Embracing Winter at Home: Decorating in February


When my husband and I built our new house, I vowed that it would be a sanctuary for our family: a welcoming space where our children and loved ones would feel safe and cherished both through our actions and through their surroundings. That’s easy during the holiday season, but once the tree and ornaments are safely stored away and the chilliest weather is upon us, it can be difficult to create a sense of warmth in our environment.

It’s our first winter in our home and so for inspiration, I turn, like in most things, to the women who have come before me. My grandma, a true icon in homekeeping, changed her decorations – down to her cloth napkins and the napkin rings she embroidered herself – each season. We don’t need to achieve Jan Sternberg levels of detailed decorating (thank heavens), but pulling out a few favorite pieces each year specific to a particular season can replicate the joy of decorating for Easter/spring, autumn, and the winter holidays.

A few ideas:

  1. Incorporate textures
    A cozy, textured throw blanket and a few soft throw pillow covers transform your couch into a snuggly haven. You can find great options from high-end stores just as easily as from Home Goods or Target.
  2. Reconsider your lighting
    When it feels like most of our day is shrouded in darkness, it is tempting to turn on every light to maximize brightness. Try the opposite approach and embrace early evenings by turning off harsh overhead lights, turning on your lamps, lighting a few candles, and building a fire or placing a few candles in your fireplace.
  3. Show off your family
    There is little that makes a home come to life quite like displaying photos of your family – both sweet photos of your little ones and vintage photos of your siblings, parents, and grandparents to honor your roots.
  4. Emphasize scent
    Candles or an essential oil diffuser create an inviting scent in your home.
  5. Use pops of color
    Winter does not necessitate strictly white and blue decor. We celebrate Valentine’s Day this month, after all! A few pops of bright color in faux flowers, throw pillows, or vases, compliment a traditional wintry color scheme.
  6. Create ample opportunities for hibernation
    Next to your couch, now outfitted with a cozy blanket and pillow or two, keep a basket of books – both high-brow and low – to conveniently curl up with at a moment’s notice. Make sure your tea and hot cocoa are easily at hand in your kitchen for a spontaneous mug.
  7. Clean your dang house
    Brutal, but true. The cleanliness and order of your home is the foundation for your decor. Konmarie to your heart’s delight and maintain a swiffering, dusting, and kitchen and bath maintenance schedule.

How do you approach decorating for winter? If you do anything special or have a favorite spot for household decor that the rest of us would enjoy, please share! 

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A native St. Louisan, Diana lives in Creve Coeur with her husband, young son, two daughters, and two dogs. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, which she uses as an excuse to be nosy regarding other people’s lives. She recently left a career in legal marketing to work part-time from home and focus on her babies (furry and otherwise). Her current parenting mantras are: “I can do it all, just not all at once,” and “It will probably be fine?” Diana gets her kicks by going for long runs, reading a mix of high-brow and low-brow literature, and seeking out activities her whole family (including the puppies!) can enjoy around town.