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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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Decorating for Winter: Scandinavian Style

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In the countries of the far north where the winters are incredibly long and cold, people have learned to take what could be quite a dark time, and transform it into a time of light and good cheer. There is a Danish concept called hygge, which roughly translates to mean creating a warm and cozy atmosphere in your home, and enjoying time with family and friends. Delightful, right? I love adopting a Scandinavian approach to winter, and you can, too: it’s all about light, coziness, nature, and a bit of sparkle.

Key elements of Scandinavian style winter decorating:

– Sheepskins flung over chairs for warmth (faux is perfectly acceptable!)

– Knitted accessories

– Natural birch bark

– Star motifs

– Clean and simple black and white color palette

– Loads of candles

– Potted bulbs like amaryllis and paperwhites

The beauty of Scandinavian or Nordic style decorating is that it’s based heavily in nature and simplicity. This is especially great around the holidays if you are craving a simpler approach. Consider forgoing the store-bought gift wrap in favor of plain kraft paper fastened with twine. To decorate each room, place a small fresh-cut tree or cluster of evergreen branches in a vase on the floor or table, and hang stars cut from bark or wool felt. Instead of baking ten kinds of cookies, bake one batch of gingerbread and decorate it with white icing. Simple!

Of course, another key part of embracing a Scandinavian sensibility at this time of year is to enjoy getting outside in nature…and then coming indoors to warm up with hot drinks and tasty cakes! So bundle up and go for the sled ride, take a walk in the woods, or gather round a fire pit in the backyard. Find the beauty in this time of year.

If you would like to bring some Nordic style into your home this season, I recommend keeping the palette simple with soothing shades of gray, cream, black, and white. Above are a few of my favorite pieces: a silky soft gray area rug, gorgeous wintery photo print, chunky knit pillow, and cozy faux fur rug for tossing on your favorite chair.

Now it’s your turn: Share your favorite thing about wintertime in the Comments!

Shopping Guide: 1. Surya Textured Pillow in light gray; 2. Gordon Semmens ‘Buffalo River Snow Field’; 3. Loloi Grayson Animal Shape Rug in graphite; 4. Artistic Weavers Silk Route Rainey rug in light gray.

Photo Credits: from top to bottom of post My Scandinavian HomeThe Style FilesHouse of ValentinaLaura Gaskill.

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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