It’s officially winter, which means it’s time to get your home ready for the new season. The coming months are going to be cold, dark, and at times, unpleasant, so we’ve found new ways to make a warm, inviting home to retreat to.
Making your home feel more welcoming during the colder months is not only extremely satisfying, but it also can lift your mood and keep your spirits high during these chillier days and nights. So from warm lighting to wintery scents and, of course, lush bedding and blankets, here’s how to bring the perfect cosy energy to your home this season…
1. Light up the room
Lighting can have a huge impact on how a home feels, and this is especially true during the winter months, when days are shorter and skies are gloomier. By adding warm-toned lamps and spotlights to dark corners of your home, you’ll not only liven up your space, but you’ll create an intentionally cosy atmosphere.
Do a quick stocktake of the types of lighting in your home - your kitchen and living area, bedroom, and bathroom - and note any rooms with harsh, fluorescent lighting. These are the spaces that can benefit from a quick lightbulb switch or the addition of a softer lamp instead.
Of course, natural light throughout the day is important, particularly if you work from home, but if most of your home-time equates to the darker times of day, you’ll rely on artificial light to brighten up your home.
We love lighting tall candles for eating dinner with the family, using lamps with muted lampshades in the living and bedroom to set a relaxed ambience, and opting for warmer white globes (CCT of no more than 3000K) or a dimmer setting, where possible, so you can tone things down to suit your mood.
By designing your lighting to soothe you from the second you step through the door, you’ll make a major difference to your own energy. And when the winter weather really hits, you’ll want these nourishing vibes at home.
2. Bring the outside world in
When it’s cold and spending time in nature becomes a less frequent occurrence, bringing some natural elements inside can keep your home - and mood - in a much more relaxed state.
First things first, get some resilient houseplants in your main living spaces - and be sure to pick ones that don’t need tonnes of sunlight. Not only will plants look fantastic and add greenery to your space, they’ll also improve air quality and help wind down your mental energy at home.
Another heartwarming way to bring nature indoors is by treating yourself to fresh flowers as often as you can afford. There’s something so wholesome and inviting about having a bright bunch of flowers sitting in the centre of your home, where you can watch the petals unfurl and colours change each day. Plus, if you’re trying to make your house feel like a cosy home, this will do it tenfold!
If your green thumb is a little more brown, then don’t stress - there’s still other ways to add natural elements to your home. Layer some earthy toned cushions or throws on your couches, switch your bedding to soothing forest green or taupe shades, and, if your budget allows, get some cosy, natural fibre rugs to make your home warmer - both in look and feel.
3. Turn up the heat
This one’s a no-brainer. When temperatures take a dip, keeping warm is essential, and we’re not just talking about your winter woollies. Invest in an eco-friendly heater that keeps your main spaces nice and cosy, without costing the earth. But before you crank up the heat, make sure your home is built to contain it.
For those of us renting, structural changes may be out of the question. So pop to Bunnings and grab door seals or the trusty door snakes to close off any gaps to the outside. If there’s rooms you don’t use at night, then close off these doors to keep the heat where you are, rather than trying to warm the whole house, which is a much bigger job.
And for more subtle touches, consider lighting a few candles, or if you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, setting it so the wood burns low and slow to keep the house warm through the night. As for the bedroom, there’s always electric blankets if you use them, or the old fashioned hot water bottle to heat your bed before you hop in.
Lastly, to really ramp up the cosy home vibes, get some snuggly, comfortable home clothes or PJs to change into as soon as you get inside. Yes, that includes woolly socks!
4. Add a cosy scent to your home
As well as using warm lighting, colours, and furnishings, your sense of smell is highly connected to your mood and wellbeing, making it an easy hack to having a cosier home. Burning scented candles, using diffusers, or making your own low tox air fresheners that mimic the natural scents found outdoors are all great ways to achieve a more inviting atmosphere.
Some classic scents that make for a cosy winter setting include cinnamon, cloves, cedarwood, cardamom, vanilla, and jasmine. On the flip side, in order to steer clear of fragrances full of nasty chemicals, avoid any room sprays or scents that promise smells like a walk in the woods, Christmas, or cosy cabins - and always check the ingredients!
One of our favourite tricks to bringing delicious aromas to your home is to cook with ingredients you love the smell of. That could be baking gingerbread cookies or roasting spiced pumpkin, simmering mulled wine on the stove, or just making a pot of chai tea in the afternoon.
Another tried and tested hack is to pop some bi carb soda and cinnamon sticks in an open jar, along with a few drops of whatever essential oil smells sweetest to you, then placing it somewhere central and letting the scents waft through your home.
5. Dress your home for the season
When winter hits, we all switch up our wardrobes to dress for the season - and your home should too! If you typically hang light, translucent curtains, then now is the time to swap them for heavier, thicker ones. Dressing your windows appropriately will help ensure your home is better insulated, which in turn will keep temperatures consistent and bills at bay.
If you love changing up your furnishings, then consider swapping out your lounge rooms throws for cosy woollen blankets, dressing your armchairs for winter weekends spent reading and drinking tea, and having toasty bed socks at the ready for when you slip out of your shoes at the end of your day.
And of course, what’s a cosy home without good quality natural bedding? The start of the winter season is exactly when you should be sussing out your bed situation and getting the right bedding to keep you warm. Organic cotton and merino wool are our top picks for inviting blankets and throws, and as for your quilt, you can’t go wrong with organic Australian wool - it’s luxurious, thicker than most wool doonas on the market, yet also beautifully breathable to keep everyone happy.
Cosy home, comfy winter
They say change is as good as a holiday, so when you’re facing a chilly winter, adding some cosy additions to your home can make a world of difference. Tapping into your senses - particularly smell, touch, and sight - will help you adjust your styling to match the season, making your mood more grounded in the process. Meanwhile, by bringing elements of nature in, and keeping the cold vibes out, you’ll be well on your way to making your house a true winter haven!
All it takes is a little bit of effort, and you can turn your home into the perfect place to hunker down and stay cosy over the coming cold days and nights.