Monday, November 11, 2013

Winter is Coming.

     No, not in the figurative "go House Stark" sense, like, literally. So I spent some time this weekend getting my room ready for colder weather with a few simple changes. 

1. Blankets. All the blankets. 

     Useful for extra layers at night, for bundling up in when you want to walk around like a human burrito, or for fort-building supplies. I think the key to making a room seem warm and inviting in winter is to layer, layer, layer. Ever wonder what it is about those Pottery Barn/West Elm type rooms that makes them seem so cozy? It's the thousands of dollars worth of textiles. I love that look, but I get hives spending more than thirty dollars at a time, so I use a fluffy pink duvet cover (I stuff a down comforter in if it gets really freezy) that I got from one of those discount stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, or Ross (I forget which one), a Shabby Chic quilt from Target, a soft white quilted blanket, also from Target, and a pink and white lap afghan that someone in my family hand-made at some point to achieve my desired level of fluffy warmness. 

2. Flannel sheets. 

     I was worried that I'd overheat in flannel sheets, since I have a tendency to reach near combustible temperatures at night, but I'm actually really enjoying them. They just multiply the existing snuggly factor. These also happen to match my quilt perfectly, so that's a bonus.

3. Thicker curtains. 

     I love my polka dot sheers, but when it comes to insulating from the frostiness outside, they're pretty useless. In winter I like to switch mine out for these heavy cotton panels from Target. They're not the fancy thermal kind or anything, but they definitely help. Aside from the obvious reason -- blocking any drafts that may sneak in from the windows and acting as a little bit of extra insulation to keep the cold out and the heat in -- they also help to visually bring the room in a little, as opposed to sheer white, which makes the room seem bigger. I know people almost always want to make spaces seem bigger, but in winter I like my room to feel a little more close and homey. But that's just personal preference! If you have a small space or just like to keep things very open-feeling, you could always just use heavier curtains in a lighter color. I also can't say enough good things about thermal curtains for older buildings. The apartment I lived in while I was at school in Richmond was built in 1921, and the windows were rubbish at keeping the cold out. The insulated curtains that I kept closed at night to stop the noticeable breeze that came in even when the windows were shut tight were a lifesaver. 

4. A cozy candle. 

     Subtlety is for squares, so I went with the aptly named "Winter" candle from Bath and Body Works, which smells like firewood and pine needles and a tiny bit of cinnamon. The reason I like this one so much at this time in the season is because it's definitely appropriate for the colder weather, but not Christmas-y. A lot of winter-themed candles skew way too pepperminty for the beginning of the cold season (though you best believe once Thanksgiving is gone I'll be pepperminting everything I can get my hands on. I'm so stoked for Christmas). 

     So there you have it! Just a few little changes to make the changing seasons seem a little less forboding and a little more relaxing.  

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