When the weather turns brisk and blustery, it's time to pull out the warm and woolly accents to cosy up your home By Amanda Ash, Vancouver Sun
Birds fly south. Bears curl up in caves. And humans escape to their sofas, recliners and feather duvet bedding.
Winter weather often herds us indoors. Our homes become a refuge, which is why Karen Visser winterizes her decor once the furnace kicks in.
"When you come indoors, you want to have that feeling of coziness," says Visser, owner of Bella Casa Design Centre in Edmonton.
Hibernating might not sound incredibly exciting, but it can be much more bearable with the help of plush blankets, soft pillows and flickering candles. By switching up a few accents, you can transform your home into a luxurious winter retreat.
Visser says it's good to start changing out your summer decor pieces in the fall when the air begins to cool and the nights grow longer. Rooms to consider are the main sitting areas, the kitchen and even your bedroom, since they're places you'll spend the most time.
When it comes to your living room, toss a microplush or faux fur blanket and perhaps a cable-knit throw pillow onto the couch.
"It's a tactile thing," says Cindy Jardim, associate vice-president of brand development at Sears Canada. "It's about the cozier fabrics and treatments. For me, it's snuggling on the sofa."
Heavy velvet draperies and shaggy rugs are other great ways to warm up your living room, especially if you've got large windows and hardwood floors.
When choosing colours, Visser loves going with deeper reds, olive greens, tangerine oranges and various shades of purple. You can pick up table napkins and placemats in these shades to create a richer environment in your kitchen.
"Go with a little more saturated colours, a little deeper tones as opposed to something that's a little lighter and a little more vibrant that you may use in the spring or the summer," she says.
The same colour palette goes for the bedroom. Jardim says jewel-tone duvets and sheets can be layered with blankets to create an irresistible haven that you'll never want to leave.
"For me, it's about layering," says Jardim. "You may not necessarily need all that warmth right away, but you can pull back the duvet cover and just have a really great blanket there, and as the season progresses, you're ready to go."
Lastly, candles can be interspersed around your home to add some light. Jardim says shimmering mercury glass or beaded glass candle holders can lift your spirits, especially when it's dreary outside.
"It just makes you feel good. You look outside and it's grey and cold and windy. You just want to have that little bit of luxury to get you through the winter."