Cyndie Seely Talks Cozy Spaces and Holiday Decor

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In the winter months, it’s even more important to create a homey, warm space for family and guests. What is your top advice for designing a cozy, inviting living space?  

The key to a warm, inviting space is lighting. Using table lamps and candles, avoiding bright overhead light sources (and having a fire crackling in the fireplace if you can)  will make a room look and feel cozy and comfortable.

Holiday décor can easily enter the realm of ‘hokey’ or contrived. What are some important tips to keep in mind when decorating a sophisticated interior for the holidays? 

When I decorate for the holidays, I pull from my collections items that have personal significance, preserved over the years, that evoke warm memories and elicit conversation as well as being pleasing to the eye.  The result is joyfully eclectic, unique and personal, not conforming to any particular theme or color scheme. I also use abundant natural greenery, draping and bunching boughs and branches wherever possible.

If you could change one element of a room to improve people’s first impression of the space, what would it be? Why?

Again, I would focus on lighting.  It's the first thing I notice when I enter a room.  If the lighting choices are not appropriate for the space, it will negatively affect the overall experience of the room, and addressing that will accomplish a lot.  The location and quality of the light sources, ceiling, table, etc. should be carefully chosen to compliment the focus and purpose of the room, whatever those may be.

Are there any design trends you’d like to see disappear as quickly as they came?

Design is very fluid.   Good, classic design, whether contemporary or traditional, should create interest and open the eye to seeing familiar spaces, and the objects in them, in a new way.  Items of high quality, arranged harmoniously, can represent diverse styles as long as there is overall balance. Incorporating diverse but compatible elements is more interesting and satisfying than focusing on a specific trend, whatever it may be.

To learn more about Cyndie Seely, visit her Haute Residence profile and website.

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