As temperatures drop, we’re coming up on that time when people are hunkering down and spending more time at home. That may mean inviting guests over for holiday celebrations and casual get-togethers, but it can also mean just staying in for the pure pleasure of it—either solo or with your family. Make your home a place you want to be this season by incorporating some of these ideas.
1. Give fireplaces the attention they deserve. In recent years, fireplaces have taken on a whole new life, truly becoming the design focus of many rooms. We are asked to redesign fireplaces all the time. Sometimes, that just means changing out the tile, mantel, and insert for something more modern. There are other instances where we’ve tackled a complete overhaul. Some things we’ve done over the years include integrating the fireplace into case moldings, covering it in a bold color, and adding a built-in bench. All of these approaches work to anchor the fireplace as the focal point of the room and to marry design and function. If a major change is not the cards right now, swapping out your fireplace tools, screen, or log holder could give your fireplace the quick refresh you crave. 2. Choose comfy seating. Sectionals are optimal for seating a lot of people in a lounge-like environment. We also love using an ottoman as a coffee table. Top it with a chic tray to corral remotes, books, candles, and plants, and then simply move the tray when you’re ready to put your feet up or need extra seating. For overflow seating or cozying up to the fireplace, you can’t beat floor pillows or high-end bean bag chairs. They’re super easy to toss in the corner and pull out as needed. Sometimes, when we’re designing a home, we’ll choose upholstered dining chairs in a coordinating color scheme that works with the living room, so they can be pulled into the space and still look cohesive.
3. Make your bedroom an oasis. I’m a big proponent for upholstered headboards in the bedroom. You just can’t beat it when it comes to comfort. Same with an upholstered bench at the end the bed. Not only does it add another layer warmth, but it also provides a practical spot to sit or set things as you’re getting dressed. In the winter, cushy area rugs or carpet can ward off the cold. If there’s space, I love bringing in a chaise or oversized armchair with an ottoman. It’s nice to have another place to read a book or do some work outside of your bed. 4. Engage all of your senses. In addition to bringing in cozy textures that feel nice to the touch, think about how you can delight your other senses. Whether you’re hosting a gathering or just enjoying a quiet evening at home, it feels indulgent to be surrounded by soft lighting, delicious-smelling candles, and tunes you love. Keeping your favorite drinks or treats on hand doesn’t hurt either! I have a particular fondness for the ambiance created by votives scattered down the center of a dining table or dispersed throughout a room. Greenery and flowers can add another layer of life, color, and interest in a space, particularly during a time of year when the outdoor landscape can be so barren. 5. Reach for rich textures. We try to make the foundation of our designs work year-round, but there are always layers homeowners can add in or take out to fit the season. In the winter, up the cozy factor by adding in a big basket of throw blankets in warm textures, such as faux fur or cable-knit. Swap out your pillow fabrics with new velvet and mohair covers.
6. Try a game table. Setting up cards, puzzles, or board games around a game table feels so much more special than crowding around your kitchen table. That said, even if you don’t host regular game nights, a game table is a handy piece that’s multifunctional. It can be a secondary table besides your main dining table to gather with family and friends. It can also be a convenient spot for kids to tackle homework or even another bar set up when you’re entertaining. 7. Reinvent your home office. With technology making work more mobile, it’s becoming less necessary to have a dedicated study in the home. Instead we are seeing more and more people turning their home offices and dens into cozy, versatile spaces they treat like secondary family rooms. With sink-in seating, it can be a quiet room for the kids to watch a movie during parties. It can also be treated as a more intimate entertaining space, such as a place for special cocktails. Built-in bookcases can give it a library-feel.I hope you’ll take some of these ideas into your own home to make it more inviting this season. In a couple months, winter may start to feel long, but if we have comfortable spaces to relax and entertain in, we might keep the cabin fever at bay!
Until next time,