20 Ways to Warm Up Your Winter Nest by Pamela Cole Harris
Winter is here (brrrrr!) and with it comes ice, wind and snow! It's the perfect time to "nest" at home! But is your home a friendly and cozy place for those you love? Or is your décor so gloomy that people go outside just to warm up? Here are some ways to make your home a warm and inviting shelter this winter:
1. Add pillows and accessories with splashes of rich warm colors such as reds, oranges and gold
2. Bring in some fall foliage or pine boughs in wreathes or table arrangements. They are especially effective over the fireplace.
3. Use cozy, soft and plush fabrics in cushions and upholstery that you want to snuggle up to - velvets, mohair and chenille.
4. Throw warm afghans, quilts or down throws over chairs and sofas to invite cuddling. The layering of fabrics adds richness and texture to the room.
5. Place candles with spicy scents around the home - vanilla or cinnamon evoke feelings of comfort. Place mirrors behind the candles to magnify the candle's warmth and reflection. Candlelight always softens and warms a room.
6. Place a colorful welcome rug at the front door. How about a bright red one?
7. Layer oriental or kilim rugs on the floor to add texture, dimension and elegance.
8. Add rich drapes to create a "cocoon" of warmth in the room but make sure you leave them open during the day.
9. Move your sofa and chairs closer to the fireplace to maximize the warmth and intimacy it gives the room.
10. To combat the extra gloom of winter, add extra lamps with warm incandescent light bulbs. Use lamps instead of overhead lighting for a more intimate ambiance.
11. Use more gold, brass and copper in accessories. You can even change the hardware on furniture and cabinets to add an extra spark!
12. Be sure to keep arrangements of fresh flowers to remind your family that spring is coming!
13. Make a cozy reading corner with a comfortable, over-stuffed chair, table and lamp. Curling up in a cozy corner with a good book is one of the best things about winter!
14. Warm up your furniture with slipcovers in soft colors and fabrics. When spring comes, you can cool the room down again by removing the warm covers.
15. Arrange treasured pictures of family in warm wood frames around your home.
16. If you want a larger project, paint your walls in rich shades of red, orange or yellow. What a wonderful way to brighten long, grey days!
17. If you have high, stark ceilings, try lowering the ceiling with darker, warmer hue to establish a more intimate space.
18. Arrange furniture in groups for easy conversation. A small table and a couple of chairs or footstools will encourage people to gather together.
19. Pamper your guests and yourself with big thick towels on a towel warmer. Just think of getting out of the tub on a cold night and wrapping yourself in the soft warmth of terry.
Adding warmth to your home can be accomplished easily and with only a few dollars. But the best way to make your home a welcoming haven?
20. Laughter. Smiles and laughter will warm up your room and your heart. What better way to chase away the chill!
Pamela Cole Harris is an editor, writer, eco-decorator and the author of "100+ Wildly Imaginative Ways to Create Your Own Coffee Table: A Handbook for Creatively Deficient Decorators" (available at http://www.lulu.com/pamelacoleharris. Visit her website, http://www.homeandgardenmakeover.com, for her unique view of home decorating and remodeling (and a free monthly newsletter!).