17 Ways to Create a Cozy Winter Home

Fireplace with candles and plant
Photo: Stacy Goldberg

When cold weather draws near, it's time to settle in and make your home a haven. Plush accents, heavier fabrics, and seasonal patterns add an extra layer of comfort to living areas, bedrooms, kitchens, and more. Try these decorating ideas to turn your home into a warm and welcoming space throughout the fall and winter.

01 of 17

Use Warm Colors

white sitting room with blue, green, and yellow accents
Kim Cornelison

Beat the chill outside with an interior palette rooted in warm, cozy colors. Textiles, accessories, and art featuring hues like rusty red, burnt orange, mustard yellow, and olive green make gorgeous additions to most neutral color schemes. If you plan on using saturated shades, be sure to balance them with plenty of warm white to avoid a heavy look.

02 of 17

Incorporate Cozy Lighting

farmhouse living room zebra carpet wood beams
John Gruen

As the days get shorter, utilize your home's lighting to make up for the lack of sunlight. Create a cozy ambience with light fixtures that emit a warm, soft glow. Rearrange floor lamps and table fixtures to brighten up dark corners or provide extra light for your favorite reading spot. For a subtle glow, outfit lamps with semi-opaque shades that will diffuse the light, or switch to bulbs with a warmer color temperature.

03 of 17

Decorate with Natural Elements

Living room with couch, coffee table, and stored wood
Jay Wilde

If colder weather is keeping you inside, bring some of the outdoors in with decorating ideas pulled straight from nature. Incorporate wood furniture and accents or plants into your decor to recreate the relaxing feeling of being outdoors. Accessorize with materials like rattan, leather, aged metals, and linen fabrics for added layers of natural texture.

04 of 17

Add a Throw Blanket

Bed with plaid throw blanket and pillows
Kim Cornelison

Nubby knits are an ideal companion for chilly nights at home with a movie. Layer throws over sofas, chairs, benches, and beds to help you snuggle in. Choose blankets in seasonal patterns and colors for an accent that's easy to swap out throughout the year.

05 of 17

Gather Around the Hearth

Fireplace with candles and plant
Stacy Goldberg

A crackling fire naturally draws people toward it, so accommodate for that with extra seating. For the fall and winter months, rearrange your furniture to shift your conversation area to the fireplace. Consider adding smaller stools or chairs that can be pulled easily to be closer to the warm hearth.

06 of 17

Pull Out Your Quilts

Bed with colorful quilt and embroidered pillows
Jason Donnelly

Pull those family-heirloom quilts out of storage to add a comforting layer of nostalgia to your home. Pile a few across your bed for extra warmth, or consider using them as decor. Frame pieced squares to be hung in a grid, or mount an entire quilt on the wall. If you have an out-of-the-way table, try using a small quilt as a tablecloth.

07 of 17

Use Faux Sheepskins

Porch two leather chairs flowers
Tria Giovan

Faux sheepskins have an irresistibly soft texture that's especially inviting in the colder months. Drape small sheepskin throws over chairs, benches, and sofas for instant comfort. Larger sheepskin rugs add a plush step underfoot.

08 of 17

Hang Heavier Drapes

den with patterned curtains and wall art
Nick Johnson

Switch out summer sheers for patterned drapes in a thicker fabric. Heavy drapes keep out drafts and lend an elegance to the room, especially if they're hung from the ceiling to the floor. Remember that curtains should hover slightly above the floor to ward off dust and avoid tripping hazards.

09 of 17

Piles of Pillows

neutral-colored living room with colorful accent pieces
Jonny Valiant

Paired with a warm blanket, throw pillows turn sofas and chairs even more inviting. Look for fluffy pillows with a lot of texture for furniture, then think about investing in or making larger pillows or poufs for the floor.

10 of 17

Line Tables with Fabric

rustic dining table in room with lavender-gray walls
Jay Wilde

Bare tables, while perfect for breezy summers, can feel too stark for fall and winter. Tablecloths are expected, but a runner is an even easier way to dress up a table. Get creative and use a long scarf, a fabric remnant, or a thin blanket for a seasonally appropriate runner.

11 of 17

Try an Area Rug

white cabinet hallway with red rug
David Tsay

A cold floor on bare feet is an unwelcome surprise in chilly weather. Fend off icy toes by placing area rugs in well-traveled spots including hallways, bedrooms, entryways, and living areas. In rooms that already feature an area rug, consider layering another one on top for an even cozier feel.

12 of 17

Layer Bedding

bedroom with white bedding and furniture
Julie Soeffer

Introduce extra layers to your bed for the fall and winter months. Start by switching out your lightweight summertime sheets for warmer fabrics, like flannel or fleece. Then pile on additional pillows and drape a decorative throw in a seasonal color or pattern across the foot of the bed.

13 of 17

Warm Up with Gold

gold and cream mirror display on dresser
Adam Albright

Although not exactly soft and fuzzy, gold accents have a warming effect. Hang a series of gold-framed mirrors in a hallway, foyer, or on any bare wall space that needs a little lift. If you can't find the perfect gold accessories, head to the crafts store and pick up some gold spray paint and add a gilded touch to candlesticks, figurines, and more—but be sure to buy the right spray paint for the material you'll be updating.)

14 of 17

Carve Out a Reading Nook

chair ottoman reading nook
Kim Cornelison

Cold weather is a prime opportunity to pull out your favorite book or find a new one to lose yourself in for hours. Pick a well-lit corner with either natural light or a reading lamp, and arrange a comfy armchair there. Place a table nearby for a stack of your books and reading lists. If you read on a tablet, consider a spot near an outlet for easy charging.

15 of 17

Add Cozy, Seasonal Patterns

cozy patterns bedroom
Reed Davis

Employ cozy patterns, such as buffalo check plaid, tartan, herringbone, and tweed, but in small doses. Look for patterned throws, pillows, rugs, and other accessories in colors that work with your existing scheme. For example, if you have navy blue accents in your living room, add a plaid throw that incorporates navy in the design.

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Skirt a Table

draped cloth night stand
Victoria Pearson

Cover bare table legs and create an entirely new shape in your room by draping cloth over a table. For a polished look, make sure the table skirt reaches all the way to the floor. As a bonus, you can stash boxes of paperwork or miscellaneous items beneath the skirt for quick decluttering.

17 of 17

Switch Out Accessories

white brick kitchen seasonal tones
Robert Brinson

It's not realistic to switch out larger pieces of furniture each time the seasons change, but you can easily do so with smaller accents that are less expensive or difficult to swap. Trade out brightly colored area rugs, towels, and other affordable accessories for muted tones and seasonal textures. These inexpensive changes can be made even more affordable if you shop end-of-season sales.

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