Winter Style in White

'Tis the season of good cheer and short days. Here's how to make your home perfectly suited to the winter season.


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White fabrics and sparkling accessories are natural choices for winter decor because they add much-needed light to a home's interior. Softer than the bright whites of summer, winter whites come in a variety of pale colors.

Candles -- and lots of them -- cast a warming glow to every corner of a room, especially when company's coming for dinner. Keep a stock of white candles, mirrored and sparkling accessories, and frosted glasses on hand to keep the look fresh and inviting; simply create new groupings from your stash every time you set the table.

Gather 'Round the Hearth

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In the winter, rearrange the seating group in your living room so it faces the fireplace. Winter-white lampshades maximize the wattage of every bulb without creating glare. Add a string of votives to the mantel and a group of pillars on the coffee table to multiply the warmth and power of the fire to ward off the chill.

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The celebration of the season starts at the front door. Greet family and friends with a setting that suits the whole season: greenery, sparkling ornaments, and the ever-present candles are just as suitable for January as they are for December.

Greenery is always visually appreciated, but choose branches of leaves -- rather than pine boughs -- if you want a look that foretells of spring. Or, put pine boughs out for the holidays and switch to eucalyptus leaves in January for a fresh change of pace.

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Winter whites cover a bed's dark shapes the way snow blankets a landscape of trees. Sink into the layers of winter with lavender and white linens, a fluffy featherbed, a winter-weight duvet, and a transparent bedcovering of icy voile.

If you keep colors light in winter, your spirit will maintain its lightness longer during the stretches of time that the sun takes its leave. A sprig of greenery, such as evergreens, on the nightstand is a gentle reminder of nature's cycles.

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No decorating rule is universal. For example, not every room should have a white focus for the winter. Instead, if you crave bright colors to remind you of the coming warm months, have some fun creating tie-dyed bed linens.

This guest room has the feel of a Caribbean getaway with its bright aqua- and lime-colored pillowcases.

Tie-dying is a fast and fun way to add a touch of color; just be sure to wear latex gloves when handling the dyes and clean the washing machine by running it through a full hot-wash-cool-rinse cycle to remove dye. Color blotches on you or the next load of laundry could spoil the fun.

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