Cold weather seems like such a relief at the end of summer. Cozy season is here, with its warm drinks and fuzzy sweaters. But the joys of soft things and candlelight are only the first line of defense against the longer nights and seasonal blues. Those months after New Year’s and before spring can feel never-ending.
But don’t worry. We have a solution.
“There are many simple but impactful ways to warm up your space for winter,” says Jenna Burger of Jenna Burger Design in Saratoga Springs. “With our busy lives, most want to create and feel content with a calming, peaceful and inviting home.”
Here are some suggestions of what’s on trend for cozying up your home this winter.
Use color to warm up your home
Amy Krane, of Amy Krane Color in Ghent, says color can do a lot to change the feeling of a room. “Consider painting a room or two a color that’s mid-toned in value … from the warmer side of the color wheel,” she says. “These colors include all variations of red, orange and yellow. This includes maroons, pinks, browns, caramels, and golds as well as earth tones and neutrals like cream, beige, putty, and tan. Warmer wall colors create an inviting ambiance and an embracing emotional response from people.”
If you don’t want to take on a paint project, turn to your textiles. Blankets, throws, pillows, rugs, and tapestries can all reflect the part of the color wheel we most associate with comfort.
Burger agrees: “Add darker hues into your interior decor,” she says. “Colors like emerald, cognac, and crimson will add coziness and moodiness to your space.”
Chunky blankets add warmth to any room
“With heating prices soaring this winter it’s important to add touches like throw blankets to your living room and reading chair/nook,” Krane says. “Not only do throws afford you the ability to get snuggly while watching TV or reading, but they’re pretty darn great for adding pattern and color to a room. This helps create a different vibe for the new season.”
The key is to keep coziness convenient. If all you need to do when you’re feeling chilly is to grab a nearby blanket, then an extra soft, extra comfortable weighted blanket, for example, is the kind of thing you’ll want to have draped and ready to go.
“Store away the lighter linen summer throws and swap them out for a cozy blanket that can be draped on a sofa or chair,” Burger says. “Three things that scream cozy: flannel bed sheets, a chunky blanket, and fuzzy slippers. All with a hot cup of tea.”
Introducing candles add intrinsic warmth to any room
Few things are warmer than firelight, and whether or not you have a fireplace, candles are a quick way to conjure comfort and joy.
“Introduce candles or essential oils that have richer and more robust scents,” Burger says. Cinnamon, orange, ginger, cocoa, and tonka bean are all perfect for making your living room feel like a warm cocoon.
Warm up your bedrooms with layers of bedding
“Adding another layer to your bedding adds more visual interest to the bedroom decor and helps on those chilly nights,” Krane says. “Choose a coverlet, blanket or quilt that’s a different texture and color than your duvet cover or main quilt.”
Faux furs, cable knit, flannel (as Burger mentioned earlier) and crochets and knits all offer textures that are distinct. They also happen to be super warm.
Warm up your lights
Krane says the items that signal comfort to her include “textures that invite touch, seating which you can sink into, and comforting lighting.”
Check out your light bulbs. Do they give off a warm or cool color?
“Warm orange or yellow light is from bulbs with lower color temperatures,” Krane says, “so check the light color when you purchase your bulbs. Daylight bulbs are blue in color and make a space have a colder and more institutional feel.”
For those deeper-winter blues, when light is scarce, consider a light therapy lamp, which can approximate the effects of sunshine on the daylight-deprived.
Keep a hosting mind-set
Those coffee-table books? Get rid of ‘em.
Julia Maleski Putzel of JMP Interiors in Clifton Park recommends creating vignettes throughout your home for cozy time. Instead of the vase or the book on your coffee table, what about a tea set? Keeping your place guest-ready will also keep it feeling hospitable to you in the way you like.
“I think people should cater to hunkering down,” Putzel says. “Being welcome for guests and having those vignettes is more interesting” than knickknacks or decorative things. She suggests games, wine, chocolates, even tarot cards. All are items that capture attention and make you — and your guests — feel special and comfortable.
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