Ways to cozy up your home

Friday, January 10, 2014

With more long, frigid winter months ahead of us, we offer a few simple decorating touches that can add warmth to just about any home.

Try an area rug. Nothing shows winter faster than cold floors on bare feet. Ward off chilly toes by placing area rugs in well-traveled areas of your home.

Add a throw blanket. Nubby knits are excellent companions for chilly nights at home with a movie. They're also a good way to incorporate seasonal color. Place throws on sofas and chairs and keep a few folded for the floor. Warm up your windows. Switch out summer sheers for heavier drapes. Heavy drapes keep out drafts and lend an air of opulence to the room. For added energy savings, check out the variety of thermal window treatments available. Create an inviting entry. Make visitors feel comfortable from the moment they step through your door. Put out a welcome mat-literally. Decorate your front door with a seasonal accent and an attractive mat. Gather around the hearth. A crackling fire naturally draws people to it. Rearrange your furniture to create a conversation area around your hearth. If your home doesn't have a built-in fireplace, today's gel fuel fireplaces score high marks for charm, with no mess or need for an outside vent. Carve out a reading nook. Now is the time to pull out your favorite tomes and lose yourself for hours in a good book. Pick a well-lit corner of your home and put a comfy armchair, lamp and end table into it. Sequester your private space with a freestanding screen. Pull out the candles. Any room feels warmer and cozier by the glow of candlelight. Use candles liberally to add seasonal color and scents throughout your home. Accent with black. Black, the universal symbol of sophistication, can add elegance to your home. Use it sparingly-just enough to make a statement, but not so much that it makes the room dreary.

Now, cozy up in your warm, comfy surroundings and enjoy the rest of your winter season!