Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Take a Break: Create a Cozy Retreat

\We’ve already had two snowfalls in Vermont and it’s barely November. Time to think cozy thoughts for the winter ahead.

As a kid, in the fall and spring my mother would change the rugs, curtains and bed linens, which made the house feel cozier in the winter and light and airy in the summer. It was a lovely tradition and I’ve been thinking about some of her ideas as I write this post.

The winds can blow and the rain, snow and sleet can pelt the windows but you’ll be snug and comfy by implementing some of these ideas.

• Dig out throw pillows and blankets, give them a wash if need be, and scatter on furniture including the bed. There is something nice about reading on top of the bed covers in the middle of the day while snuggled under a warm throw. If your budget permits, check out places like TJ Maxx and Ikea for some new items to liven your space. If you are crafty, recover an old pillow with a favorite sweater that’s seen better days.

• Rugs add an extra layer of warmth and texture. Having a nice warm rug to step on as you get out of bed can set the tone for the day.

 Scatter floor pillows and cushions on the floor, particularly if you have a fireplace-not too close though and definitely not so many that it’s hard to get around.

• Pull furniture away from drafty windows. That noted, having views to the outside, particularly if you have a bird feeder or like watching the snow fall, is important. Create conversation nooks as winter is a great time for visiting with friends and socializing.

• Curtains can help block drafts and add a nice accent to your room. Look for ones with insulated lining for the most warmth.

• Using table and floor lamps makes the house so much cozier. Switch out cool toned bulbs for compact fluorescent light bulbs marked "warm" or "soft.” Use a dimmer for overhead lighting. Small Christmas tree lights, which are already in stores, can add a bit of sparkle in the right space.

• Candles create a lovely intimate atmosphere. Use unscented flameless ones to reduce fire risk as well as indoor pollution. If you are going to use real candles, beeswax and soy are your best bet. Fragrances can be a real problem for people, particularly if they have asthma or other breathing disorders, so look for fragrance free.

• Fireplaces belong in every home, but alas that’s not the case. Create a “faux” one. 

• Keep your comfy “indoor” shoes (slippers) by the door, or if you live in Vermont, in the mudroom. First thing you do when you enter the house is switch out of your boots and “outdoor” shoes (leaving behind dirt, melting snow, salt, mud etc.) for the relaxing comfort of slip ons. Aaaahhhhh.

• Pick a favorite chair or sofa that is your special relaxation zone-your place of Zen. It has to have an ottoman or someway to put your feet up. A cuddly blanket, soft lighting (candles are fine), favorite books, crossword puzzles, sketch pad or other items that you can enjoy doing need to be handy. There also needs to be a place to put a cup of something warm.

• Include pops of red in a few places such as kitchen towels, flowers, candles, throw pillows etc.

• Surround yourself with things that you love-pictures of friends and family; favorite treasurers that make you smile when you look at them.

Not interested in today’s activity, go to the Take a Break Pinterest Board. and pick out something else.

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