When the days draw in and the cold winds of winter start to blow, it may feel like there’s not much you can do except hunker down and wait for spring to come. A bracing afternoon walk with the dog may be a good way to boost the mood with a bit of exercise, but sometimes the prospect of coming home is what’s best of all. Here are some home decorating ideas to create a warm and inviting sanctuary that will make you feel cozy and lift your spirits.
In your living room: when it’s cold outside, it’s easy to start fantasizing about a real fire in the hearth — and the prospect of watching the flames leaping in the fireplace or stove is almost as warming as the real thing! It’s a simple job to change the layout of your living room furniture to frame this focal point of the room to maximum effect. Add a woolly area rug, some ultra soft sofa cushions and maybe a luxurious throw and you have the ingredients necessary for snuggling up in front of the TV or with your favorite book. If you don’t have a stove or can’t build a real fire in the fireplace, a selection of different sized candles placed together in the hearth can create a wonderfully warming effect.
In the kitchen: there’s nothing like the smell of coffee brewing or fresh bread baking in the oven to draw everyone towards the kitchen. Winter is a time when thick, hearty soups and stews warm you from the inside out — and they allow you to make the most of healthy winter legumes, pulses and vegetables. Make some stock from the bones next time you finish a roast chicken or a Sunday joint, and use it as the basis for a delicious soup that you can freeze in portion sizes and enjoy with some crusty bread over the coming weeks.
Throughout the house: it may be cold outside, but soon the promise of spring will be in the air. Anticipate that moment when the first green shoots begin to appear, and bring a touch of springtime color into your home with a selection of bulbs, such as fragrant hyacinths, daffodils or tulips. Buy your bulbs from your favorite garden dealer at the end of the summer or in the autumn, and force them in pots in a cold, dark place over a period of about 12 weeks until the shoots start to appear and it’s time to bring them out into the light. You’ll be rewarded by a wonderful indoor display of spring colors before plants are blooming in the garden, and when the bulbs have finished flowering you can let the leaves die back before storing them somewhere cool and dry, for planting outside the following autumn.