Houses & Homes: Cozy up your home this winter

The winter is starting to drag on a bit and cabin fever is setting in. But don’t worry: our interior design experts have tons of great tips on how to make your home feel warmer and cosier from now until spring. Here’s a quick checklist of things you can do now to get you through the rest of the chilly months:

Make your window treatments more winter-appropriate
“Put up some heavy drapes. At night when they’re closed, it will help keep your home warmer, and then you can open them completely in the daytime to let in the sunlight, which will help with overall heating,” said Kelli Richards of Kelli Richards Designs.

Add some candles for instant ambience
“It always makes it feel warm, especially if you don’t have a fireplace,” Richards suggested. Use real candles or even battery-operated ones.

Turn to Scandinavian design
Sarah Brown of Sarah Brown Design said, “This design is not exactly warm colours but brings the winter inside the house, and it’s still cozy because they use so much natural wood, so it’s really warm.” Incorporate home décor accessories that are made from whitewashed wood, or come in cool, cozy hues of grey and blue.

Use rugs underfoot
“Sheepskin rugs are great, and so are small area rugs,” Richards said. “But you always need it to be the right size,” Brown warned. Use runners down hallways and add a few rugs in transitional areas: at the foot of the bed, inside a walk-in closet, etc.

Incorporate lots of throw pillows on beds, chairs and couches
“You can find them in all sorts of cozy materials, like faux fur and sheepskin – they feel so soft,” said Richards.

Have warm lighting
“You want to have the proper lighting in a nice warm white light,” Richards explained. She prefers a bulb with 3000 Kelvin for the perfect temperature, whereas Brown tends to favour a filament bulb: “It produces a cozy, warm light,” she said. Incandescent light bulbs are also said to give off 95 per cent of its energy as heat rather than light, making them simple ways to add a heat source to your home.

Add dimmers to lights
“It can help create a different environment, and make a room feel more intimate,” said Richards. This way, you control the amount of light in an given space, meaning you can make it brighter for tasks and a bit darker for a cosier feel.

Add books to your living spaces
“Since we tend to stay in more in winter, I like to keep books around the house that are easy to access,” Richards said. It can also be fun to have games and other indoor projects close at hand to help pass those long winter nights.

Put slippers in a basket in your entrance
That way, when guests come over, they can put something on their feet after taking off their boots. It’s a little touch that visitors will surely appreciate.