15 Ways to Make Your Home Cosy for Winter

Picture it: it's winter in the year 2020. It's cold, it's raining, and you're spending more time inside than ever before. It might be time to make a few adjustments at home to help you feel comfortable, safe and secure. With temperatures down to single digits and physical distancing laws intermittently in place all over Australia, it might be time to hit refresh make your home as cosy as it can be.

A disclaimer: this article is not intended to override the very real importance of decluttering your living room or your bedroom. Making your home cosy does not mean adding more clutter. However, the right amount of additional stuff – good stuff, useful stuff, stuff that makes you feel happy – can make all the difference. And it's not just about stuff. Here are 15 ways to make your home more cosy for winter.

Lighting

Lighting is the easiest way towards making your home more cosy. Step 1: If any of the lightbulbs anywhere in your home are cool white, replace them with warm white bulbs. Never buy cool-tone bulbs again. Step 2: Save overhead lights for emergencies (lost keys, fiddling with cables at the back of the TV) and invest in a collection of lamps instead. Consider the placement of each lamp and remember that rather than a lamp right next to your bed or sofa, it's the indirect light sources that do most of the work in making a room warm and inviting.

Soft furnishings

Right now, when it comes to cushions and blankets, adopt a more is more mindset. Where possible, invest in quality fabrics – 100% wool or wool blend blankets, 100% linen throws, and soft oversized cushions made with hypoallergenic filling. If your stuff is made to last, it's better for the environment and for your wallet. If you're lacking storage space, consider replacing your coffee table with a storage ottoman.

Candles and incense

Scent is a powerful tool in the psychological self-manipulation it sometimes takes to relax the mind. It's also a great way to connect with your personal space and make it your own. The best fragrance delivery tools are candles and incense – just keep them at a safe distance from any flammable soft furnishings. Choose a scent that puts you at ease, and light it up when you feel discombobulated or when it's time to wind down. The Ayu Myrrh Incense is earthy, woody and warm – perfect for getting cosy. In fact, Ayu founder Madeleine Whitter's home tour might inspire you.

Wood

Accents of wood are a great way to warm up the aesthetic of a room. Replace one of the larger non-wood pieces of furniture in your home with something made from warm-toned wood to really make a difference. Cherry, mahogany, hickory are naturally warm whereas ash, maple, poplar and pine are cooler, but your eyes are probably the best way to test the temperature yourself. If you're a homeowner or in the market for a new rental, wooden walls will make you feel like you're in a log cabin.

Upholstered tables

Warm-toned wood and natural stone are both effective materials when it comes to cosy-making at home, but have you considered upholstered furniture? A fabric-covered coffee table or bench feels extra cosy. (Next: carpeted walls.)

Layered rugs

Whether your floors are carpeted, hardwood, or tiled, layering multiple rugs in the key areas of each room adds texture and can have an anchoring effect. Now is the time to mix and match, both in terms of colour and texture. Think: short-pile room rug underneath with smaller shag rug on top. Combine periods as well – a short-pile jute rug with a classic red Moroccan or Indian rug will feel perfectly mis-matched. Or, go wild with clashing patterns and bright colours. If you need some balance, keep furniture surfaces clean and relatively clear.

Bed linen

We've said it before and we're going to keep saying it: good quality bed linen that is also aesthetically appealing is an excellent way to ensure your bed – and your "home" more generally – is a positive, inviting, and healthy place for you to be. Customise your bedding by choosing your own colour combo

Cooking

What's better than cooking (and eating) a delicious meal in winter? Not much. Make it an event and start in the afternoon – if you let it, cooking can help boost your mood. It's also a grounding activity that gets you out of your own head while also connecting with your body. The right recipe will also make your home smell amazing.

Texture

Like rug layering, a variety of textures on walls and surfaces will help to soften a room and draw you in. Hang a wall tapestry, place a lambskin rug on an arm chair or a mohair blanket over the back of the couch, or hang a textured oil painting to add more dimension to any room. Invite objects that make you want to touch them. This isn't a museum – it's your safe space.

Art objects

A beautiful incense holder, a unique lamp, a stone tray to hold trinkets, a deck of tarot cards, or a sculpture that serves no function beyond aesthetics – placing objects you love around your home is ideal for creating a warm, personal, inviting atmosphere.

Coloured walls

If you're able, new wall paint is an excellent way to make your home feel cosy. If you're game, navy, burgundy or forest green will provide the perfect base for a "1970s book-filled new York apartment" vibe. For something more subtle, replace your off white wall paint with a warmer beige or diluted saffron. With a warmer wall colour, you'll be able to leave the rest of your décor as is and still fill cosier in an instant.

OTT wall art (at eye level)

Hanging paintings, prints and photographs does so much for any room. Wall art adds texture, interest, personalisation and vibrancy. Hang your frames at eye level for maximum cosiness.

Organic objects

Plants, flowers, shells, crystals and stones go a long way to softening up your home décor. Living things – that's plants – literally add new life to a room, and can help to purify the air (which is of great assistance when you rarely leave the house or it's too cold for open windows).

Optimise your seating

We spend a lot of time each day sitting down, so it's worth ensuring your seating arrangement and options are conducive to comfort and focus on whatever task you're tackling (yes, streaming TV shows is considered a task).

Bright colours

A cosy home needn't be all neutrals and plush throw pillows. Bringing bright colours into your living room is a perfect way to brighten your mood and make your home a friendly place to get through winter.

Lacking space? Here are 11 decorating hacks to make your small space feel palatial.

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