We’re all likely to be spending a great deal of time at home over the winter months so creating a haven that is inviting, cosy and doesn’t require a great deal of upkeep can help us enjoy the space we have. We talk to Helen Heyns from Love Lifestyle who shares her tips to creating a cosy home, in time for Christmas.

As the nights draw in and the leaves turn auburn, amber, and ruby with the magic of autumn, our thoughts turn to the winter with cold temperatures and dark nights. While we consider spring a good time to clean and declutter, autumn is a perfect time to prepare our home for the winter months, creating a warm and cosy sanctuary, while we spend more time at home.

Wrap up on the sofa with a hot cup of cocoa and read on for our top 10 tips on how to declutter and create a cosy home and garden this winter.

1. Clear away the clutter

Did you know that decluttering your home declutters your mind? It is beneficial to your mental health by reducing stress and anxiety, and has the same effect on your health as mindfulness and exercise.

There are also many benefits to owning fewer things; there is less to clean, less to organise, you will have less debt, less stress, and more time to spend with your family and to do the hobbies that you love.

Before you start, firstly, think about how you want to use the space, one room at a time. Remove items that don’t belong from each room and use the 6-box method to organise and tidy your items. The 6-box method is; keep it, sell it, donate it, recycle it, fix it and bin it.

Decide the future of each item by asking yourself some questions, would I miss it? Is it sentimental? When did I last use it?

Don’t forget to take before and after photographs so that you can look back on your achievement.

2. Storage solutions

Maximising your storage can make your whole home less cluttered and more functional, filling awkward or small spaces, utilising every nook and cranny.  There are some clever storage solutions available for every room in our home.

The bedroom

Add a ceiling rail to hang a curtain to provide more storage for your clothes, shoes, and accessories. Storage boxes for your shoes can be neatly stacked inside the curtain area.

The kitchen

Use a kitchen sink cupboard tidy to keep your cleaning products organised and present your food in labelled clear jars or containers to find items easily.

The lounge

Use wall storage such as floating shelves, partition storage to divide a large room, and beautiful baskets and boxes to compliment the décor.

3. Soft furnishings

Cosy Home

Think rugs, throws, cushions and blankets and layer it up. Adding a shaggy rug, to a wood floor or carpet, not only keeps in the heat, but also adds softness to your feet. Add lots of cushions throws and blankets to your lounge and bedroom- wool, faux fur and velvet are warming fabrics for a winter home.  

Adding a throw and cushions to your sofa is not only decorative but allows you to snuggle up in the evening with your loved ones and a Netflix movie. Adding a blanket and cushions to your bed will provide extra warmth at night, while you sleep. Coast and Country have an array of gorgeous blankets and throws.

4. Scents

Scented candles warm the home and provide that beautiful comforting winter fragrance. The White Company always have a gorgeous winter scent collection that’s just heavenly. If you have children, a scent diffuser is a safer alternative. You could also create displays of winter by making your own potpourri with pines, orange, and cinnamon- a fab winter craft project.

Adding seasonal flowers (real flowers are on trend now) brings the outside in with winter foliage.

Baking also brings a wonderful aroma to any home; grab your apron and bake bread, gingerbread and cookies, or a winter stew with mulled wine to bring good old English home cooking comfort.

5. Open fire

If you have an open fire or a wood burner, there is nothing better than sitting in front of the dancing flames with a glass of red wine, a blanket, and a good book. It is a place where the family gathers on a wintery night to feel the toasty warmth it brings, smelling the sweet aroma of burning logs.

Display your firewood in a basket or log holder adds decoration and functionality to the fireplace. Be sure to have your fire regularly serviced by a professional and if you don’t have one but want one, the specialists at Sandpits Heating Centre have always delivered a professional and helpful service.

6. Beautiful decor

Winter decorations are all about incorporating rich, textural layers and seasonal colours that reflect the season.

Be inspired by log cabin rustic décor and make your home your own with beautiful organic décor. Create your own woodland garland, winter table centre pieces using pinecones and chestnuts, and hang art which depicts the outdoors for that cosy feel.

Have a go at making your own decorations from natural woods, branches and berries. Use your glass vases with some tea lights or garland lights to create an atmospheric decoration. 

7. Soft lighting

With the dark nights and mornings, creating soft lighting is key to banishing any sadness the winter nights can bring. Avoid harsh overhead lights and opt for diffused lights and table lamps instead with warm-toned LED lights for a cosy candle-lit glow. It’ll help to keep you happy and positive when its gloomy outside.

You could also consider changing your lights for dimmable ones, which you can set to low for instant cosines, fairy lights create a pretty lighting effect too.

If you’re looking to update your lighting, Lights4Fun have a great selection of lighting options from ornamental, lamp and ceiling lights, to Christmas displays and smart lighting systems. Helping you to create the perfect mood for your home.

8. Furniture

A nice flow of furniture throughout the home encourages us to make the most of the space, and will help maintain a calm and relaxed feel for the entire family.

Create cosy corners to read, separate zones to chill and to hold a phone conversation with a friend. Soft beige furniture is right on trend and so while you are looking to reconfigure your lounge, you could look to update your colour scheme too. A quick, easy and cost effective way to update tired and worn furniture is by using sofa covers or using a large blanket or fur throw for added texture and warmth.

Upcycling furniture will help create the finished look for winter and by fixing items that are broken, you will restore your sense of contentment in your home.

9.Warm colours

Navy Blue is the colour of 2020. It’s a timeless colour that looks good on any feature wall, especially by candlelight. This autumn/winter fill your home with soft clay colours, earthy shades, and reds as well as hints of pale pinks and natural greens- think of bringing the outdoors in for winter. 

Beiges and creams are also back in trend, pushing out the grey tones of last year. Going neutral on the walls and adding accent colours with accessories is a good option for changing it up when spring/summer arrives.

10. The garden

Let’s not forget the outdoors.

Even in the winter months, we can have fun playing in the leaves, sitting around a fire pit toasting marshmallows, whilst wrapped up warm and cosy. If you have a pergola, think about growing a winter coverage climber in a bright red or orange. Dress your porch with tea lights and use greenery and decorated branches to welcome any guests to your home.  A Place for Everything provide inspiring winter garden ideas.

This winter will be different for us all. With Covid-19 restrictions looming, we will likely be spending more time at home than usual, away from friends and family.  The above are only a guide, there is so much you can do this winter to make your home somewhere to be proud of, to feel safe in and that will inspire you to spend time in.  Prepare for hibernation in style this winter. 

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