7 Tips For Warming Up Your Winter Home seems perfect right now, doesn’t it? I was recently inspired by the Douglas Elliman Florida office to share a style board of ideas for ‘warming up’ your home for the cold winter months. Douglas Elliman Real Estate is the nation’s fourth largest real estate company.
Here in Northern Kentucky, warm colors and cozy details just seem appropriate during these crazy winters. Winters here are very ‘gray’. There seem to be lots of rain, sleet, and snow and little sunshine.
Creating a balanced and harmonious space is the key to ‘warming up’ your home.
#1 – Balance, harmony, and scale.
In order to create harmony, balance the amount of curved and rectangular shapes in your rooms. Too many straight lines in a room create an uneasy feeling, the opposite of cozy. There are a lot of straight lines on the architecture of the fireplace wall and the palladian window wall. I deliberately bought a round coffee table to repeat the curve of the arch over the fireplace and the arches of the palladian window. The sofas have rounded arms and the chair has a rounded back, too.
Soften Sharp Edges. The palladian window has a lot of sharp edges, even though the top windows have a gentle curve. Those sharp edges screamed for softening with fabric.
Scale, or how an item relates to the size of a room, is so important to consider when decorating your home. I drew out a plan for this window, with the idea of using long columns of draping fabric for the curtains and set about to find the right hooks to use.
Every curtain hook I found was too small. On one of my shopping trips, I stumbled across metal tiebacks that resembled hooks! They were a perfect size! Click here ► to read how I Used Ordinary Things in an Uncommon Way to Create an Extraordinary Look.
Scale. When we moved to this house, we brought furniture from our smaller first home. The sofa was scaled much smaller. The back of the sofa was lower. The sofa was not as long and had smaller, thinner arms. It seemed dwarfed in the new family room! That tall ceiling seemed to need larger-scaled furniture.
Imagine that small sofa for a moment. It did not create a warm cozy feeling. The room seemed too large to be cozy. Too many little items create a busy, unsettling feeling. Yes, the scale of the items you use in your home can help create a warmer cozier look and feel.
#2 – Furniture Placement
Place sofas and chairs in furniture groups for easy conversation. Make sure there is a table close to the sofa and chairs for setting drinks, popcorn, etc.
The furniture was rearranged in the room so the Christmas tree could be placed in front of the palladian window and the sofa was moved to face the fireplace. After doing that, it dawned on me that it was the perfect placement for enjoying a fire this winter!
Keep the seating areas off the wall if your space permits! Have you ever visited someone who has a huge family or living room and there could have been a few bowling alleys down the middle of it? The sofa, love seats and chairs all line the walls? I visited one where there was no coffee table and all the chairs and sofas were against the wall. There was just open space in the middle of the room. There was seriously enough for another good sized room!
This is a ‘model home’ room, which is the same as our family room. Notice the furniture placement. Doesn’t that armoire look awkward where it’s placed? Notice the sofa arm is against the window wall? Not so cozy, right?
These rooms are 21 feet x 17-1/2 feet and two stories. That’s a relatively large room and because of the 2-story ceiling, it seems even more so. Regardless, it seems pretty cozy because of the furniture placement. The sofa, love seat and chair create a nice grouping pulled toward the center of the room.
Next to the backside of the sofa, which visually separates the family room from the kitchen eating area, we have a game table and two chairs. Often, people sitting on the sofa are watching the game being played, which is most often checkers or chess. This game table is really used a lot! When needed, the chairs are moved over to the kitchen table for additional seating if we have friends or family over for a meal.
#3 – Color.
Choose two or three main colors to use as accent colors to decorate your room. The walls in our home are painted neutral tan, blue, and green colors. They were pulled from a piece of fabric, which I loved years ago and still love today. ► (Foolproof Way to Choose Paint Colors For Your Home.)
Since all of the paint colors for the walls were pulled from one fabric, the pillows, lamps, and decorative items can easily be moved from one to another with no color clashing.
The sofas and chairs are also neutral colors. It is easy for me to change out the look and feel of the room by adding decorative items, pillows, and throws in one of those accent colors. (My favorite is red!)
Display some extra pillows and throws in a textural basket for easy access and added color.
The key to creating harmony with color is spreading the color throughout the room. If all the color is on one side of the room, it will look lopsided, right? Spread those colorful pillows and objects around the room. Remember to use different textures as well as color.
Anytime I think of coziness, I think of throws draped over the chairs and sofas and lots of pillows, don’t you? That doesn’t mean you have to buy new pillows every time the season changes. If you can sew a straight line, whip up a new pillow case. Can we talk about a simple project?
Can’t sew? Pillow covers of every color, texture, shape, and pattern can be bought in stores and on the internet on many different sites! Hobby Lobby has over ninety pillow covers priced under 20 bucks online! Some were as low as $3.95!
These don’t have to be expensive. Our local Hobby Lobby had this pillow cover for $14.99 and using the 40% off coupon, it ended up being $8.99.
The pillow cover above was found online at Society 6 for twenty dollars. The pillow is a copy of a page from an old album with a floral print superimposed on it. It sits among other pillows on an antique sofa in the living room. I love it! The artwork for the items on Society 6 is created by hundreds of thousands of artists around the world.
#4 – Lighting.
Overhead lighting, task lighting, and up lighting are all used in the family room. Overhead lighting comes in handy at times, but most often we use the lamps, and the up lights, which create mood lighting and drama!
The little lights on each end of the ledge shoot light up from under the decorative items and cast interesting shadows on the wall and ceiling. The light from the fireplace creates additional mood lighting, too!
This little lantern with lights affixed to the top of the inside had a golden deer displayed in it for Christmas. The faux snow was left in the bottom and this twig with pearl balls and golden leaves was manipulated into a spiral to wrap loosely around the berry red candle. How simple is that?
# 5 – Flowers.
Fresh flowers can brighten up and give life to a room. In the winter, they remind me of warmer days ahead. While a bouquet of roses or cut flowers is lovely, cut flowers don’t last all that long, unfortunately.
My favorite flower for inside is the potted orchid. They are so delicate and architectural, aren’t they? These can be purchased at the local groceries now and they are so inexpensive! While the cut flowers might last for a week, these orchid blooms will last for weeks and sometimes, months!
Don’t be afraid of these plants! They may look exotic but they are easy-care, too. The biggest problem these plants have is someone who over waters! Simply place 3 or 4 ice cubes at the base of the plant once a week. That’s it! Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can do this!
# 6 – Scents to make your home a welcoming retreat.
We often have homemade cookies, buns or bread, stew, soups, or chili during the winter. I can’t tell you how many people come into the house and say, “That smells so good!”
Even if you don’t cook or bake on any given day, the scent from a fragrant candle or just some cinnamon, cloves, apple peel, or orange rinds in a pot simmering on the stove is a pleasant welcoming. TipNut.com has 15 simmering pot recipes if you’d like some inspiration.
#7 – A cup of tea or a glass of wine and a good movie or some relaxing music!
After all of your efforts ‘warming up’ your home, treat your friends, and, or yourself to a nice meal, dessert, a warming cup of tea, or a great glass of wine and a good movie or some relaxing music. Those things are in harmony with any room, right? (A Cabernet Sauvignon pairs perfectly with homemade chocolate chip cookies.)
We have actually managed to engage all your 5 senses, haven’t we? Creating a pretty room, incorporating textural elements, scents to enjoy, relaxing music, and a drink to sip, cover all of your senses, sight, touch, smell, hearing, and taste.
Most of all, surround yourself with things you love. If you furnish your home with things you love, your friends and family are sure to feel welcome and comfortable in your home, too.
Hope these 7 Tips For Warming Up Your Winter Home inspire you!