Expert Tips: Easy Ideas to Add Seasonal Warmth

How do you add warmth to a room? We asked designers nationwide for their secrets.


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pillows on living room sofa
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Pick the Right Pillows

    A room isn't done without pillows. Choose pillows in warm colors made of a soft down mix so they're comfortable to lean into.

    --Designer Carla Lane, Los Angeles

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Add a Layer of Texture

    Anything with texture adds dimension. Nubby fabrics and textured wool area rugs make a room cozy.

    --Designer Patricia Gaylor, Little Falls, New Jersey

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Sprinkle on Spicy Colors

    Reds, burgundies, or golds instantly transform a plain room. You don't have to paint the walls; you can add these tones in the drapes, furniture, pillows, rugs, or art.

    --Designer Patricia Gaylor, Little Falls, New Jersey

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Create a Hide-a-Way

    I always tell clients that you can't control the outside world but you can create a world on the inside of your home that is good to you. In the fall, when you'll be spending more time indoors, it's important to carve out a corner for yourself. Maybe it's a tabletop in the corner of your living room or in your bedroom. Fill a bulletin board with images of things you love: photos and mementos from trips, ticket stubs from a great show, cherished letters. Small collections of shells, rocks, and candles are simple things that are good for your soul.

    --Designer Stephen Saint-Onge, New York City

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Go the Extra Mile

    Place a luxurious throw over a chair or a couch. I always include a high-quality throw in all my clients' family rooms.

    --Designer Carla Lane, Los Angeles

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Light Up

    Candles bring mood and character to a space. To avoid the risk of fire, try battery-operated flameless candles (look for versions made with real wax); they emit a nice warm glow.

    --Designer Patricia Gaylor, Little Falls, New Jersey

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Think Accessories

    It's all in the accessories. If a room is empty, it's going to feel cold and unwelcoming. Style every table with personalized vignettes: Choose a few special items, keeping in mind that contrasts in shape and texture work best. I always look for funky, slightly off-the-wall pieces at antiques stores and flea markets. These have the most personality and are conversation-starters when put on display.

    --Designer Erinn Valencich, Los Angeles

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Cover Those Windows

    Drapes warm up a space. If you currently have wood blinds or mini-blinds, consider changing those for a fabric Roman shade, or even better, add floor-to-ceiling drapes. The fabric softens the room and adds glamour.

    --Designer Erinn Valencich, Los Angeles

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Pile on the Rugs

    An area rug is an instant color and pattern makeover and grounds a room. I throw them right on top of carpets or summer's sea-grass rugs.

    --Designer Carla Lane, Los Angeles

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Make it Your Own

    Warmth can also come from personalization. Displaying a collection or hanging family photos in unusual frames -- anything that gives a room your personal touch -- is meaningful.

    --Designer Patricia Gaylor, Little Falls, New Jersey

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