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Christine Yorath Interior Designer, Property Guru and Leeds City Magazine Columnist

Well the Indian summer we had hoped didn’t join us this year!

As I write this column, the sky is nearly black at 10am and rain is hitting the ground and bouncing at a metre high. If we needed a reminder of how cosy it can be to be indoors, when you’re warm and comfortable when the weather is like this, it is on days like today. ‘Batten down the hatches’ comes to mind!
Now is the time to start thinking about cosying up your home and whether you live in a 400 ft.² studio apartment or a rambling big old house the principles are the same.
The first task should be to make sure that your home is weatherproof so if you have leaking patches or ill fitting windows and doors it’s time to get them repaired.
When you walk into your home does it feel cosy and welcoming? Or do you struggle to open the front door due to piled up coats shoes and post? Once you have decluttered and cleaned the space, have a look at your lighting and if it is cold and bright, it might simply be a case of changing the lightbulb or maybe the fitting.
There are some absolutely fabulous wallcoverings available which can help to soften a stark décor and think about whats on the floor, is it inviting?
And now what about your main living room? If you’re in an apartment you probably have the kitchen and living room altogether and many of these apartments have wood flooring throughout the area and in older apartments, built around the turn-of-the-century, this may well be a blonde or golden colour which is now looking quite shabby.
We have refurbished a few city centre apartments where we have carpeted over the old,  often well worn, laminate flooring and today’s high quality man made carpet not only gives an immediate feeling of warmth whilst being low maintenance but also help the acoustics within the apartments but if your preference is for wood flooring, a textured rug will improve the sensory feeling of comfort and don’t be afraid to go with a very large rug. All too often I have seen rugs of such a small size so they sit underneath the coffee table serving absolutely no purpose because they don’t reach the settee and people sit with their feet on the wood or tiled floor and the rug becomes pointless.
Soft throws and warm coloured cushions, real or artificial candles, mood lighting, cosy illumination from lamps and not bright, cold LED lights in the living room and bedroom are all easy and quick solutions to turn around an uninviting space. Padded headboards are so much more comfortable than wood or metal ones too!
And don’t overlook the bathroom, change the light switch to a dimmer and immediately. bath time is much more relaxing.
The time to get ready for a cosy winter is now!
For more advice go to www.christineyorath.com or get in touch by emailing christine@yorathgroup.com or ringing 07836 737300.

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