Warming Up a Cold Room

A Welcoming Home is Pleasant to Touch

Have you ever taken a moment to think about the importance of the materials that we use to furnish our home? The softness of the couch, the steel in the sink or the wooden floors, all of these textiles add strength or softness and even warmth into our homes.

Wooden floors and wooden interiors warm any place.

Wooden interiors warm any living space.

Most of the time when we talk about home design we focus on how our home looks, how to furnish or design a room so that it looks bigger, smaller or more colorful. Time is rarely devoted to the discussion of how our house will feel, however a well designed house is one that is not only good to look at, it is also good to touch.

A Warm Room that is Cold

We often get caught up in trying to design our home in the latest colors or the ‘in’ furniture and we can get so consumed with the look of the room that when it all comes together it may only superficially do the job that it was supposed to do.

A good example of this is trying to decorate a room so that it is full of warm hues. It may be that the resulting room has beautiful shades of browns, yellows and pinks and gives off a warm look, but when we come to actually spend any time in the room we may discover that the furniture is cold to the touch and uncomfortable to sit in for any extended period of time.

That’s why it’s vital to pay attention to the materials you use.

Medium Shag In Over Dyed Tuscan Red Wool With Burnt Gold Low Cut Details.

Red Rugs and Warm Interiors: the two go together like peas in a pod.

It is no coincidence that wood is known as being a warm material, yet glass or metal known to be cold. Wood has a warmer temperature than glass. If you want your room to allude to warmth, it is not enough to focus on colors and furniture placement alone.

You must pay attention to the textiles you employ. Additionally, adding plush curtains and rugs will help keep the room warm and add a gentle and pleasant tactile presence.

A Lived in Home

Homelegance's Marianna Double Reclining Sectional Sofa in Chenille

Sectionals can fill up and wrap a room.

A home that is to be lived in is a home that we can touch. Now believe me, I have certainly grappled with this dilemma being the mother of young kids, should I cover the beautiful wooden table with a table guard? Should I place a protective cover over the beautiful couch in the living room?

Now, you may not agree with me on this one, however I want to touch the beautiful oak of my table when I sit down to eat, and I want to feel the soft upholstery of the couch when I curl up with a novel.

Monarch Specialties 4852 60 Inch Dining Table in Dark Oak

Dark oak wood dining tables fit in with the warm room theme perfectly.

So yes, my table may have some scratches on it and the couch has some loose threads (and a slight stain from when my son opened up his head on the coffee table) but I like to think of this as contributing to the warmth of my home, this is our home and the we have left our loving marks on our furniture.

Why Do We Clean in the Spring? History, Holidays and Helpful Tips

“Spring-cleaning” is one of those cliche terms that homeowners, renters and kids with chores have to agonize over. It’s not exactly clear to us though why spring gets this extra cleaning treatment compared to summer, fall and winter. Perhaps summer is the one season of the year we’d like to be as far away from the inside of our houses as possible. Fall, school is back in session and we want to avoid any more hectic responsibilities in our suddenly changing schedules. Winter, well who wants to slip out from under the covers?

There are a bunch of urban myth-level ideas for its origins, but also a number of other more grounded traditions from cultures throughout the world.

Lent

Eastern Orthodox Churches take a slightly different approach to preparing for Eastern than their Western Catholic counterparts.  ”Clean Monday,” sort of equivalent to the Catholic Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of the Easter season with a ‘cleaning’ of one’s soul via confession, and the developed custom of cleaning up one’s life by cleaning out the house and starting anew.  The first week of Lent has since become known as “Clean Week,” probably because the entire week is dominated by the cleaning.

Traditional lagana (λαγάνα) bread (image CC-BY-SA 3.0 Andrzej 22 via Wikimedia Commons)

 

Other traditional foods adorn the holiday, like traditional Greek Lagana bread as pictured above.  Oh, and speaking of bread . . .

Passover

One idea matches it with the Jewish custom of cleaning out the house (extensively) for the upcoming Passover holiday, when Jews are forbidden not only to eat bread but also to own it.  What results is a sometimes manic search for bread crumbs, brownies in the back of the fridge and anything else the family might have forgotten about or a crawling baby hid in someone’s drawers.  While excitement builds to host family and friends for the traditional Passover Seder, it is precipitated by a clearance of cleaning supplies from supermarkets, often leaving families with enough extra sponges to last months.

Traditional Passover Seder table setting

A Traditional Passover Seder table setting for the holiday

Nowruz

Some suggest the Iranian holidays of Nowruz fixes in.  Families of Persian, Kurdish and other south Asian ancestries welcome the traditional springtime new year with a major cleaning to welcome guests into the home for the holiday, plus buying new clothes and sending each other flowers.

File:Traditional costume for Nowruz.JPG

Traditional Nowruz celebrations in Kazakhstan (image CC_BY-SA 3.0 Stomac via Wikimedia Commons)

Dust, Dust, Dust

Being cooped up all winter, it’s easier to make a mess of things. Whether or not your dry skin contributes to the dust might not matter. March and April are the first time you can leave the house and soak up another atmosphere. Coming home, it’s much easier to notice any disorganization in your house. At that point, especially worried that upcoming religious holiday vacations in April or the fast-approaching Summer might strip people of their opportunity to clean the house before spending time away.

Whatever the reason for it, there are plenty of reasons to do it.  It seems the common theme here is opening up the house for the holidays and vacations the warm weather brings with it this time of year.  So if spring cleaning’s got you down, just think about what comes afterward, the sweet reward of a relaxing and vacationing job well done.