On cold and dark winter days, there is nothing better for the soul than nestling with friends and family in a home that's cozy, warm and welcoming. No one knows this better than the Scandinavians, who have taken the concept of snug and inviting and made it into an art form.
In countries like Sweden, Denmark and Norway, the winters are long, starting as early as October and lasting until April or May. Snow blankets the land and temperatures remain well below freezing. On the days it can be seen, the sun remains low in the sky and sets before 4p.m. In this type of climate, inviting and comfortable surroundings are not a choice, they are a necessity. So much of a necessity, that there's actually a word that describes the idea of comfy and snug - koselig.
Koselig (pronounced kush-lee) can be loosely translated as cozy, but it means much more than that. Take the best parts of Christmas and combine them with a roaring fire in a timbered ski lodge and throw in the feeling you get when you wear your favorite sweater and you'll have an idea of what koselig means. It goes without saying that when it comes to getting through winter in style, koselig is the way to go.
This article demonstrates some of the best and easiest ways to make your home absolutely koselig this winter. So, grab that comfy throw and a cup of hot chocolate and let's get started!
1. Use Warm Layers of Light
Humans are creatures of light. We react emotionally to the light that we see. If you don't believe this, think about how harsh fluorescent lighting makes you feel. Now, think about firelight. See the difference?
One of the easiest ways to make your home feel cozy and warm is by using warm light that's layered. Use dimmer switches on overhead and ceiling lights to create ambiance and try three-way bulbs in table and floor lamps. Also remember that string lighting is not only for the holidays. Use strings of white lights along bookcases, cabinets and archways to create a comfortable and warm look that will drive away that winter chill.
2. Bring on the Textiles
In the Middle Ages, people put beautiful tapestries on their walls to keep them warmer. Today, you can do the same thing by using rugs and blankets around your home.
Start in your entryways. Rugs, runners and mats near your entry doors not only sop up the wet from winter boots and shoes. They also set a warm and welcoming tone for your family and guests when they come in from outside. There's a reason that they're called welcome mats.
If you have hardwood floors, you can never have too many rugs, especially in places that people don't expect them. Place a rug under your kitchen table to keep feet warm and comfortable. Rugs in your bathrooms covering up cold tile floors are also a nice touch.
Don't forget using textiles on the surfaces in your home. Use seasonal runners and mats on tabletops, counters and dressers. Have plenty of throws and comfy blankets on the backs of couches and chairs.
Use floor length drapes as window coverings. They not only provide additional insulation value, they also make you feel more insulated from the frightful weather outside.
In addition, remember that drapes aren't only for windows. A strategically placed set of drapes in an archway or foyer can make a room feel much more cozy and intimate. When not in use, they can be swagged back and still look good.
3. Where There's Fire, There's Warmth
If you have a fireplace or wood stove in your home, you already have the #1 way to make your home koselig this winter. Nothing feels better or is more inviting that the heat, warmth and light of a fire. Keeping wood and fire tools near the fireplace contributes to the good vibes, even when the fire is out.
If you have a fireplace, don't forget about your mantle. It's the perfect place to deck out in more textiles, candles and knickknacks that add to that welcoming feeling.
Speaking of candles, you don't need a fireplace to get the warm feeling of firelight in your home. Candles are a wonderful way to make any room in your home feel more snug and cozy. Use candles of different sizes, from tea lights to pillars, to create a mood that will make your family and guests feel warm and comfortable inside no matter how cold and dark it gets outside.