Shannon Fricke, author of How to Decorate. Picture: Prue Ruscoe

A hot cup of cocoa and a roaring fireplace go a long way to warming us up during winter, but some of us need more than momentary relief from the cold outside.

That's why creating a nest that is cosy from morning's first chill to evening's witching hour is so important.

Helping us do that is interior designer Shannon Fricke, author of How to Decorate, who shares her tips to styling your home for winter:

THE RIGHT RUG: The thought of winter can often conjure up romantic images of curling up beside the fireplace or gas heater with a good book on a snuggly rug.

But for this vision to be picture-perfect, we need to pick the right rug.

The lounge room is a natural place to put a plush, comfortable rug, says Fricke, because people enjoy sprawling across the floor.

The bedroom is another great spot for a plush rug, because popular wooden and concrete floors can be cold when we step out of bed in the morning.

The bedroom, however, might not suit a rug with a strong pattern because it's likely to be primarily covered by the bed, says Fricke.

"I would avoid putting plush rugs under dining tables, because they're just going to get dirty."

For those who insist on having a rug there, Fricke advises going for a durable fabric that can be easily vacuumed.

She says rugs work in every space and even kitchens can suit a sisal, which is a woven rug.

As for colour, it's best to leave the light shades alone unless you don't mind frequent cleaning.

THROW RUGS: Throw rugs should be just another piece of furnishing you infuse into any space as you would a cushion, says Fricke.

They are decorative pieces.

"So whilst they can also be functional - like you can snuggle under them - there's so many beautiful throw rugs out there that they can actually become an element in the room," she says.

"In winter you want to be cosy so going for a fabric that is too scratchy isn't the direction you want to go in." Fricke suggests wool or chenille.

Even an antique quilt can be beautiful to lie under but also an active part of the decoration in your space.

Throw rugs can be displayed down the arms of lounges, draped over the back of chairs or rolled up and stored in baskets.

"The main thing with winter is to infuse texture," says Fricke.

"The textures change and you want to be warm and you want to be cosy so it's all about infusing cosy textures into the room."

CLEVER CURTAINS: Curtains not only look good and offer privacy but they also keep the warmth inside during cold weather.

A flimsy muslin curtain won't do much though; you'll have to opt for a thick, heavy fabric. Some people even back curtains in a heavy PVC material, although Fricke isn't a fan.

Winter curtains also need to have a repeating of fabric so they become voluminous, she says.

To cater for cool and hot weather, Fricke suggests having window furnishings to suit both winter and summer, and storing the ones that are not in use.

THAT WARM FEELING If you have the fireplace, woolly rug and thick curtains, the next way to create that warm feeling at home is through colour.

"If it's winter and you're in an icy interior full of icy greys and blues subliminally we're going to feel colder regardless of what textures are in the space," says Fricke.

"But warmer tones, even through just cushioning, will make you feel warmer."

Such tones include deep reds, browns and dark greys.

Every colour though, has a cold and warm shade.

"They can be the same colour but for summer and winter you might choose a different overtone or undertone," says Fricke.

If you like grey, go for a crisp icy grey for summer and a deeper grey with perhaps a subtle touch of red for winter.

The West Australian

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