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6sqft’s series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. This week we share some tips for warming up your space for fall and winter.
With winter just around the corner it’s a good idea to get a jump start on prepping your living space for the cold weather ahead. Not only is it important to reassess some of our more functional home accessories like bedding and window dressings, but it’s also smart to consider how design can help a space feel warmer and more inviting as we prepare to hibernate for the chilly months. To help make the transition as easy as possible, we’ve put together this list of tips and tricks for keeping the temperature and mood in your apartment cozy all winter long.
1. Switch Out or Update Your Bedding for Cold Weather ↑
As always, the changing of the leaves is accompanied with a significant drop in temperature (as if Monday mornings weren’t bad enough), and that means it’s time switch out your airy linens for something more durable. If you’re simply lacking in the winter bedding department, there are a few basics that will have you well on your way to a cozy night time oasis. Instead of layering several blankets, start with a good wool mattress pad that provides insulation (plus it wicks away moisture to keep you cool in the summer). You can also purchase a cozy set of flannel or microfiber sheets, turning your bed into one giant set of footie pajamas. Last but most certainly not least, consider investing in a quality down comforter. If you get one that’s all-season you can also swap out light cotton duvet covers for something made from a thicker fabric like wool.
2. Stock Up on Your Mug Collection ↑
Who doesn’t love a good excuse to hit up the flea market for some new fun-loving mugs?! Because, let’s face it, we’re going to be spending a decent amount of time over the next six months hunkering down at home, and what better way to warm things up than a good cup of tea (okay, fine. Hot toddy). From cute and tacky to original hand-painted designs, mugs are often overlooked, but if you buy a cool set of hooks, you can hang your collection on the kitchen wall, saving cabinet space while also creating some cool art.
3. Bundle Up With Pillows and Throws ↑
We’ve already reviewed best practices for updating your bed linens, but what about all of our fuzzy living room accessories? Fall is a great time to stock up on some extra material and fluff while adding some cool new patterns to your living room decor. Adding a warmer color palette will also help keep things cozy. The best part about fuzzy throws and pillows is that they come in a variety of different options and for the most part are relatively affordable. Check out Etsy for some less standard options.
4. Buy an Indoor Plant ↑
We can’t deny that our summer days spent outdoors in nature are some of our best. But not all hope is lost come winter months. Buying an indoor plant for your home does more good than you’d think. Check out our list of 10 of the best plants for apartment dwellers for some ideas.
5. Display Your Used Book Collection ↑
Like mugs, vintage or used books can serve more than one purpose. Instead of getting the winter blues, think about the time you’ll be spending indoors as an opportunity to tackle that reading list you’ve been compiling all these years. It’s also a good idea to cut down on your screen time when daylight is limited. Plus, books are a great way to visually warm up and personalize any space. Consider arranging the spines by color for an added effect.
6. Get Your Fireplace Going ↑
Whether you have a working fireplace or not, you can still cash in on all of the warm loving light one can bring to your cozy living room decor. Light up the yule log or just download the app Very Cozy Fireplace for your television and enjoy the glow of the fire sans smoke.
7. Add Woodsy Charm and Seasonal Decor ↑
From gourds and pumpkins to festive wreaths and cut berries, there are a multitude of ways to add some fall and winter flavor to a living space. Other seasonal materials include pressed foliage and pinecones that can be used for exciting DIY projects and help keep the autumnal decor update under budget. Try creating layered vignettes on mantles or console tables.
8. Change out Your Summer Shades ↑
Efficiently heating your home during winter is both a financially and environmentally responsible decision. Now that you’ve updated your bedding, you should do the same overhaul for your window treatments. In warmer months you may adorn them with bamboo shades or breezy fabric, but thick curtains can be one of the main ways to protect your house from losing heat through the windows. So as winter gets closer, swap out your light and airy treatments for a thicker option providing more insulation and natural coziness. Honeycomb, or cellular shades, are also excellent for improving insulation.
9. Buy and Light Candles ↑
Shorter days and longer nights means that daylight is a rare commodity. With the extra darkness in toe why not add some romantic candle-lit ambiance to your home? In addition to the warm glow, candles can be a great way to add inviting fall fragrances to your at-home experience. The candle light and relaxing aromas will help to relive the stress and anxiety from work and hopefully take the edge off the extra toll of commuting in the cold.
10. Craft Door and Window Draft Guards ↑
Drafts can be one of the peskiest parts of cold weather, wasting up to 30 percent of energy use, especially if you live in an older building. And oftentimes store-bought window and door guards are clunky and unattractive. The good news is that they’re relatively simple and inexpensive to make yourself. This version from One Good Thing by Jillee uses only cheap fuzzy socks (available in almost every color and hue imaginable), quilt batting, popcorn kernels, and a few quick hand stitches. If you’re more experienced with the sewing machine, you also have the option to get inventive with fabrics.
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