Winter doesn’t mean bone-chilling temperatures all the time, but it can mean gray skies and certainly shorter days. Yet there are many ways to counteract those blah-bah-humbug feelings and add a warm, cozy feeling and sense of conviviality indoors — what the Danes and Norwegians call hygge.
Doing so might be as simple as surrounding ourselves with a room painted a dark, rich color, or incorporating plush furniture to curl up on. The best news is that most of our ideas aren’t terribly expensive and can be switched again when days grow longer and warmer. Remember, every season offers its own rewards.
1. Add warm fragrances
Move past the season’s overbearing pine, cranberry and pumpkin spice candles. There are plenty of other, more sophisticated fragrances that evoke a feeling of warmth. Take Byredo’s the Burning Rose candle. It has a deep smell of rose combined with a smoky, woody character. Diptyque’s Choisya candle offers another warm scent that conjures honey, tobacco leaves and a handful of spices.
2. Paint an entire room a deep, warm, saturated hue
Deep colors instantly envelop and transport us to a warm destination, and many manufacturers suggest we go darker and richer in our paint and color choices. Pair these colors for contrast with a white, off-white or cream in the trim and ceiling, or use the dark color throughout the room on all surfaces for what may be one of next year’s big design trends. Paint manufacturer Dunn Edwards has debuted its new Dark & Stormy paint hue, a deep, intense blue that immediately evokes the coziness of bundling up for cold winter days and evenings.
3. Nestle into a furry cocoon
Natural textures are showing up not just in traditional blankets and throws but also in the upholstery that goes on couches and chairs. One increasingly popular suggestion is sheepskin, which is soft and furry to the touch and warm. Just the right fix we need to upholster favorite seating. RH has re-imagined a classic midcentury French design, with the Yeti chair. Crafted of solid oak and upholstered in ultrasoft, New Zealand sheepskin, the chair has a low, raked back and arms that curve gently into tapered legs. Pure 1940s Paris.
4. The more throws and blankets the better
Rather than turning up the heat — and wasting energy — why not wrap yourself in a thick throw or blanket, so you can sit and converse comfortably, read a favorite book or sink into “The Crown” or “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Ethan Allen offers a host of choices that will perk up any setting. They measure 70 by 50 inches.
5. Layer area rugs
Most people like hardwood floors these days, but they can be cold on bare feet. A shaggy or furry area rug proves the right antidote and not just feels warm but looks warm, too, especially when it’s set atop an existing area or wall-to-wall rug. Look for textured rugs that offer a tactile feel, and you’ve got a win-win all around. Toms-Price’s hand-knotted wool rug is a North Moroccan design from the Berber tribes that reside in the city of Taza. Other favorites are Room & Board’s wool Soraya rug with its geometric graphics and colorful tufted poms, and West Elm’s earthy hand-tufted wool Charm Rug.