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Cozy comfort: Change up your home's interior to stave off winter's chill

Adding touches of deep, rich color and mixing textures, such as metals, woods and fabrics, make this dining room in Jessie Thebeau's home an inviting space. (Submitted photo courtesy of Red Door Designs)1 / 4
Using greenery and other natural items adds warmth and coziness to this dining room. The color scheme which ties these rooms together -- red, navy, cream and gray -- is repeated in the patterned rug anchoring the dining table. (Submitted photo courtesy of Red Door Designs)2 / 4
Sweater-knit and other touchable pillows create a warm and welcoming space for family and friends to gather. Mix textures, such wood, metal and fabrics, to amp up a room's coziness quotient and beckon loved ones to linger. (Submitted photo courtesy of Red Door Designs)3 / 4
Items that conjure up memories of days gone by, like this light fixture made from a repurposed windmill, create a comforting sense of rootedness, as well as nostalgia. Using pieces like this is a great way to fill an awkward nook or corner. (Submitted photo courtesy of Red Door Designs)4 / 4

CAVALIER, N.D. – Right now, your home probably is brimming with the warmth and cheeriness of the holiday season. But once the tree and decorations are gone, how do you make that cozy feeling last through the winter months ahead?

We asked home decorating experts for some easy, practical and budget-friendly tips to extend that welcoming ambience, especially when it's fiercely frigid outside.

The elements that make a room feel cozy and inviting are often those things that bring back fond memories, said Marie Vetter, co-owner with Jessie Thebeau of Red Door Designs, which opened in August in Cavalier.

"Anything that makes you feel nostalgic makes you feel comfortable," Vetter said, noting repurposed furniture, updated antiques and items made from reclaimed wood can bring warmth and coziness to your home.

Blending the old and new creates a homey feeling, Thebeau said, noting that a pure white couch may be pretty to look at but not necessarily be inviting.

"If the room doesn't look welcoming, it'll never be cozy," she said.

Scented candles boost the coziness quotient considerably because scent "makes you feel sentimental," Vetter said. "It can definitely change your mood."

While some people choose to embellish each room with a different scent, Vetter favors using one throughout the home.

In the wintertime, she prefers nature-inspired scents, such as "Very Snowy Spruce" by Scentsy, she said.

A sense of warmth

Lisa Johnson, who co-owns Living Sage home boutique with her son, Dalton Lilley, said, "People want things with a warm feeling in winter."

Living Sage, in downtown Grand Forks, is teeming with accessories and decorative items that evoke a sense of warmth, including sweater pillows and repurposed furnishings.

Many items in the store are handmade by local artists, a fact that her customers appreciate, she said.

When choosing things to add a cozy feeling to your home, "I tell people not to be afraid to mix textures—like metals, woods and prints," Johnson said. "The trend is to use pieces with different wood stains—it's not so matchy-matchy anymore."

She also encourages customers not to be afraid of color and, in winter, to choose accessories in "deep muted tones—such as burgundy, brown, olive green and grays."

"It's easy to put colors together (by incorporating) the perfect accessory," she said.


Here are a few tips to make your home a warm, inviting haven this winter:

Add a few pillows. Choices include quilted fabrics, faux fur, cashmere, velvet and sweater-knit. You even could sew up a pillow from a pretty pastel chenille or bright fake fur for the little girl in your life. In your living or family room, you can't go wrong with the decorative textural knit, a cheery bright and a handsome dark.

Toss a throw. Plaid woven blankets are very popular this season. What says "come and snuggle" more than a classic red or green plaid blanket or a striped Hudson Bay blanket? For a rustic cabin look, opt for a lot of plaid and tartans in your space.

Light a scented candle. Coping with winter can be hard, so soften the lighting in your home by turning artificial lights down (or off) and light a candle. Scents play a big role in creating a cozy atmosphere in your home. In scented candles, look for woodsy aromas such as fir, cypress and hearth. To gain the same relaxing effects, you also can opt for diffusers and room sprays.

Cover cold floors. There's nothing worse than rolling out of bed on a wintry day and heading to the kitchen to make coffee only to feel your feet freeze on the tiles beneath you. For rooms with tile or stone flooring, toss down a shag or sheepskin rug, carpet runners and bold area rugs to keep your home warm underfoot.

Toast your towels. Treat yourself to the ultimate in winter luxuries. A towel-warmer keeps your bath towels toasty so you don't feel a chill after hopping out of the shower.

Make a warm bed. Add a quilt to the bottom of the beds in your home, ready to just pull up if the night gets chilly. Flannel sheets and heated mattress pads and blankets also will turn your bed into a cozy nighttime cocoon.