Warming up your spaces
for a Cozy Winter
hen the weather changes outside to cloudy,
rainy and/or windy and cold, you may find
your castle a little dark and dreary instead of
warm, homey and inviting.
After the holidays are over and decorations are put away,
our spaces can look a little stark and impersonal. You can
warm up your spaces by just using a few tricks—making
your home feel inviting and cozy. After all, you may be
spending a lot more time inside.
The first thing I do is assess how my furniture is placed
and what I have around the larger pieces of furniture. Your
room is not the place to nurse struggling plants back to life.
What warms up a room is different textures, pops of
color, green plants (either artificial or real). If real, make
sure they look heathy and vibrant. Changing pillow colors
to warm colors and a mixture of solids and prints and
placing them on your sofa and one on a chair softens
even a leather sofa in the winter. Adding throw blankets
in complementary colors and different textured fabrics on
a sofa or chair is also very inviting. In the corners of your
room, adding a large green Ficus tree or other large plant,
that is not too stiff, will lend softness to a nearby solid chair
Lighting is key to the mood of a room. If a corner of
the room is dark and uninviting, add a small amount of
tiny white lights to your indoor plant or tree. Leftover
strings from the holidays work well but a word of caution
—too many lights may look like you forgot to take your
decorations down. Adding a floor lamp or extra table
lighting is another option.
Now for the fun things that make a big difference,
the acquisition of which often involve a trip to a home
decorating store. We are very lucky to have a few to
choose from here in South County. Beware, however, of
the temptation to overdo and add too much to the space,
making it look crowded and cluttered.
Hearths are often the focal point of your family/living
room space. A candled lantern at either end or a little
greenery around the base can go along way to soften it. The
candle, when lit or turned on, if it is battery-operated, one
will give off a nice warm glow. Baskets with greens or wood
at the base of the hearth also work well. They also add to
the warmth of the room when placed on the floor near the
base of a chair or table off to the side.
If you have a mantle, candles, tea lights, and a few taller
items really add to the appeal. Use live or beautiful artificial
greenery to place at the base of your arrangement to soften
the look. Utilize the greens and flowers in your garden as
much as you can to give small pops of color in a few other
areas of the room as well.
Use your imagination but be sure not to overdo. What
you are trying to do is feel yourself wanting to sit and be
cozy in your room. So, throw a lap blanket diagonally
across the end of your sofa with pillows placed in front
of it. Use more than one pillow at each end of a sofa and
add one to a chair. Use a solid color fur throw and another
throw in a soft cashmere type fabric in a soft plaid. Use
white or cream as a base and then add your favorite warm
tone or two with a print or plaid pillow. Look at them
together and see if they blend and feel warm.
You can change the look of your room just by moving
your current furniture around and/or adding a new piece
to the mix. Remember that warm hues (color) invite you
in and soft, touchable textures (fabrics) make you feel cozy.
The green of a tree or plant brings the outside in and the
room seems more alive.
For your table, use a cloth or runner on your dining
table with a seasonal centerpiece. Use vegetables like
artichokes, cucumbers, peppers, or others placed on a
runner or tablecloth among candles and/or with a seasonal
focal item you like. Use some greens or leaves from your
yard as a base. It’s really easy and fun.
Written By Teri Nelson, Realtor
Intero Real Estate, Morgan Hill
GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN