Ways to make your home cozy for winter

By Mary Carol Garrity

McClatchy-Tribune

During the cold, dark winter months, there’s nothing so wonderful as coming home to a warm, snuggly home that embraces you, enfolding you in its cocoon where you can relax and replenish. It doesn’t take much to make your home cozy for winter. Here’s what I do.

Add a snuggly throw

I am drawn to historic homes, which can be drafty and chilly. So the first thing I do when the mercury ebbs in winter is toss a few blankets here and there. These quick cover-ups not only make your book reading, TV watching and tea drinking moments warmer, they also add a gorgeous layer to your decor. Pick throws that add a pop of color, like a red plaid.

The first thing I do when I get out of bed on winter mornings, when the house is still chilly, is make a cup of coffee and snuggle into a chair in my living room, buried under a throw. This 15 minute ramp-up time gives me a chance to think through my day so I can hit the ground running at work. Pick a throw that adds to the ambiance of your space and works well with your palette.

My bedroom is always cold in the winter. So in addition to the thick, fluffy duvet and blankets, I like to keep a throw at the bottom of my bed to cover my tootsies. Plus, who can resist any opportunity to add another layer, color or pattern to their bedding ensemble? Certainly not me! Pick a throw that pulls out a minor color in your bedding that you’d like to accentuate.

Pop in winter pillows

A simple pillow switcheroo can dramatically change the look of your sofa or chairs. That’s why swapping out pillows with the seasons is one of my favorite go-to decorating tricks. I go through the house unzipping my summer pillow cases, then sticking the bare pillow forms in my winter pillow cases. Takes minutes, but it makes the room look completely different. This is the perfect opportunity to see if your forms need to be replaced and to get your pillows to the cleaners so they are fresh and ready to store until the weather warms up again.

If you are having custom pillows made, give them distinct personality with interesting details, like contrasting trim and buttons.

Add the warmth and aroma of a winter candle

Everyone and everything looks better drenched in candlelight. During the winter, I fill my home with candles to give it a warm, welcoming feel.

My customers have told me so many stories of how their homes have been damaged by candles left unattended that I now use battery-operated candles in my home. The fakes have gotten so good it’s often hard to tell them apart from live flames at a distance. Plus, they are so easy!

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