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Savoring the Seasons: Winter

There is a quiet beauty to winter – when snow falls, the world outside seems hushed and magical, while indoors we stay cozy with hot drinks and crackling fires. I didn’t always love winter, but I have come to appreciate the deep rest that winter provides. It’s natural to gravitate to the hearth and home at this time of year, and focus on the simple pleasures that make living worthwhile.

Most of my winter inspiration I gather from the Scandinavian countries, where they have made this whole cozy-winter-living thing an art form. There is even a word for it in Danish, hygge (pronounced hue-gah), which, roughly translated, means enjoying a warm and cozy time with family and friends, often with cake and a hot drink. Sounds delightful!

This winter, bring more of the Scandinavian sense of coziness and hygge to your home by embracing simple decorations like fresh greenery, small trees, paper stars, soft throws in warm neutral hues, cozy rugs and faux-sheepskins, and lots (and lots!) of candles.

There’s a reason the color white is so popular in Scandinavian interiors: it brightens homes during those long, cold, dark winters. And when paired with warm, textural accents in natural materials, fresh greenery pulled from outdoors, and the twinkle of fairy lights and the soft glow of candles, the effect is nothing short of magical.

Here’s wishing you a cozy, magical, and very hygge holiday season!

Super-cute rugs for a Scandinavian-inspired winter home (clockwise from top left): Surya Nestle rug in cream; Artistic Weavers Hilda rug in white and black; Capel Genevieve Gorder Scandinavian Stripe in natural and blue; Artistic Weavers Sheep in beige.

Photos: Carina Olander photography for Lantliv via My Scandinavian Home

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

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5 Tips to Prep Your Home for Winter

via The Style Files
Photo: The Style Files

Tip #1: Stack Up Those Blankets

Pull those blankets out of their hiding places in closets and under beds. Give them a quick wash and dry, then set out stacks in living spaces and bedrooms for especially chilly days and nights. I like to place them in large baskets, it helps keep things tidy and pets from taking advantage of a new nap spot.

The Jungalow
Photo: The Jungalow

Tip #2: Put Your Slow Cooker on High Rotation

The set and forget it mentality is especially appreciated during winter months, where you leave for work when it’s dark outside and don’t come home until it’s dark once again. Pull your slow cooker out of the back of that cabinet or pantry and take advantage of its time saving capabilities, as well as the delicious stews and more that you’ll be enjoying soon!

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Tip #3: Flannel Sheets Are Where It’s At

Swapping out the Egyptian cotton sheets for flannel is step one for me when it comes to admitting that winter is nearly here. I like to have two sets on hand — one that’s either plain or with a simple pattern, the other more seasonal. One happens to be a heavier flannel than the other, assuring that no one will ever wake up with cold toes in the middle of the night.

Joanna Hawley

Tip #4: Stock Up on Candles

When the windows are no longer thrown open (or even cracked just a little), the house needs to get a dose of freshness somehow. I stock up on candles year round both because I like having more than one option to burn at a time, and because I use them more come the winter months. I find myself really looking forward to lighting one before dinner every night.

Lars Kaslov for Bo Bedre
Photo: Bo Bedre

Tip #5: Cover Those Floors

If you all of a sudden find yourself wearing thicker socks (like me) while wandering around your home, then it’s time to think about rugs. Check for wear and tear on older ones (especially in high traffic areas like entryways and halls) and take notice of which spots may need a floor rug of their own.

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Sherpa Chic | Fashion & Home Decor

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I sit here writing this from sunny, warm California… not to gloat or anything, but winter feels quite far away for me. However, I know better. I’ve braved many a bitter cold January. Being an eternal optimist, my best advice is to look forward to changing up in your wardrobe and your home during this chilly period. Embrace the cozy comfort of layers including chunky knits, thick wool, and luxurious sherpa. But worry not, you don’t have to look like Nanook of the north when donning sherpa. Instead, opt for a chic, sophisticated look full of rich neutrals and gorgeous embellishments. Instead of overt prints, go for texture that reads like a print. For example, an oversized rib knit reads as a tonal stripe.

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When it comes to your home though, I don’t recommend straying from pattern! Instead, keep your color palette neutral and restrained. Then, layer together rugs that feel related, but different… sort of like cousins! I also recommend adding a cozy chair to your living room or bedroom area with a gorgeous dec pillow. Speaking of pillows, how great is this Surya kilim pillow?? I’ll take 2, please. This neutral look sets the mood for a cozy space where you can sip cocoa and indulge in a good book, all while avoiding all the snow outdoors. Really, this is only way to survive winter as far as I’m concerned!

Photo Credit: embellished faux fur jacket from Nordstrom, Vogue Is My Religion, and Autumn Fever.

Shopping Guide: (from top to bottom, left to right) Surya kilim pillow, Safavieh vintage rug, Safavieh white club chair, and Loloi akina rug.

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Tips to Winterize Your Entry

Winter Foyer

Winter is here, and with it comes chillier weather and shorter days… and drafty doorways! Keep your entry toasty, festive, and bright this winter with a few quick updates. Starting outdoors, add a boot scraper and sturdy door mat to catch muck before it enters your home. Just inside the door, add another rug to protect your floors, and add a layer of warmth and style. If you’re looking to update your walls, consider having outdoor winter photos blown up and framed; or write a special message on a large chalkboard to welcome guests. Sturdy wicker baskets to hold winter accessories, and a boot tray to hold shoes, are other must-haves.

Winter Foyer 2

In the Scandinavian countries, people must deal with very long, cold winters, so it makes sense to turn to Scandinavian style in the cold months of the year. All-white entryways (yes, even the floors!) are a bit harder to keep clean, but the cheerful light they bring your home is well worth it. Add a soft colored neutral rug, furry, fluffy throw, and twinkling white lights to complete the cozy scene.

Winter Foyer 3

When putting together your winter entryway, think about adding smart storage pieces like the Jack White Bookshelf to hold mittens, scarves, and bags. Cover the floors with a hardworking natural fiber rug, like the Jaipur rugs natural Sanibel plus, and drape a cozy throw (we like the Rizzy Home decorative throw) over a bench.

Now we would love to hear from you: how do you tweak your entryway for winter? Please share your tips in the Comments section below!

Shopping Guide: 1. Jaipur rugs natural Sanibel plus; 2. Safavieh Kenya rug; 3. Decorative pillows; 4. Jack White Bookshelf; 5. Nathan walnut brown accent table; 6. Rizzy Home decorative throw.

Image Sources: Nordic DesignArt.comCity FarmhouseArt and ChicLooklabSims HilditchBoscolo Interior Design.

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