Dear fellow nerds: different wavelengths of light are perceived as colors in our brains. Blue wavelengths come from lower temperatures than red wavelengths. Therefore, warm colors such as red and orange tend to advance, making a space feel more intimate versus cool colors such as blue and green which recede making a space feel open. IT’S SCIENCE!
The closer to red, the warmer the color. This is actually warming your space! No wonder I’ve been feeling the red accents.
Traditional Living Room by Beverly Hills Interior Designers & Decorators Tracy Murdock Allied ASID
This lustrously red living room feels comfy among the traditional accents and metallics. Yes Metallics!
Eclectic Living Room by Atlanta Interior Designers & Decorators Dillard Pierce Design Associates
This is clearly a large space, right New Yorkers? Yet the red walls invoke a comfortable vibe. I have to admire the personal touches in this room, props to the personality.
Contemporary Living Room by Washington Architects & Building Designers FORMA Design
Orange can achieve the same warm effect with a space. This room strikes a steady balance between light and airy mingling with intimate. I am all about nature-inspired but I can’t pretend that I don’t see those strange rock formations… do you sit on them? Why/what/who are they? Ah, to each their own. Moving on…
Modern Family Room by San Francisco Architects & Building Designers House + House Architects
Pick a focal element to cozy up. Especially you, New Yorkers! We don’t have enough square feet to paint a whole room with colors that make it feel smaller…
Stay warm out there you brave, little souls,