The days are growing shorter, and the temperature is dropping. There’s always been a part of you that loves tucking in and getting cozy — especially when conditions outside are bleak. You’re going to be spending a lot of time indoors in the coming months, now is the perfect time to enhance your home with comforting allure and charm.
Below we’ve compiled simple but striking ways to upgrade your home design this winter.
Brighten It Up
Early nightfall means you’ll be relying a lot on your lights. Add layers of lighting with plug-ins under kitchen cabinets and table-top lamps at various heights, perhaps some with colored glass. Consider a reading light in your favorite nook with an extension-elbow. Place a floor lamp in dark corners and research overhead hanging options. Switching out a feature chandelier is a simple but definitive way to update the look of a room.
Keep It Soft Underfoot
Look for warm area rugs made with natural fibers. Pick up a bright color or compelling design to attract the eye downward. Consider whether the fabric is soft and inviting enough for bare toes. If you find a woven rug that was made overseas, check to make sure it was manufactured in an ethically responsible facility that protects worker’s rights.
Bring the Outside In
Add bits of nature by starting a kitchen herb garden. Rosemary, thyme, chives, parsley and oregano thrive particularly well during winter months and provide fresh seasoning for holiday roasts and oven-baked root vegetables.
Strategically place seasonal potted plants such as poinsettias and Christmas cactus near natural light to encourage indoor bloom. Many traditional outdoor window boxes fit well inside on standard windowsills. Use high-quality potting soil to grow sweeping ivy and soothing aloe vera. Ivy may be transplanted outdoors in the spring.
Make A Grand Entrance
Tidy up your front foyer and make your entryway enticing by organizing clutter. Box up flip flops and linen handbags. Hang vintage hooks for padded outerwear and long knit scarves. Add a bench for lacing up winter boots and basket storage for hats and mittens.
If your entryway is large, consider placing a small table near the door. This will come in handy to hold mail, shopping bags and packages. If your foyer is small, enlarge its appearance by hanging a vintage mirror, perhaps with a shiny metal frame for added light play.
Upgrade Initial Point of Contact
When you spruce up your front entrance, don’t forget about the door. While you are working, do you feel a draft? Is the door difficult to open or does it get stuck when guests come to call? Does the material appear warped or worn? Make a good first impression and consider a decorative front door upgrade.
There’s no better time to research options than when the weather turns cold. Inefficient front doors account for up to 20% of a home’s energy loss. Just one-eighth of an inch gap around the perimeter is equivalent to having a six square-inch hole in the side of your house. When it comes to staying cozy inside, a tightly-sealed door stands on the front line of protection.
Assume the Mantel
Don’t have a fireplace? Visit an architectural salvage yard and look for period mantels that attach right to your wall. Consider making yours a focal point by painting it a contrasting color, like a dark slate blue or charcoal black against a white or cream-colored backdrop.
Style up the top with seasonal greens, framed photos, and scented candles. Carry your nod to nature through by displaying seashells or smooth river rocks in a crystal urn and adding an interestingly-torqued piece of driftwood.
Pull It Off
A startlingly simple way to add visual charm is to switch out drawer pulls and cabinet handles. Did you notice any antique brass or pewter hardware at the salvage yard? If you prefer more modern options, consider checking into recycled colored glass or painted porcelain pieces. You can even DIY your own rustic look with refurbished leather pulls made from old belts!
Open It Up
Create open shelving in your kitchen, bath area or as a decorative feature in your main living space. Instead of closed cabinets doors — even if they do have rocking pulls — carefully displayed items on bracket shelves add intrigue and palpable texture.
Opening your home to added charm is the perfect way to while away blustery winter months. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find yourself so cozily engaged that the first warmth of spring will take you by surprise!
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