My Top 10 Interior Design Tips #8



Now I’ll be honest here, this is one of those tips that I preach but don’t necessarily practice. I’m always intending to do it and I know people who and I’m full of admiration but, here in the Mad House, we haven’t quite pulled this one off yet.

It’s another of those brilliant Scandinavian habits that we’re quite keen on the UK, and elsewhere come to that. So where you would have lots of warm cosy textiles in winter; think knitted cushions, faux fur throws, velvet and cashmere all layered onto your sofa for maximum cosiness, in summer you simply change them for lots of cotton and linen and lighter materials.

The Finns change their curtains seasonally too from heavy winter drapes to lighter muslin ones in summer. The Danes don’t go in for curtains so that one doesn’t apply for them. We have plain white blinds in every room so there’s nothing for me to change there. You can also change rugs over too. After all, storing a rug rolled up under a bed doesn’t take up much room and the same for cushion covers.

Christmas is the perfect time for this. You can buy really cheap and seasonal cushion covers that are perfect for a few weeks during the festivities and you can put them away again afterwards when you’re over it. It’s the same with Christmas lights. I have a Swedish friend who puts up masses of rope lights and star lights on 1 December which I have always thought was a bit too early for my taste. But, she explained to me that at this time of year when it’s cold, dark and miserable, a few pretty lights dotted around instantly lifts the mood. And she’s right. And it’s safer than candles which the Danes light all the time.

You don’t have to limit yourself to Christmas – although that it probably when you can have the most fun. Think about doing it the rest of the year too. It will make you feel like you’ve redecorated.

Hmm, perhaps I really will get round to it this year. After all, once the days start to get longer again who doesn’t yearn for a little seasonal refresh to let the light in?

Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. Hi, Kate! Great, timely post.

    I live in Southern California, where we have one season most of the year. I alert my senses that the season has “changed” by seasonalising my house. I do it by changing furniture around a room, rotating chairs and tables (shopping my own house), deep cleaning and editing in the process. Like you, I pay attention to rugs (no rugs), cushion covers.
    And eaccessories. Like museums and galleries, I also rotate art work (similar sizes as to avoid repositioning nails and hooks). It’s a work out that brings me great joy.

  2. You are right, I come from Spain and I remember my Mum to store the rug under her bed all wrapped up with newspaper after a good clean on the roof terrace of the building,all an effort!!
    But I think in England most of the time summer is too short for such of a hassle!!

  3. Great advice. I think this might be one of my interior resolutions for 2016. Seasonalise my home – I also have shutters so it just the odd cushion, throws and the odd rug.

  4. Good advice!
    I try to do this ……but sometimes the summers don’t deserve a change from ‘cosy’!

Comments are closed.