When all you want to do is wrap yourself up in a blanket and put your slippered feet up, it’s actually time to get your home ready for the cooler months ahead. And while reassessing insulation and contemplating fixing drafty windows are certainly good places to begin, try starting with the simple redecorating method because it’s instantly rewarding and will easily make your space more comfy and inviting. Here are seven ways to make the main areas in your home more cozy.
Welcome Mat: If you don’t already have a door mat outside your front door, now’s the time to get one. With snow around the corner, you’ll want a place to clean the snow and grime from your boots before entering, plus, a plush door mat adds a touch of warmth before you even enter your home. They’re called welcome mats for a reason, whether you choose one that actually has the word printed on it or not.
Ikea’s Vinter 2014 door mats (Vinter 2014 door mat, $8.99, ikea.ca) are a great choice because they are made of renewable natural fibre coir, which can be easily vacuumed or shaken out, and the abstract floral design — in red or green — will look great well into spring.
A Small Rug: When winter arrives, you may need a heavier duty rug to protect your floors from slush, but for now, add a soft, pretty, machine washable rug just inside your door. Textiles in general give a space the feeling of coziness, and adding more soft fabrics to your entryway will make your arrival home even more welcoming. Choose machine washable rugs so you can wash them regularly and make sure they look great throughout the season. This petite rug from Ikea (Lappljung flatwoven rug, $24.99, ikea.ca) is perfect for a narrow hallway entry or can be placed horizontally if you’ve got a wider foyer.
The Living Room and Family Room
Drapery: Whether you have a formal living room or just one more casual room for all your lounging needs, warming up your windows is a great way to add coziness. Not only do curtains add more texture — which helps give the feeling of warmth — but they literally insulate against cold air that may be seeping into your home from your windows.
No matter the height and length of your windows, always buy drapes that extend all the way to the floor. The look is much more sophisticated than curtains that only cover the span of the window frame. If you want to increase the drama and coziness in your space, buy drapes that are one to three inches longer than the entire height of your wall so the fabric pools at the bottom of your floor, or go up to six inches longer for the ultimate romantic feeling.
If you currently have blinds, try layering heavy linen curtains like these ones from Restoration Hardware (Hardware Belgian Opaque Linen Drapery, $79.99 – $319, restorationhardware.com) over them for some visually interesting texture and warmth. Then when spring arrives, simply update your window coverings with lighter drapes or curtain panels for a more seasonally-appropriate look. The combination of privacy blinds and pretty fabric will add softness and drama to your space while making your decor and window coverings super versatile all year round.
If you currently have drapes that are made from light or sheer fabrics, try swapping them out with rich-looking velvet ones instead. If heavy velvet feels too dramatic, a textured velvet mixture might be a better option. These curtains from West Elm (Crosshatch Velvet Curtain in Soot, $89 – $119, westelm.com) have a worn in crosshatch design that lets in light while displaying loads of texture.
Throw Pillows: Adding pillows to your existing couch and armchairs is a great, affordable way to update your decor for the season. And they will also add a cuddly feeling to your space. When it comes to small items like throw pillows, don’t be afraid to try a fabric or material that’s a bit out of your comfort zone. For instance, faux fur is both trendy and ultra-comfortable, and a couple of furry throw pillows won’t break the bank. These long faux fur toss cushions from Urban Barn (Silver Fox Fur Toss Cushion, $36, urbanbarn.com) look luxe and come in a range of colours and styles.
Alternatively, if fur isn’t your thing, maybe a velvet, sweater knit or wintry wool would be a better fit for your home. This plaid throw cushion from Simons (Maison Hunter Check Cushion, $19.99, simons.ca) will add both a rustic feel and extra warmth to your room.
Throw Blankets: Similarly, a cozy blanket or two thrown over the backs of sofas and chairs will instantly add the coziness you’re after. A small faux or real sheepskin rug looks great when thrown over the back of an armchair and instantly adds a visually cozy texture to your room. Ikea’s sheepskins (Rens Sheepskin, $39.99, ikea.ca) are furry, plush and the perfect size for your recliner (both genuine and imitation versions are available).
A simple cotton-knit throw in a neutral colour can also add warmth without making your room more busy. This one from Zara Home (Cross Stitch Throw, $119, zarahome.com) looks luxe and will effortlessly make any space more cozy.
The Dining Room
Seat Cushions: If your dining chairs are just basic wooden chairs, adding seat cushions for the season will instantly make the room feel more comfy and cozy. They make sitting down easier and visually add warmth without having to layer tablecloths, runners and placemats, because really, most nights you’re probably not too worried about your table textiles. Save the fussy stuff for special guests. Measure your seat, including the space between the stiles (the vertical bars that support your back), and take those measurements with you when you shop.
Bed Linens: The best part about the end to a busy day is crawling into a cozy bed, right? A great way to make your bed feel warmer throughout the colder months is to update your light linens with cozier fabrics. Try replacing cotton sheets with cotton flannel ones that match your duvet or comforter.
However, if you prefer a light layer under heavier bedding, opt for a flannel duvet cover like this reversible one that features pinstripes on one side and herringbone on the other (WholeHome Luxe Avery Yarn-Dyed Duvet Cover Set, from $90.99, sears.ca).
Finally, whether or not you choose to update your usual linens, adding a cozy quilt on top of your duvet or comforter gives you the option of tripling up on bedding when you’re feeling extra cold. This cranberry-printed quilt set (Crate and Barrel Winterberry Quilts and Pillow Shams, $36.95 – $279.95, crateandbarrel.com) is seasonally appropriate but not over-the-top wintry, and it will keep up the coziness factor of your room straight through to spring.