Decorating ideas for a cozy winter home!

I'm back at it after a wonderful holiday break.

 My girls just drove off to go back to college and I'm reminiscing about the time we had over the break.

We sat around the fire, read books and took long naps. My house was filled with laughter, long conversations, cooking, shopping and lots of the Gilmore girls series.

Now that they are gone, I've been thinking about what makes us want to hang out at home. What is it about the environment that we like?   Of course, its the people that make it home but it really does have a lot to do with the environment we create in the home.  It's about our collections and the overall feel that has evolved that makes us want to hang out in the space.

I thought I'd share with you what I've come up with that makes us feel warm and cozy during the winter months.

So here goes......

Incorporate warm blankets that feel soft to the touch.

In our house, we fight over who gets the best blankets. We love to snuggle up underneath them while watching our favorite shows. We all have our favorite one.  I have stacks all over the house and it is first come first serve!

My favorite are the fur ones. (click photo for link) has these that look so cozy. That black and white one catches my eye and looks nice and large, great for snuggling with two on a couch or comfy sectional.

Blankets look so glorious and romantic on a master bed or guest bed and makes you want to curl up with a cuppa tea. There are evenings all four of us are in our master suite watching a movie together because it is comfy!

Add trays with texture and pattern.

They can be added to a coffee table, under a lamp, on your bedside table with a lamp on it, or on your kitchen or bathroom counter top with a variety of candles.

The more interesting, the better. The trays I use are all so very different.

Nail heads on trays are cool too.

A black tray works great for layering accessories because the items pop nicely, especially when you layer with a black and white book.

Leather trays add warmth. This leather one is so perfect for next to a guys bed.  Mixing feminine with masculine is how I love to decorate my spaces.

This slate tray works beautifully in the kitchen to hold your salt and pepper, olive oil and maybe a floral arrangement.

Layer rugs

It is an easy way to add color, texture and character to a room.

This warm and inviting rug from would be beautiful layered with their gray sheepskin rug.  Of course, you want to make sure if you have a sheepskin rug, you probably shouldn't have a blanket that looks similar to it.  That would be too much of a good thing! It's all about balance, choose one or the other.

Cow hides do well for layering too. I especially love them paired with black rugs.

Add baskets throughout your home.

It's amazing how texture can add a drastic change to the feel of a room.  These baskets on the wall in the hallway are a bit of the unexpected.

 This fun basket can be found at Target!

Add plants and they don't have to be real.

Plants add life during the winter months.  The pop of green this fig tree adds, makes things feel alive inside the home, especially since everything outside looks brown and dead (here in Texas at least).

Add something as small as a terranium with succulent plants in it. This touch of life from the outdoors makes us think of warm summer days.

Change out a lamp or lampshade.

Adding a black shade to a lamp dresses is up a little and changes the ambiance. It feels a little more moody.

Add a lamp with a touch of brass.

Brass adds a classy, sophisticated touch.

Change up your bookshelves.

Add warm color books to your collection. Colors like navy and orange work beautifully.

Ruthie tip:  Collect books that tell people about you. I have books about Safari's, Africa life, Australian life, old bibles, travels, glamping, fashion, architecture, entertaining, parties, etc. These are all books that say something about our history and what we are all about.

Paint or wallpaper behind your bookshelves with a warm/darker color.

Set up a drink cart and have it ready to go at all times.

You can even add your Keurig coffee maker to the cart so coffee and hot chocolate is available whenever.

Add a small or large trunk for blankets.

Trunks give a collected look.  If you know my style, you know I strive to achieve that look.

 Add some plaid.

  Add jewel tones.

A grouping of jewel tone candle holders look so awesome on a mantel or on a coffee table.

 Add a touch of animal print (always, because I'm an Africa girl)

You know I love a touch of animal print in my home! It is part of my brand for sure.  It adds so much warmth for sure,

This is my living room with my jewel tone pillow and my zebra print pillow from one of my trips to Africa.

Add some gold accessories.

Add poufs.

They are perfect for putting under your head while laying on the floor when you have a house full of teens.

Add floor lamps

Having floor lamps in a room for evening light is something most people don't think about. We love to turn all the lights out in a room and just have a few lamps on. This creates a nice comfortable mood for conversation and entertaining. Choose interesting lamps and don't choose ones that are too short for the space.

Add colorful rugs to your kitchen.

The above kitchen is one we finished several months ago.  When you add a rug to a kitchen, it instantly makes it have personality and unites all the colors in the adjoining spaces.

If you scroll up and look at all these photos again, you will see the consistency of warmth that they all have.  I hope this post gave you some ideas for making your home feel cozy during these cold winter months.

Keep warm!