Let win­ter in­spire your rooms

The Progress-Index - At Home - - NEWS - MELISSA RAY­WORTH

It’s cold out there. In much of the coun­try, now’s the time when home serves as a cozy refuge from the ice and snow. We light our fire­places and wish for spring­time.

But what if we took the op­po­site ap­proach, us­ing the in­spi­ra­tion of frosty win­ter col­ors and shim­mer­ing, icy tex­tures to cre­ate rooms that look gor­geous year­round? A win­ter-in­spired room can cel­e­brate the beauty of this sea­son, and also pro­vide a cool­ing refuge per­fect for the spring and sum­mer ahead.

“My clients usu­ally think I’ve lost my mind when I sug­gest us­ing win­ter as a source of in­spi­ra­tion for a cozy bed­room,” says de­signer Brian Pa­trick Flynn, founder of decorde­mon.com. But, he says, “when done right, a com­bi­na­tion of lay­ered whites, blue-grays and touches of me­tal­lic can add a win­try look that’s chic, invit­ing, sur­pris­ingly warm and to­tally time­less.”

Here, Flynn and two other in­te­rior de­sign­ers — Betsy Burn­ham of Los An­ge­les’ Burn­ham De­sign and Kyle Schune­man of Live Well De­signs — of­fer ad­vice on us­ing win­ter as a dec­o­rat­ing in­spi­ra­tion.

“Since trees lose their leaves in the win­ter, the amount of light that streams in through the win­dow can be dou­ble the amount in the spring or sum­mer,” Flynn says. “By the time that gor­geous light hits the re­flec­tive sur­faces and me­tallics, the room in­stantly warms up.”

Burn­ham also likes mir­rored items. A mir­rored ta­ble “adds a di­men­sion to a room that wood just doesn’t,” she says. But she cau­tions against tak­ing the look too far. If you’re buy­ing mir­rored end ta­bles, she says, put a ce­ramic lamp on top rather than a mir­rored or glass lamp. Or mix mir­rors and chrome with warm shades of ivory, rather than stark whites.

USE A RANGE OF COL­ORS

“The big­gest trick to do­ing a win­try pal- ette right is to layer, layer, layer,” Flynn says. “I like to stick with an over­all white pal­ette, but bring in ul­tra-white, off-white, cream, blue-white and then add touches of bluegray. This makes a space sooth­ing and so­phis­ti­cated, while adding depth.”

Burn­ham’s fa­vorite win­try wall color right now is a shade called “Sil­ver Spoon” by Dunn-Ed­wards. “It’s a really, really pale gray-blue, and I can­not tell you how many rooms I’ve used it in,” she says. It con­trasts well with white for a mod­ern look or with warm shades of brown for a more “or­ganic and earthy” feel.

Schune­man loves mix­ing win­try whites, sil­vers and grays ac­cented with shades of pur­ple. Or he some­times pairs “a gray that has blue as its base, and a blue that has gray in its base” and brings in “hard edges, like

crys­tal lamps” for a chic, “win­try feel­ing.”

WORK IT ANY­WHERE

Win­ter-in­spired de­sign can work in any cli­mate, from a Ver­mont ski house to a Cal­i­for­nia beach condo.

“I did a bed­room in the Hol­ly­wood Hills with icy blue walls, and the head­board wall was all metal ceil­ing tiles,” Schune­man says. For the bed­side ta­bles, he chose pale blue glass lamps that re­sem­ble melt­ing chunks of ice.

“You can really go for it” and do a full-on win­ter-in­spired style, Schune­man says, or use just touches of it as “the thing that gives a room an edge.”

In south­ern Cal­i­for­nia or other warm

lo­ca­tions, Burn­ham says, it may work best to mix win­ter-in­spired items with some­thing more rem­i­nis­cent of the lo­cal weather.

“Think of a beau­ti­ful drift­wood ta­ble with some­thing sparkly on it. That brings it back to the sand and the beach, and keeps it re­lat­able” to your warm-weather lo­ca­tion, but also in­cludes a bit of icy beauty, she says.

BAL­ANCE ICY WITH COZY

Along with shim­mery, mir­rored sur­faces, be sure to in­clude soft, cozy ones: Look for “beau­ti­ful ca­ble-knit cash­mere throws,” Burn­ham says, or “a big faux-fur coy­ote blan­ket on a bed. It’s win­try, but it’s also so luxe, so high-end hunt­ing lodge, and that works at the beach, too.”

Lay­ers of soft fab­ric on fur­ni­ture and floors bring a wel­come feel­ing of warmth. If you choose a “fluffy, white flokati rug for the floor, you’re still hav­ing a kind of win­try moment,” Schune­man says, “but it’s just not hard-edged.”

WHAT NOT TO DO

Just don’t get silly, Flynn says. “First and fore­most, I let my client know that just be­cause we’re go­ing win­try, it doesn’t mean we’re go­ing to pop out igloos, snowflakes and po­lar bears. In other words, we com­pletely avoid themes and cliches al­to­gether.”

In­stead, he says, “we just think of dif­fer­ent ways to use whites, grays, me­tallics and tex­tures in a man­ner which fits their per­sonal style and makes a room feel airy and open. That’s usu­ally my trick to get­ting win­ter-in­spired de­sign right.”

• Melissa Ray­worth writes the Ask a De­signer col­umn monthly for The As­so­ci­ated Press. Fol­low her on Twit­ter at https:// twit­ter.com/mray­worth

AP PHOTO/BURN­HAM DE­SIGN, GREY CRAW­FORD

This pub­lic­ity photo pro­vided by Burn­ham De­sign shows a liv­ing room de­signed by Betsy Burn­ham that con­trasts icy blue walls and white ac­cents with shades of char­coal gray and black to cre­ate win­ter-in­spired style that looks good dur­ing any sea­son.

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