Whether you live in one of the northernmost regions of the country or a tropical, humid environment, the short days of winter can lend a noticeable chill to your home. And while cranking up the furnace may keep you warm, there are other ways to get cozy in the coldest time of year. Try these five products that can make your home warmer and more stylish this winter season.
Smart window treatments
Window treatments don’t just keep hot sunlight out; some solutions can keep warm air in. The key is to improve your home’s R-value, or its resistance to heat transfer. Window treatments with a higher R-value can insulate your windows, keeping heated air indoors where it belongs.
Hang thick drapes over large windows to reduce heat transfer and add formal elegance to any room. Be sure to select drapes that extend from the ceiling to the floor. You can even find drapes with magnetic strips that create an insulating seal around your window frames.
Treatments include these cellular shades by blinds.com, which reduce heat transfer without blocking pleasant natural light. Window tint is another effective solution, insulating glass to improve your R-value and potentially eliminating the need for sunlight-blocking window treatments. Depending on your interior design style, you may prefer the contemporary look of uncovered, tinted windows.
Almost nothing is better than a warm blanket on a cold day. Embrace the trend of accessorizing your sofa or armchair with a throw blanket, and then put it to use when you’re ready to cuddle up. Decorative throws can also add cheerful color to any room, so the indoors won’t feel as dreary as the winter weather might.
Decorative throws by CB2 are as stylish as they are comfortable. Select a colorful, retro throw or a contemporary throw in a solid neutral color. To ensure your throw blanket adds compatible color to a room, look to your wall art and small accents in your furniture for color inspiration. As for compatible patterns, consider the shape motifs in your furniture and decor. The repeating straight lines in plaid make an excellent companion to curved or round furniture, while unique graphics can add much-needed variety to rooms full of solid colors.
For optimal warmth, select a throw blanket made from dense and insulating merino wool. You can even swap out your throws as the seasons change, opting for a thin and breathable cotton throw in a floral color when spring arrives.
Down-alternative duvets are incredibly warm and promote cozy winter rest. The experts at sleepfoundation.org named a down-alternative product as their “Best Overall” recommendation because it’s comfortable, warm without being oppressive, and 100 percent hypoallergenic.
Duvets are also more hygienic than comforters. While a comforter is essentially a thick blanket, a duvet consists of two parts, a cover and an insert—both of which are easy to wash. The best duvet inserts include this one by Saatva, which has comfortable and durable box quilting and is incredibly warm yet lightweight. All you’ll need is a compatible duvet cover in a neutral color or simple pattern to complete your bed design.
To no one’s surprise, a fire in the hearth can keep you warm in winter. This winter, upgrade your fireplace so it looks as comforting as it feels. Paint or wash stained brick, give a wooden mantel a clean coat of white paint, and place some heat-resistant seating a safe distance from the hearth. If you’ve been in the mood to rearrange or even redecorate your living room, consider designing around the fireplace this winter instead of the TV—or hang a TV above the fireplace for convenience and style in one.
What about homes that don’t include a fireplace? Consider a chiminea: a portable, front-loading fireplace. These stylish and statement-making pieces not only produce heat but also burn several types of fuel. However, because they release smoke, you’ll need to either connect yours to a smoke vent or simply place it outdoors. The latter is only recommended if you live in a mild winter climate; after all, they were invented many years ago in Mexico, where winters are relatively warm.
One of the most enjoyable ways to warm up is by sharing a home-cooked meal and some hot beverages. Are you equipped to entertain? Stock up on winter dishware like soup bowls, family-style serving platters, and trivets so you can set a hot dutch oven or pan right on the dinner table. Stylish dishware made from quality, heat-resistant materials like porcelain and earthenware can make comfort foods even more satisfying.
If you love hot tea or coffee in the wintertime, upgrade your beverage break with serving trays to hold a kettle, teacups or mugs, and even some finger-food pairings like cookies or scones. You can find beautiful printed or engraved trays on Etsy that are as useful as conversation pieces as they are practical for daily use.
With the right design elements, winter can be a comfortable season worth looking forward to. These recommendations perfectly balance practical home benefits with attractive presentation—for winter design at its finest.