Aesthetically winter can be a beautiful time, especially after some fresh fallen snow. Everything becomes sparkly-white and pure, with hints of green from fir trees peeking out. Unfortunately the rest of the season when there isn’t fresh snow, winter is usually pretty gray, and one step outside into the cold makes you want to retreat back to bed. Since most of us do have to leave our homes at least once a day, we should at least make sure our space is a cozy retreat to come back to at the end of the day.
If there’s two things Scandinavians know well, it’s good design, and how to survive cold winters. The concept of hygge has broken into the mainstream this year, but it’s something the Danish have been practicing for a long time. The closest English translation of hygge is “cozy” and it encompasses the idea of taking pleasure and being grateful for the little things, such as a warm, cozy home in the winter. So keeping clean Scandinavian design in mind, here are seven tips for creating the ultimate cozy yet stylish winter home.
1. Check in on Your Lighting
Once Daylight Savings Time ends it can be a bit of a slap in the face how dark it can get in your space (and how early it does so!). To keep your rooms from feeling too gloomy consider adding some extra table or floor lamps. Lamps with more focused shades are great for task lighting and reading that book you’ve been meaning to get to while curled up under a warm blanket. But you can also use lamps with diffused shades to add an overall warm glow to the room. If you already have the right amount of lamps, considering switching out the bulbs for ones with higher lumens for some brighter light.
2. Break Out the Blankets and Pillows
Even the best built homes can sometime get a chill on biting cold winter days. Make sure to keep a selection of blankets, throws, and pillows around so you can easily warm up. If you’re worried about your space getting too cluttered, look for alpaca throws that are super light but also super warm. Shaggy pillows will add a fun touch and also be incredibly comfy to snuggle up with. Besides the warmth factor, pillows and throws provide a great opportunity to play with color and texture in the room.
3. Drape Yourself in Velvet
Okay, so you don’t have to go that far. But adding some velvet to a room will instantly up the cozy. Shiny, soft, and plush, velvet brings with it not only warmth, but a touch of glamour. A piece of velvet upholstered furniture, like a sofa or lounge chair, will be a statement piece year round. But if you’re not that committed to velvet you can always just add some velvet throw pillows to your current pieces.
4. Warm Up With Woods
While you want a lot of cozy textiles in your space to keep warm during the winter, you don’t want to overwhelm the room with softness. Adding some harder, textured elements will help add balance and visual interest. Rattan is a wonderful way to add a ton of textural interest without weighing down the room. However if you’re not a fan of rattan any wood finishes or accents will add a visual (and physical, since it’s an insulator) warmth to the room. Is it any surprise that so much Scandinavian design features wood?
5. Get Cozy by Candlelight
If you don’t have a fireplace, you can still bring some flickering flames into your room with some well-placed candles. The candles themselves may not give off enough heat to keep you warm, but their beautiful glow will make any space feel cozy and intimate. Pairing your candles with metallic or mirrored accessories will only enhance the warm aura in the room as the light reflects and gleams off of their surfaces.
6. Remember Rugs
If you have hardwood or tile floors you know how chilly they can get in the winter. Adding area rugs will help keep not only your feet warm, but the entire room as there’s less surface for the cold to bounce around on. Even if you already have carpeted floors, you may consider adding some accent rugs for added coziness and the opportunity to add warm tones to the room. The best part about area rugs is that they can easily be rolled up and stored away during the warmer months, do you don’t have to permanently hide your gorgeous flooring.
7. Create A Bathtime Getaway
Is there anything better after a long, cold day than relaxing in a nice, warm tub? We think not. You may not consider your bathroom to be a cozy winter location, but you can easily turn it into a soothing retreat where you go to chase away the chill.
With all these tips in place you’ll have no trouble surviving the winter in cozy style. You may even end up a little sad when the warm weather comes around again.