Ask the Designer

Five Ways to Cozy Up Your Home This Winter


“YOUR HOME IS SO WARM AND INVITING!” is praise every homeowner loves to hear, but especially during the holidays. So as the temperature outside continues to drop and friends and family visit, how can you make your home wrap each guest in comfort? By following a few basic tips, you can help bring warmth and relaxation to every room.


by Haskell Matheny, ASID, CAPS, LEED Green and Associate



Reds, yellows, oranges…sound like familiar fall and holiday colors? You bet. By adding touches of these colors in accents, accessories, you can punch up the warmth factor in any space for very little money.

For a holiday twist: Fill bowls with red or gold Christmas candies, paint tree branches and twigs gold for mantles and centerpieces, and punctuate your home with delicious red apples and fall leaves.



Adding a plush throw to a sofa or accenting a chair with a soft decorative pillow is a way to make any space more inviting. Try using fabrics with great texture—a key element in adding warmth. Choose a pillow or throw in red or orange, and you’ve added even more spice to your space.

For a holiday twist: Make pillows from old holiday sweaters, use an heirloom quilt for the sofa, and add a monogrammed pillow to your guest bedroom with your guest’s initials as a gift!



The texture of a natural piece of wood— whether it’s a table or chair or even a bowl or wood sculpture can add an earthy, warm element to any space. Remember, you want texture—not polished, formal wood—so look for natural wood with the beauty of the grain coming through.

For a holiday twist: Bring in baskets of chopped wood for the fireplace, pine cones in containers, and even bowls of unshelled walnuts and pecans for a warm wood element.



Lighting a room by only the overhead light creates a cold, sterile effect. Put your overhead light on a dimmer and use table lamps to give the room a warm cozy glow. Nothing says warm and inviting like a comfortable chair with a great lamp for reading. Adding layers of light makes the room not only more inviting, but also much more appealing. For parties, use candles to give even more layers to your lighting.

For a holiday twist: Replace your standard light bulb with a soft pink bulb—they give a warm glow to everything and everyone in the room. You can also add a red shade to a lamp for an up-to-date holiday kick.



Nothing is more intimate than family photos and nothing warms up a room better than beautiful books. Groups of photographs on tables or in bookcases share your life’s joys and accomplishments with others, and books let us know about your passions and hobbies. When you are real and open, your home becomes open and inviting too.

For a holiday twist: Display groupings of family holiday photos or framed holiday cards from the past. Your guests will love to see if theirs is included. Group all your holiday storybooks together on a shelf or in a basket for the kids or grandkids to read. Finally, wrap some plain books on your shelf in a gorgeous holiday paper to add instant color and punch to your bookcase.


Haskell Matheny, ASID, CAPS, LEED GREEN ASSOCIATE is the owner and principal designer of Haskell Interiors, located in historic downtown Cleveland, TN. Visit www.

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