11 Ways to Make Your Home Cozier for Winter
These easy steps can help you turn your home into a welcoming winter retreat.
When the colder months roll around, you’ll probably find you’re spending more time indoors than during the rest of the year. When you’re stuck inside, it’s more important than ever to make sure your living space is somewhere you feel cozy and comfortable.
There are plenty of benefits of creating a living space that is warm and relaxing. Our sensory perception can largely influence our moods—the things we see, hear, feel, touch, smell, and taste can greatly affect how we feel. Curating a space that appeals to your senses is a proven way to ward off tiredness, stress, and anxiety.
When you feel relaxed in your home, there are often physical benefits too! Our immune systems can benefit from fewer stress hormones, and the regenerative effects of a good night’s sleep can’t be overstated.
The benefits of ensuring your home is a cozy refuge during the winter months are clear. So how should you do it? Here are some ideas to get your imagination rolling.
1. Step Up Your Bedding Game
In the warmer months, it’s hard to beat the breathability and lightness of linen and cotton bedding. But when Canadian winters roll around, it’s important to ensure you have optimized bedding that holds in the warmth, especially jersey and flannel options.
Blankets and throws are a great way to make your living room unique and add a splash of colour. Having a favourite blanket or two, cushions, and throws available in your relaxation spaces can make quiet evenings with a book or a movie that much cozier. Putting some cozy blankets and pillows on display is a great way to make guests to your home feel welcome and to encourage them to unwind.
2. Find Soft Lighting Options
In the summertime, days stay light well into the late evening, and homes with ideal window design can take advantage of natural lighting, which is generally more pleasing than electric light and helps keep energy costs down.
In the winter, you’ll need to use your indoor lighting more, and if you have harsh bulbs, you’ll likely find yourself suffering from eye strain. The adverse effects of bad lighting can include headaches, fatigue, and increased stress. You also want to avoid the unflattering appearance of hard light, which can have a negative effect on how your home looks and how photographs and videos turn out.
Selecting soft light bulbs is a great way to give your home a welcoming, candle-like glow, and selecting LED options is a good way to keep your electricity bills down simultaneously.
3. Warm The Window Area
An often overlooked aspect of keeping your home warm and giving it a comforting and cozy appearance in the wintertime is swapping out summery linen curtains for insulated options that contain thermal linings.
Winter-friendly drapes and curtains will help keep cold air from passing through older windows, in turn helping heating costs stay down. Wintery window design is also conducive to a soothing environment. It’s the perfect combination of form and function.
4. Focus on Your Flooring
In recent years, some of the most popular flooring styles include hardwood flooring, tile, and concrete. These flooring styles offer a minimalist, tidy appearance, but they can also become chilly, particularly on cold winter mornings.
Placing rugs in living rooms, hallways, near the bed, and your favourite sitting spots is a great way to ensure your feet are always warm in your home and add splashes of colour and texture to your living areas.
5. Grow Your Sweater Collection
Many people have a favourite sweater they turn to when temperatures dip. Assembling a collection of loose-fitting knit sweaters in a variety of colours and styles can be a fun hobby.
A winter sweater can be part of the perfect outfit for relaxing around the house, but there are practical benefits, too. Wearing a warm sweater at home can add around five degrees to how warm your home feels, reducing your heating costs, which is also good for the environment.
6. Reverse Your Ceiling Fan
One interesting tip for keeping your home warmer during the winter months is reversing your ceiling fan's direction and turning it on. A fan in winter? The idea may sound counter-intuitive.
This trick works by drawing the cool air in your home upwards towards the fan, which causes the warmer air to lower from the ceiling back down into your living space. Warm air rises, and a considerable amount of heat tends to be lost by drifting upwards in many homes. By using your fan in reverse, you can keep that warm air around longer. Just remember—your fan should spin clockwise when you’re looking to warm up and counterclockwise when you want to cool down.
7. Consider A Light Box
When the temperatures drop, and there’s less and less daylight, you may find that you don’t have as much energy or mental clarity as you do during the months when it’s warm and you spend plenty of time outside.
A great way to increase your coziness at home and to feel positive and relaxed in your living space is by investing in a lightbox. A lightbox can be an effective way to ward off tiredness and restlessness and can be a great addition to your bedroom, living room, as well as home office areas.
8. Exercise that Green Thumb
While many associate plants and flowers with spring and summer, there are clear benefits to cultivating plants in your living spaces year-round. There are plenty of proven mood-boosting benefits of mere proximity to houseplants, and when it gets snowy outside, the sight of thriving foliage indoors can be a welcome change.
And the benefits of having plenty of plants in your home don’t stop there. Plants including English Ivy and Peace Lily are known for having air purifying effects, removing pollutants that may exist in your home, including mold, dust, and carbon monoxide. The moisture from the leaves of plants are also known to have humidifying effects, staving off the winter's dryness that can cause sinus irritation and dry throats.
Some scientific reports have shown that having potted plants in home office spaces can have a noticeable positive effect on memory and focus, helping you do better work when working from home. Most of all, proximity to plants is generally relaxing, contributing to a serene and cozy home environment. If plant upkeep sounds like a lot of work, artificial plants can have a similarly soothing effect. Evergreen clippings kept fresh with water can make great wintery displays and have a delicate piney aroma.
9. Make Use of Your Fireplace
Of course, this tip is contingent upon your home having a functional fireplace. Many cities also have regulations against fireplace use as an air quality control measure. But if you can use a fireplace in your home, it’s the coziest way to warm your home. There’s no doubt that warm lighting and crackling sounds that emanate from a fireplace are soothing and conducive to relaxation.
If you’ve got a fireplace but haven’t gotten around to using it lately, there are several other benefits to keep in mind. You can heat food and drinks using the warmth from a wood-burning stove. A fireplace can be more versatile than electric heat, as it won’t go out of commission when there are power outages and can still provide you with much-needed warmth and light.
In addition, heating your home using a fireplace is often more inexpensive than other methods and can be more eco-friendly as well. Modern wood-burning appliances are efficient and produce very few emissions. Some modern wood stoves and fireplaces involve heat distribution systems that use your home's ducts to disperse the heat evenly through your home.
If using and maintaining a fireplace sounds like a lot of work—or isn’t possible because of constraints in your home—an electric fireplace offers a version of that same welcoming feeling with increased safety and simplicity. If you’re looking to take your winter coziness to the next level, a fireplace is the ultimate move.
10. Create Photo Collages
An easy and effective way to make your living areas feel cozy and welcoming is by creating wall collages of photos of friends, family, loved ones, pets, and memories. You may spend more time indoors during the winter months, and photos of the people and important places are a great way to create a warm environment.
Creating photo collages can be a relatively simple do-it-yourself project. Still, some companies sell wall collage kits to make the process even simpler, offering a variety of frame sizes and styles to help you create a unique display.
11. Don’t Forget About Scent
Scent is a sometimes overlooked sense that can profoundly impact our moods and frames of mind. A pleasing scent can often have a nostalgic effect, evoking past memories and associations, helping you settle into a cozy winter evening. It’s common for our favourite scents to have direct links to comfortable, formative moments.
One way to get your whole home smelling wintery and cozy is by making a simmer pot—a simple and affordable method that takes just a few minutes to set up, though the effects can linger on for hours. The concept behind a simmer pot is simply adding fragrant ingredients to water and letting it boil. For instance, you could add apple slices, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and a little vanilla extract to create a comforting aroma for an apple pie-style simmer pot.
If you’re feeling hungry, creating a beautiful scent in the kitchen without anything to snack on afterward might sound like torture. A great way to get your home smelling wonderful with a treat at the end is by partaking in some winter baking, which offers the added benefit of being a relaxing pastime.
Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to giving your home a welcoming scent. Candles can fill your home with an endless variety of pleasing aromas, and candle making can be another excellent winter hobby. Using linen sprays or drops of essential oils is a great way to give your home a subtle, soothing scent. Cultivating calming scents is one of the easiest and most effective ways to give your home wintertime coziness.
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