Just as the holiday season is here before we know it, in a flash it’s over and a new year is upon us. I often struggle with the balance of wanting a fresh start with my home in January, and being saddened by the storing of our family’s colorful, warm, holiday decor. The months of January through March can be difficult to tolerate, especially in Minnesota, but I’m starting to find beauty in this dark, cold season, and a certain comfort and coziness I can create in my home to cradle me until spring finally arrives.
The idea of hygge has become known and popular over the past eight years or so, and continues to be especially helpful for folks living in winter climates. Hygge is the invoking or fostering of a sense of coziness, contentment and well-being; a Scandinavian state of mind to survive the long, cold, winter. I love this concept and how it can guide us in decorating our homes in a season that is usually forgotten or overlooked. Here are a few, simple ways to create a winter respite for ourselves and our loved ones this season.
When deciding on holiday decor, include accessories that remain relevant throughout the winter season, not just during the holiday months. Winter greens, natural wood, bottle brush pines, dried branches, ceramic houses, and apres ski will act as reminders to embrace the winter season.
Cover throw pillows for a quick, inexpensive decor update. Add faux fur, velvet, knit and other soft fabrics to your collection in warm, wintry colors such as midnight blue, forest green and an abundance of creamy neutrals.
Swap out bright colored artwork with a similarly sized piece more suitable for winter. Rustic wood pieces, or nature inspired prints, work well during the winter months.
Add extra throw blankets to a basket in your living room, and even consider providing slippers to guests when they come to visit!
Keep a special set of linens just for the winter months. Flannel sheets, velvet quilts, and fluffy feather beds will ensure a good night’s sleep.
You can never have enough candles or firelight when practicing hygge! Whether using faux candles and fireplaces, or the real thing, fill your home with the natural feel of flames. Practice safety, of course, and never leave a room with burning candles! We especially love our locally made Koselig candles, another Scandinavian idea meaning a feeling of deep contentment, provided by a person, place or atmosphere.
Winter can be a wonderful time to simplify and organize. What can you live without? Gift to others? This is another wonderful Scandinavian concept, lagom, which is being in perfect balance; just the right amount; not too little, not too much; the state of being, having or doing just enough.
A final encouragement from Scandinavian wisdom is to practice fika throughout this season. Fika is a coffee break with friends, often accompanied with pastries; a moment of quality time to appreciate the good things in life. What better way to practice fika than with locally roasted Fika coffee from the North Shore of Minnesota!
This winter season, I hope you find time to rest, renew and refresh. Take the opportunity to slow down, reconnect with yourself and others, and prepare to bloom in the spring!
Guest Blogger: Katya Larsen, Stager, A Home Revival