Keeping Warm This Winter

Living on the Mediterranean, we have the rare pleasure of enjoying many warm and sunny days throughout the winter months. When the sun goes down, however, the temperature can plummet – making our homes noticeably much colder. As Mediterranean buildings are often not designed and built to cater for keeping us warm when temperatures are lower (essentially, just cooler during the warmer months), this issue we look at what measures we can take to keep us cosy through this season of variable climatic conditions. From fluffy cushions, colourful throws and versatile rugs to decorative candles and soft lighting, and chic fireplaces, fire pits and heaters to triple-glazing insulation… there are many ways to add a snug and appealing touch to our homes in Spain.

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The Balance stove woodburner evolves from a solid fuel stove into a piece of furniture, with its modular log storage elements, bench, drawer units and multi-media shelves, available in high quality steel, walnut or oak… distributed in the UK by www.encompassco.com

Modern wood burners and wood burning stoves provide an excellent primary heat source, as the wood burner becomes an attractive focal point as well as being more efficient than a regular open fire. Woodburning stoves also have an added advantage as the fuel is carbon neutral.

With many suitable for outdoor or indoor use, ethanol burners are an increasingly popular – and versatile – option for homeowners. They are eco-friendly, portable and efficient.

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Throws add colour and texture to interiors while also being the perfect “companion” for a cold night at home reading, watching TV or even entertaining friends on the terrace. Iapetus’s new range also adds a luxury touch: they are woven in Ireland at Avoca’s mill, and each throw is “super-soft and made from the finest yarns”. Heritage prints are the latest trend from Ville & Campagne’s new range of pure wool and lambswool throws. From spots and checks to herringbone and houndstooth, they are ideal for both country villas and city apartments.

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Even commercial premises (offices, shops, hotels, spas, etc.) can be enhanced and made infinitely more cosy with a warm touch, like this sitting room with a fireplace in John-Paul Welton’s first Welton London boutique, opened in Paris last year. Begun as a game between then 12-year-old Xavier Mañosa and his father – creating a ceramic modular shape that could be stacked together mixing different colours – the Pussel was mutated over time by the designer, who took his references from children’s modular puzzles, where shape, colour and materials intermingle with their various functions as lamp, vase and candle holder. Made in Barcelona using entirely traditional methods with painstaking detailing and finishing, the Pussel is created from high-temperature ceramic and blown glass. www.kettal.com

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For a slightly more original warming accessory for the home, the MB&F MAD Gallery in Geneva has been showcasing “kinetic art” produced in association with British creative partnership Laikingland. “Laik”, from the Old English “lác”, means “play” in parts of northern England, and Laikingland’s philosophy is partly about “injecting a touch of playfulness into the lives of those who come into contact with a Laikingland creation”. As Martin Smith, co-founder of Laikingland with engineer Nick Regan, notes, “Our creations are essentially about mischief. They’re something to brighten the mood. For us, that is important for the soul.” The Light a Moment exclusive candle lantern featured here is the result of a collaboration between Joost van Bleiswijk and Kiki van Eijk. A soft and romantic ceramic form holds a traditional church candle reflected a thousand times through fragmented mirrors built in a constructivist shape. The shell of mirrors opens in a slow movement, “allowing the observer a moment to reflect and appreciate the act of lighting the candle and living in the now”. www.mbandf.com

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For increased thermal efficiency (both hot and cold), Andalucía Glass & Steel supply and install REHAU UPVC windows and doors, as well as Thermal Break aluminium profiles from Europe’s leading manufacturers, incorporating the latest technological advances in design. Featuring high security locking systems and sculptured glazing beads – and in UPVC, aluminium, open-in, open-out, sliding, tilt and turn, white or woodgrain effect (brown) – their windows and doors keep the home warm, safe and secure.

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To fully appreciate and take advantage of terrace (and other “open”) areas during the colder months, glass curtains are the ideal solution. Elite Glass Curtains are specialists in the manufacture and installation of glass curtains, offering a versatile, totally frameless glass system specifically designed for balconies, terraces and patios. Elite’s curtains can be fully closed, fully open or opened on a panel by panel basis.”

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