Creating a Cozy Home for Winter
Winter season is one of my favorite seasons and always has been. When it starts getting colder, when the days start getting shorter and when the trees are looking empty, I enjoy these days and all of the fresh, crisp air it provides.
It dawned on me recently as a mother why I enjoy this time so much. Suddenly our calendar is less occupied. There’s no more soccer games, there’s less birthday parties, no more fall festivals and basically we have lots of empty weekends with a few holiday parties here and there.
I enjoy this season of mothering because it is cozy. I enjoy it because it forces us to stay connected as we sit by the fire or as we bake holiday cookies. It forces us to reconnect and to just “be;” a task that is always easier said than done in today’s busy lifestyle. The holidays can no doubt be a time of “hustle and bustle” as you finish up Christmas shopping, make all of the dishes, attend all of the parties and basically, eat all of the things. But if you’re really intentional about this time and the months ahead, you’ll see just how cozy and reconnecting it can be for your family and for yourself. When it’s too cold to play outside and you're forced to be indoors, it can be rewarding to be together. That’s not to say that cabin fever doesn’t exist, because it surely does - but I believe in finding the cozy joys of the day (even on my hardest days). Sometimes a good session of baking cookies or making smores is a good reset for us all!
Here are some of my favorite ways to embrace this cozy season:
Comfort. I think it is truly comforting to have your own warm slippers and your own warm robe or house sweater. The same goes for the children! Having what you need on hand to keep you warm gives you that “homey” feeling when you take off your shoes and sink into your plush slippers.
Food. Yes, weird that I associate food with winter but I do. Hot chocolate is actually something I drink year round - it’s legit my nearly every day order at Starbucks. But hot chocolate is a special treat at home and a special treat for my children. We don’t do it daily, but when it’s really cold in the mornings or the evenings, it’s a fun treat for my children. I also find that baking cookies or warm muffins is a treat as well as smores by the fire. And a good soup to simmer on the stove all evening is one of my favorite things about “making a home a home” during the winter. Make a large soup and freeze some for a quick meal on a busy night. Also, try our delicious french toast recipe here for those holiday mornings!
Family Movies. Winter time is an excellent time for movies because there’s less going on outside. It’s too cold to play and most extra curricular sports are on an off season. It’s the perfect time to have a family night with hot coco and a family movie.
Board games. This is another way to enjoy the season - board games by the fire in fuzzy pajamas sounds like a plan to me!
Creating a Dim Mood. Spring and summer are all about the bright lights and sunlight beaming through the windows, but honestly I love a dreary day that creates a dim mood. Rooms that are unoccupied in our home stay lit with a small lamp or himalayan salt lamp or our essential oil diffusers. These soft glows create a beautiful mood that matches the season.
Layering. This is something new to me as I scroll through my favorite Instablogs and mamas these days, but layering is the new thing. Whether your’e layering rugs, layering pillows or layering bedding, this adds texture and warmth to any space.
Basket catch-alls. I love natural fiber baskets or chests that can store away the things we need more often in the winter. Whether it is extra throw blankets on hand or a place near the door for everyone’s sweaters, hats and gloves - having functional and stylish storage keeps things tidy and appealing. Add wicker baskets by the door or mud room for winter essentials and keep a basket in the living room with spare throws and pillows. In our home, baskets get moved around and used for many different purposes depending on the season we are in.
Seasonal Colors. This is something I am learning as I go with having a home, but changing out our throw pillows and colors works well for us because we tend to keep things pretty neutral. Adding in deep velvets or deep colors adds a warmth and seasonal “texture” to change things up and keep things cozy.
Seasonal Book bins. I love having a seasonal book bin for my children. Winter and Christmas is a wonderful time to add some new books to the book bin for your children to learn more about the changing season and the true meaning of the holiday we are celebrating. Each season we try to change our book bin up, even though we do have other books scattered throughout the home.
Adding joy. Garland, eucalyptus garlands or stems and twinkle lights are “holiday-ish” touches without being too holiday! These items can stay out longer than just Christmas and really set the the mood for the fun season ahead.
Essential oils. Some of my favorite oils for the winter season include Christmas Spirit, Nutmeg, Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Grapefruit, Cypress, Pine, Northern Lights Black Spruce and Orange. You can read about some fun fall blends here and holiday blends here.
There are so many ways and possibilities to enjoy your home during this cold season. While cabin fever can certainly exist, embrace the empty calendar and the excuse to stay in fleece pajamas all day. Create memories and traditions within the walls of your cozy, little home.