Fill Your Home with Light and Warmth this Winter (Without Increasing Your Energy Use)

cat on blanket in front of fireplace - fill your home with light and warmth this winter

To those who love nothing more than preparing for the festive season, snuggled up by the fireplace and enjoying a cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows, it can be surprising to find that only 11% of Americans identify winter as their favorite season.

According to a Gallup poll, spring always wins out (36%), with summer coming in a close second (at 25%). Colder seasons can indeed be harder work (especially if you have to shovel snow and ice), but once you are tucked away in the comfort of home during the holidays, the vibe can very much be one of ‘Let it snow’.

We usually make our homes cozy by making them a little extra warm and a little extra bright, but you don’t have to up your energy use to do that. Turning on the lights and turning up the furnace aren’t the only ways to impart a sense of comfort. If you are excited about the fall/winter 2020 season and you’d like to add some cheer to your interiors while keeping your spending low, the following tips may ignite the flames of inspiration.

Upping The Warmth Factor

Try to think of the places your family members or friends most enjoy sitting in and conversing or enjoying a snack. These may include the main sofa area, stools surrounding the kitchen island, or on the porch or terrace on a sunny day. Ensure that all these spots have soft blankets nearby.

Faux fur, wool, fleece, and knitted blankets are all ideal, so lay out a few blankets in different colors and materials — enough for every guest or family member. If you have a little baby in the house, then knitted blankets are ideal to keep them at just the right level of warmth.

Designing A Pop-Up Coffee or Tea Bar

two lattes in glass mugs with fairy lights - fill your home with light and warmth this winter

If you enjoy inviting friends over for a freshly brewed cup of coffee or a cup of loose leaf tea, then creating a pop-up coffee or tea bar in a corner of your living room or kitchen may tempt visitors to come over more frequently. A distressed wood shelf or other wooden decor, a few vintage coffee and tea jars, and a nearby island or table upon which to place brewing equipment is all you need.

To add a designer touch, consider purchasing or making carved wooden letters that spell coffee or tea-related words, add a few fairy lights above your wooden “bar frame” and pull out your vintage coffee maker and antique tea kettles and cups. Toss a few fairy cakes and scones into the equation, and you could just feel like you have recreated the ambience of a tea party from Alice in Wonderland.

Opening the Senses

To make a winter visit to your home memorable, think of how you can pamper your guests’ senses. Coffee, tea and snacks will appeal to their sense of taste, and soft blankets will appeal to their sense of touch, but what about the sense of smell?

When it comes to home fragrances, more and more American homeowners are steering clear of artificial liquids and turning more to natural fragrances emitted from essential oil diffusers and candles.

Soy and beeswax candles, unlike those made with paraffin, are natural, and will not destroy your indoor air quality. Wood wick candles provide an extra ‘pop’ because they make a crackling noise when they burn (unlike standard wicks). As such, even if there isn’t a fireplace in sight, you can enjoy the warm glow of fire and be reminded of the homey sound of logs burning in an open fire. 

Using The Power Of Color

Color has a powerful effect on your mood: it has the ability to add light or intensity, joyfulness or drama. If you enjoy giving your interiors a change with each passing season, then now is the time to pull out your natural paints in relaxing yet warm colors like jade, dark emerald or forest green. If you are more into blue, then cobalt, navy or berry statement walls will do the trick.

There is no need to go drab just because you have gone a bit darker this season. Embellish your autumn and winter walls with metallic mirrors, copper-toned shelves, or mixed metal décor pieces such as picture frames, sculptures, and painted seashells and corals to bring a bit of light into the picture.

For those who love home life, few seasons hit the spot quite like the fall or winter. Ensure this season is warmer than ever through the use of blankets, gourmet zones, soft furnishings and fragrances. Play around with color as well, changing one or more walls so as to reflect the predominant feeling brought about by the arrival of the colder yet cozier seasons.

Feature image: Jenna Hamra; Image 1: Bibhash Banerjee

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