The Perfect Winter Atmosphere
I love spending time indoors and this is especially true during the winter season, when the weather is less favourable and staying in is a great opportunity to unwind and get cosy. Whilst beating the freezing temperatures outside (or whatever feels close to freezing here in Malta) it’s a good idea to create the perfect atmosphere inside that helps you relax. Here are a few things I like to do to keep our home cosy.
It is time to get those heaters out, turn on that Air con or start a fire if you have a fireplace or else you can always bake a good cake. Having the oven on can really warm up a place, especially if like us, you have an open kitchen-living space.
Take out your flannels. Flannel pyjamas or lounge wear, fluffy-fuzzy socks and flannel or fleece bed sheets will surely help you unwind and rest during these chilly winter days.
Burn candles and use table lamps to create soft lighting. Also, why not use some fairy lights, not just in winter. They look great in bedrooms too, draped over the headboard of a bed. If like me you have younger kids or pets you can get battery operated LED candles that come in all shapes and sizes, making it safer around the little ones.
To enhance a cosier scent inside the home one can use scented candles, however these can be dangerous for people suffering from allergies and the ingredients used in these candles aren’t always the best choice for our health in general. Instead one could use a diffuser to diffuse essential oils. Or else you can make a simmering potpourri by assembling orange slices, cinnamon sticks, fresh rosemary and star anise, leaving them in a pot to simmer on low heat (whilst keeping a watchful eye on it). This will literally fill the house with that typical winter aroma. To infuse more wintertime aromas in your house one can also put together a small bouquet of herbs and lavender, which you can hang on your doorknobs or fireplace. I also love putting a few drops of lavender essential oil directly on our pillows. My husband swears it makes him sleep better.
Bake cakes, muffins, biscuits or gingerbread. Apart from the amazing smell, the oven will keep the room warm and toasty. Even if you are not the most avid of bakers, one must admit, baking can be fun and finding easy recipes online can easily make a great family activity.
I like to have a selection of seasonal books for my son, which I usually get at great prices from various book fairs. I got a few really sweet, winter-themed ones, which I put in a basket or out in his room so that it is accessible to him as well. He will always come running out with a book and ask me to read it for him and this definitely gives us a warm feeling and an opportunity to spend some quality time together.
Bring the outdoors, indoor! I love decorating the house with pine cones which we collected, dried orange slices, snowflake inspired decor and little wooden- light up chalet style houses which remind me of alpine villages in winter time.
I also love having blankets or knitted throws around. I get cold easily and I love having them at an easy reach, so most of the time I will drape them on the back of our sofa or arm chair and it also instantly makes the room feel more wintery.
I have jazz music on most of the year. I find it relaxes me instantly. There are some great channels on YouTube with seasonal jazz, which will make your house extra special. Because we all know the right music can set the mood for a great night or day.
Stock up on warm drinks. Coffees, teas, herbal blends, hot chocolates. This year I have also dedicated a whole space in the kitchen for our beverages, including toppings for our hot chocolate and some adorable snowman mugs. Just get a lovely tray and play around with all the bits and bobs until you are happy with the way they look. Just make sure it is a practical space, so make it easily accessible. Some battery-operated fairy lights can really turn it into something special. You can also add chalkboard signs or labels on your jars, which will give it a more rustic feel.
I love an overall rustic feel in my home. So given the chance, I will always try to make it feel like our ‘little winter cottage’ during this time of year. It is nice to take the time to turn your house into a home by making it personal to you and your family and creating the right atmosphere can really make a difference.