Creating a cozy winter home doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Your home might feel less warm once the holiday decorations are put away, but don’t fear! You can reflect the beauty of winter by embracing one (or all!) of these ideas:
An Inviting Entry
Look to Mother Nature for inspiring ideas for a beautiful front door. A simple grapevine wreath nestled with pine cones and dainty white flowers makes any entrance more inviting. Or forgo a wreath and hang ice skates on the front door instead.
For a larger display, prop wooden vintage skis or an old wooden sled on your front porch. These look great by themselves or with a few pine cones dangling from rustic burlap or rattan ribbon. White birch logs in a decorative basket make a simple and lovely statement. These can also be enhanced with rustic ribbon and pine cones. Or, add snowflakes crafted from wood or metal, a bird house, or a spray of delicate white berries.
Creating a Cozy Winter Interior
Indoors, consider rearranging the furniture close in around the hearth. Things will feel snug even when there is not a fire burning. Drape some chairs with luxurious throws and pillows for added warmth in the family room and keep this in mind for the bedrooms also. Try a chunky knit blanket for some added texture. Blankets or throws can be bright or boldly colored to chase away the winter blahs. A faux sheepskin throw on the floor or across an ottoman instantly adds an inviting touch to a cold day.
Flannel sheets for all the beds will keep family and guests snug. In winter, your coffee-making area will be even more popular when you upgrade it to include the makings for hot chocolate. A fragrant bowl of potpourri in cinnamon or pine scent becomes a welcome addition to your mantel or winter centerpiece and completes your home’s seasonal transformation for all the senses.
Get the Light Right
Maximize daylight by placing a decorative mirror above the mantle or on a blank wall that catches the sun, or on a wall opposite large windows. Paint the frame a bright color to add to the cheery effect.
Add some charming floor or table lamps nestled close to seating areas. They convey elegance and intimacy, and are more winter-friendly than overhead or recessed fixtures.
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Warm Up Your Winter Windows
Replace some of your gauzy breezy warm-weather curtains with something heavier. Thicker fabric offers insulating benefits but be sure to choose bright colors to maintain a cheery atmosphere. Maybe something in bright red fabric would look great on the window over the kitchen sink while everything is white outside. Maybe jewel-tone curtains in the family room would be just the right combination of color and warmth. Or consider high-tech shades or blinds that open and close electronically to make the most of daylight when you want it, and keep away the chill when you don’t.
Capitalize on Color
Chair covers in your dining room might be the perfect winter addition to a space that can lack coziness. They’re temporary and easy to wash, so go ahead with a bold wintery print on chair covers that can spice up the space even before you serve a meal.
Create a dramatic display for your collection of crisp winter-white plates and mugs by showing them off in a hutch painted black. Add a few pieces in silver and maybe a green potted plant for a beautiful winter look. Easy-to-care-for succulents are good choice for bringing the good cheer of natural greenery indoors, or even place some faux greens on a mantle or bookshelf for a similar effect.
After more than a decade in corporate PR with Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet, Lauri switched to freelance work, helping clients with corporate communications and media relations. Since 2000, Lauri has been writing feature stories and columns on a freelance basis for local and regional magazines and newspapers in various parts of the U.S.