Six ways to transform your home into the ultimate retreat
Your guide to creating a home you can’t wait to return to, whether it’s with a Merino wool mattress topper or amber and birch-scented candles. And just as heart-warming is that you collect Avios on every purchase made through British Airways
As the days get shorter and the nights draw in, our home becomes a place of warmth and comfo. Whether you’ve had a long day at work or you’re returning from a trip, it’s all about comfort and cocooning rituals, from running a restorative bath, a glass of wine in hand, to lighting a candle to fill the air with fragrance as visitors arrive.
When it comes to interiors, it’s the details that make the difference: a hot-water bottle slipped between brushed-cotton sheets, or a tealight-dotted table set for supper, with a crumble warming in the oven. What’s more, if you join British Airways Executive Club – the airline’s frequent flyer programme – you can collect one Avios for every pound spent when shopping through BA’s shopping portal, meaning decking out your home will get you that much closer to another blissful place, perhaps in a farflung destination with rippling waves and palm-fringed coastlines.
Dim the lights
With fewer daylight hours, it’s crucial to get lighting right. This is the season to take it down a notch, so come in from the cold to a candlelit supper, or keep a stash of tealights near the bath. Lights at different heights are always more inviting than unforgiving overhead bulbs: think a seagrass-shaded floor lamp, with a warm pool of light to read by, or the soft gleam of a blown-glass pendant.
The hero product: With its natural linen shade, the Holbrook Table Lamp casts a beautifully diffuse glow.
Curate your bed
For luxury-hotel levels of comfort, a mattress topper is an essential: soft, down-filled and akin to sleeping on a cloud. You’ll also need high thread-count linens – 200 and above – along with the right pillows. Run through your own personal pillow menu to find what works for you. Memory foam or goose down? Soft or firm? If you’re a side-sleeper, a boxed construction makes all the difference.
The hero product: The Reversible Luxury Mattress Topper has Merino wool on one side to see you through the longest of winters.
Add indulgent extras
Mix material and textures for the ultimate cocooning, with cashmere throws, silk-edged quilts and brushed-cotton duvets. Plentiful cushions and bolsters turn a bed into an all-day haven for reading or daydreaming, while what’s by the bed also matters: a pillow mist to spritz, perhaps, with lavender and clary sage, or a soft sheepskin rug underfoot for chilly winter mornings.
The hero product: The Faux Fur Long Hot Water Bottle: an essential on cold nights and the perfect Christmas gift.
Tapping into our senses, memories and emotions, scents can utterly transform a space. Come the winter, evoke warmth and comfort with spicy cinnamon, orange and clove, or gentle amber. For fragrance with real depth, layer different notes with diffusers, home sprays and candles – whose warm wax will keep emitting scent long after the candle’s extinguished.
The hero product: To evoke the warmth of a log fire, light a Fireside Large Candle, which combines notes of birch, woodsmoke and patchouli with spicy amber and vanilla.
Get in the zone
Think like an interior designer, using zones to create more intimate, snug spaces. Group an easy chair, side table, lamp and rug to make a reading nook, with a subtle change in textures and tones to signal the shift, such as a sheepskin rug, woven throw or stack of textured cushions. Consider a portable lamp such as the Harris, whose cordless design is a gamechanger for otherwise hard-to-light corners.
The hero product: The Cosy Sheepskin Chair is the ultimate armchair: elegant, inviting and upholstered in soft New Zealand curly sheepskin.
Expect an unexpected guest or two
At this time of year, it’s all about impromptu hospitality, whether that’s visitors dropping in for mince pies, or an eleventh-hour overnight guest. It’s the warmth of the welcome that matters, but it helps if the essentials are in place. Think a well-stocked drinks cabinet, fresh guest towels at the ready and a welcoming wreath on the door.
The hero product: A set of hand-blown Marne Cocktail Glasses for Champagne and pre-dinner cocktails (coupes are ideal for straight-up serves such as martinis and Manhattans).