It’s been many years since I lived in the suburbs and over 10 since I lived in the house I grew up in. Enamored by the Edenridge neighborhood of Wilmington, Delaware, my parents bought the house in the 90s when absolutely nothing in it had been updated since the 70s. After spending two years living in a construction site, as the kitchen had to be completely gutted and the electric green shag carpets burned, we ended up with a masterpiece of a house custom made for us. Naturally, it was hard to leave when we did. So whenever I come home to visit, I can’t help but drive by the house where I grew up in and reminisce about a simpler time.
Winter decorating is like wrapping your whole home in a cozy sweater, it looks chic, feels satisfying and somehow makes you less grumpy about scraping icy windshields in the morning. If you think winterizing your home is all about putting up storm windows and wrapping pipes, read the following tips to inspire a winter wonderland of your own.
Tis Not the Season
Winter decorating isn’t the same as decorating for the holidays. It’s an opportunity to spruce up your home and make the indoor environment cheery even when things look dismal outside. We spend more time indoors during the winter, so why not make the indoors as comfortable as possible? You don’t have to turn your home into a mountain lodge to give it a wintry look (though you certainly could). Use this quick list of dos and don’ts, with ideas from HGTV, to help you add chic, seasonal flair to any room:
Add Texture: You wear heavier fabrics in the winter and so should your home. Look for pillows, throws and other accessories in traditional winter fabrics like wool, leather, heavy cottons and nubby knits. Think of cable knits, soft suedes and herringbone tweeds. Fabrics with a sheen or touch of sparkle are also considered textural.
Add Color: Snowy white isn’t the only color that evokes thoughts of winter. All “cool” colors can be used for winter decorating. Icy blue, pine green, touches of gold and silver, and even cool-toned shades of purple fit the bill. Choose accents that will complement your existing color scheme.
Stick with your Style: Don’t try to change the entire direction of your décor. If your home is minimalist, choose no-fuss items like a bright white throw rug, a silver metallic lamp and a glass bowl full of white marbles as winter accents. The idea is to complement your décor with seasonal touches, not reinvent the room.
Look to nature for inspiration: But, avoid literal translation. Choose decorative accessories that remind you of icicles, snowflakes and snow-covered mountains, but leave the plastic icicles, snowflake-shaped pillows and photos of snow-capped mountains in the store.
Changing window treatments is one of the easiest and most effective ways to refresh winter décor. If you currently have light and breezy window coverings, changing them is also a smart way to reduce energy costs and keep your home warmer. Swapping less weather efficient treatments for cellular shades adds texture to your décor and helps keep out the cold. Better Homes and Gardens recommends using twin blankets as temporary winter curtains instead of more expensive window treatments. A wool blanket draped over honeycomb shades would add both practical insulation and rustic appeal to a family room or bedroom, especially a plaid or Pendleton-style blanket.
Safety is Sexy
Most of the winterizing we do, whether it’s aesthetic or functional, is meant to keep winter’s chill away. However, the CDC warns that the more we seal up our homes, the more carbon monoxide, radon and other toxins we lock in. According to WebMD asthma and allergies can flare in the winter due to mold that occurs from poor ventilation. As part of your winter decorating tradition, perform a radon test in your home and check the batteries in your CO detectors. Have your gas appliances maintained regularly and make sure vents work properly. No amount of beautiful accessorizing can substitute for a healthy winter home.