Tait creative director Susan Tait shares her thoughts on the winter 2014 colour spectrum and how colour can be applied to evoke cosy, warm and inviting spaces, both indoors and out.

While there is no need to replace furniture at every change of season, the occasion does provide an opportunity to refresh an interior or outdoor living space to capture and complement the weather and mood for a particular time of year.

According to Susan Tait, rich, dark, earthy colours and other hues that are tinged with earthy tones really encapsulate the essence of winter. Natural materials such as timber innately convey warmth to spaces and therefore can be used to build flooring, decks, cladding, feature beams or furniture. Tactile, soft woollen blankets or throws are an inexpensive way to add visual interest and texture.

The Tait crew has also been uniting some of their favourite materials in surprising and unconventional ways. For instance, Tait’s versatile Nano table, which is being unveiled at DesignEx 2014 features a Carrara marble top in a warm honed finish, supported by copper plated legs that will take on a worn, darker and aged appearance.

On her philosophy surrounding the use of colour during winter, Susan Tait connects the colder weather and shorter, darker days of winter with ‘cocooning’. While dark colours for base elements of furniture do set the scene for a sense of calm and tranquillity, she believes colour can lift the mood and create a happy feel in a space. Burnt oranges, mustard, warm reds, blues and greens are some of the colours she recommends for this purpose. Cream, which featured strongly in the autumn palette, is perfect for bridging the seasons, and sits comfortably alongside winter tones.

Colours that are the perennial mainstays for winter 2014 include burgundy and jade. Navy is trending strongly for winter and is a striking contrast to mustard, burnt orange and jade green. Turquoise, prevalent during summer, has been toned down a notch, with softer versions forming part of the 2014 winter scheme. Star summer performer, yellow has been reincarnated as a rich mustard and is the big winter highlight colour.

Susan Tait says interchanging accessories are a cost effective way of refreshing a space. For a big impact, one could consider changing the fabric seat covers and/or cushions. The beautiful textured fabrics in the Maharam collection, available from Tait are ideal for seat pads and cushions.

Handcrafted concrete pots, made by local designers Pop Plant are a wonderful way to add a softening touch of greenery indoors within a natural, warm toned element, and also embody Tait’s preferred approach to the season, which is all about applying a little bit of colour as a highlight, rather than creating a riot.

Perennial favourite seats, Good One stools double as handy side tables. Ikou candles, handmade in the Blue Mountains, are a humble way of creating a warm glow and ambience.

Macramé plant pods from Smalltown in elegant, seasonal black, white or grey soften winter spaces with texture and planting.

Susan Tait’s tips for transitioning an outdoor space into a cosy enclave that can be used throughout winter include popping a seat pad on outdoor chairs to provide an immediate buffer from winter chills; sheepskins can also be used for the same task. Seat pads in outdoor fabric can be made to order to reflect the season.

Powder coat steel box planters can be specified in any colour as well as the rusty steel look for accessorising inside and out. The BirdCabin, launched early 2014, visually suggests a safe haven, a cosy place for nesting and shelter from the winter elements.