THE JOY OF FEBRUARY: A TIME TO RECHARGE AND RENEW
There is a great deal to love about the winter weeks to come. And if you find that the February blues are creeping in, halt them in their tracks.
Fill your days with the small joys only this time of year can bring — a cobweb-clearing walk along the beach; a gift to yourself of cheerful yellow daffodils to remind you of the warmer days ahead; and the infectious spirit of recharging, renewing, and setting out afresh.
Staying in? Whether you relished the prospect before or not, by now, an evening at home has certainly lost its allure. But, with quite a few more wintery nights ahead of us in the company of our living spaces, we say it’s time to rekindle the joy to be found in ‘missing out’. We want to explore all things comforts, from how to choose the snuggest of seats to creating the perfect night in and making coziness felt on a deeper level. Here are a handful of ideas to help you do just that.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE SNUGGEST OF SEATS
No matter if your preferred resting spot is is a sofa, an armchair, or a loveseat, choosing the right one for you (and accessorizing it accordingly) is a crucial part of enjoying evenings spent at home.
If you’re an armchair sitter, chances are you prefer to sit more upright, or at least not as supine as sofa dwellers do, so support for your shoulders, neck, and head in the backrest of the chair is important. It doesn’t have to be a very high-backed chair if you don’t like that look. If you sit with your feet on the floor or you like to curl them up on the chair, you’ll also want to pick a style that’s wider, either to accommodate your curled-up legs or so you can relax your knees to the side. If you’d rather rest your legs on a footstool or ottoman, make sure it’s one that’s slightly lower than the chair’s seat height, and also ideally large enough to support both your feet and your calves, if not also your knees, or you might find that your knees start to ache a little after a while.
If you’re an armchair sitter who likes having the seat to themselves but feels like they need to spread out a bit more, a loveseat is a chair for you. It’s also perfect for those who find their dog likes to sneak up onto their lap. With room to the side for your legs, your knitting, or (if you must) your laptop, it’s a happy middle ground between an armchair and sharing the space of the sofa.
Those that head straight for the sofa are generally those that like to spread out. Legs up and back against the arm is the position they’ll usually adopt unless they’re sharing the sofa (in which case a large ottoman that everyone can get their feet on is essential). Whether you select a sofa with high or low arms depends on whether you like to lie out or you want to sit more upright. Like to do a bit of both? Choose whichever style you’d prefer but make sure you have plenty of pillows to either bulk up a lower arm and support your upper back when sitting up, or create a sort of ramp-up to a higher one so you don’t get a crick in your neck when lying down. And if you have the room, choose an L-shaped sofa so you can spread out without having to lean against an arm (but be warned you might have to fight over the corner piece).
Whichever seat you choose, the objects around and on it are just as important in making it a truly comfortable place that you’ll look forward to spending time with. We’ve already touched on where footstools and ottomans are needed, and on the subject of pillows (although it’s also worth saying that the bigger, squishier kind are generally more comfortable, but little ones have their place for lumbar support or propping your head up), but tables and lighting are also key. Being able to reach your drink or book without getting up (and disturbing the dog or cat) and having enough light to read by are what we’d call essential luxuries.