How to make your home more cozy in the winter. Here are some easy and lovely ideas for decorating your home after Christmas. Make your home feel all snug and cozy with this winter home decor that is perfect for January.
The holidays are over, the new year has definitely begun and all the Christmas decorations are back in the attic. If you are anything like me, you will not like how bare and empty the house feels now. As much as I like the more pare-downed and minimal look that feels fitting for January, I need some warm and cozy too.
When the temperature drops, when the days are short, and when the sun is a rare sight, I crave a warm space to curl up in front of a fire or to snuggle up on the couch under a blanket with the cats.
That’s why I have been adding winter decor to my living room all week.
It started slow…
Just a bowl of pinecones at first…
And then it just kept growing from there…
An updated winter wreath…
A little DIY winter home decor project…
I am not even sure I am done yet. This January home decorating feels fun!
So let me share some of the winter decorating ideas I did in my living room, and show you how I did some post-Christmas decorating to create a warm and cozy mood in my home.
My ideas are – as always- easy and inexpensive to create, while others are just fun ideas that you can most likely do with things you already have and that fit your own style.
After all, January is the darkest, coldest, and greyest month of the year, here in the Northern hemisphere. So if you are wondering how to make your home cozier in winter then let me show you how I decorate in January to create a cozy, warm and comfortable winter home. You’ll see lots of winter white decor in my home, but I added some colors that fit the style this year.
Enjoy my winter decorating ideas!
Transition your Home from Christmas to Winter
Organize, Clean, and Start Fresh
Let’s start with the basics. The first step towards a cozy winter is to transition your home from Christmas to winter. This means taking down the Christmas tree, taking the decorations down, and moving the Christmas decorations out of the way.
Don’t pack all the bins into the attic just yet, some of the Christmas decorations may work well in your winter home too (hello! snowflake ornaments…).
But let’s start with a clean slate first. Clear the surfaces, clean the floors, mop up the stray Christmas tree needles and remove all the spilled candle wax.
Right, got that done! Great, you are already off to a great start. Now let’s start by bringing in the cozy again.
Set your Winter Decor Color Scheme.
It might not come as much of a surprise that my favorite color to decorate in January is white, with a touch of silver and grey. A cool color scheme for my winter decorations inside that echoes the snow and ice outside (even if snow is a pretty rare sight here in the Dutch lowlands).
Winter White is the color palette I gravitate towards when decorating for the winter season. I tend to stick with variations of white, off-white, pearl, light grey, beige, and cream. When done right, all of these light neutral colors go well together and form a bright, yet warm atmosphere.
Having a white base for your January home, also makes it easy to add some variation and licks of color. A white color base pairs very well with adding pops of color. Like from a muted, soft pastel palette. Or with the wood tones of a rustic farmhouse feel.
But if an all-white decor is not really your style then using lots of warm colors might just be the thing that your winter home decor needs. A bit of vibrant red, a mossy green, or a royal blue are great winter colors too. Especially when combined with luxurious textures and fabrics, like velvet, wool, and silk.
Don’t forget the magic of adding a bit of shimmer and shine to your winter decor. January definitely is the month to use your mercury glass candlesticks, your copper silverware, your gold-plated plates, and your silver bowls. Let the light reflect on those shiny surfaces and add some sparkle to our decor (and life).
Keep the Christmas Greens
If you have some nice faux Christmas greens in your holiday decorating stash, you might want to hang on to them a bit longer. The green tones of evergreen branches like faux pine and cedar make perfect winter greenery. Stuff them all together is some floral foam with white flowers or red berries and you have a great base for a quick and simple winter centerpiece for your dining room or coffee table.
And an evergreen Christmas wreath can easily be transformed into the perfect wreath for your front door in January by adding some snowflake decorations, silver ribbons, and the odd fake snowball.
Add Winter (Woodland) Accessories
In fact, your stash of Christmas decorations might also contain the perfect items for a little winter woodland display. Group together some deer ornaments, a couple of bottle brush Christmas trees, some snow-covered pine cones, and a ceramic house candle holder on a tray and you have a wonderful little winter wonderland tablescape.
Create A Cozy Winter Home
Add Ambiance With Candles, Lanterns, and Fairy Lights
Especially in a dark and cold month like January, we need to add some extra light and brightness to our winter home decor. And it better be warm, soulful, and comforting light! Who needs harsh overhead lighting on a Monday morning in January, not me! I want my light to be flattering and help me set a great mood and get some good vibes going.
Candles – I absolutely love candlelight, especially in the winter months. Candles give great light, add some warmth and simply complete any decorating vignette. I love to use large pillar candles because they last long, and I usually combine them with some tea light candles in pretty jars and some dinner candles in shimmery candle holders.
Lanterns – We really have grown accustomed to using lanterns both inside and outside, haven’t we. And why not! They are great. For light, you can fill your lantern with real or battery-powered candles or with a string of Christmas lights, and then there is usually room for some decoration too. I have nestled my candles in a layer of faux snow on the bottom of a lantern for a perfect winter look.
Speaking of Christmas lights…
Fairy lights – I use fairy lights (otherwise known as light strings) year-round. I use those especially small ones in lanterns and under cloches. I hang them over blanket ladders, around windows, and in dark corners. I stuff them in baskets, bottles, or vases for added interest in a centerpiece. Adding a string of light here and there is so easy and it gives off just the right amount of extra light, while still retaining that warm, fuzzy mood we like on a cold winter night. When it comes to decorating I think a nice variety of string lights are a must-have in every decorator’s arsenal.
Add Warmth and Coziness Through Texture
There I go again, talking about the importance of texture in home décor. But it really is! Can’t help it, sorry.
Especially when decorating an all-white winter home, adding texture is so important. By making sure you have lots of variety like shiny and smooth, as well as, rustic and rough, you avoid your home becoming boring and stale. And especially winter decor just begs for the texture of fluffy furs, chunky wool, soft flannel, chic velvet, and homey linen.
Adding texture to your decor is a great way to make your space “come alive” and feel more like your home.
So how do get texture into your home decor? Easy:
Choose the materials you use in your home carefully, especially for your soft furnishings, and don’t hold back on adding accessories that add texture. Add a few layers of blankets and throws. Blankets are a wonderful way to add a feeling of warmth and comfort. I like to keep one large blanket and a couple of smaller ones around to wrap up in when the weather gets cold.
Think about your throw pillows too. I have this popcorn pillowcase that I love using in winter in my cozy living room, because the texture reminds me of snowballs, and the pattern adds so much interest to my otherwise plain white couch. And of course, a warm or rugged rug is great for adding warmth and texture.
Other great accessories for adding interest through texture in your winter home decor are pinecones, rustic wood crates, wicker baskets, wool mittens (especially with cool nordic patterns), knitted scarfs, birch logs, antlers, and leather books.
Allow some winter indulgence
When do we ever more deserve to indulge in some luxury than in cold, harsh winter? Of course, the winter is the time to make sure we add a little extra extra to our daily life. So make sure your home is well prepared for those times you come home cold to the bone, all dripping wet, and in serious need of some TLC.
Just for those days, I keep a small stash of goodies that are a treat to all my senses.
For smell and mood, I have a few extra special candles that smell divine and truly lift my spirit.
Of course, for my taste buds, I have all the ingredients for an extra special hot cocoa at the ready. But I also have a small collection of special winter teas that I like on extra-tough days. And Chocolate, of course, there needs to be chocolate!
When coming in from the cold I usually change into an outfit that is all soft, snuggly, and warm. Loungewear to the win, people! My skin needs that warm softness to feel good again.
We already talked about the importance of good accent lighting to set the mood, but don’t forget about the right soundtrack for a warm, cozy winter day either. Did you know that on Spotify or Youtube Music, you can find ‘warm winter playlists’? Yep, go find some and then maybe make your own winter playlist that fits your mood and lifts your spirit.
If you are like me, then winter means cold extremities and a cold nose all the time. I’ve inherited that little trait from my mother. She used to say “I have cold feet up to my knees”, and I know exactly how that feels. If that is familiar to you, I have some tips for warm winter snuggles.
You might like to think about investing in a foot spa, a warming blanket, or some extra fuzzy and warm house slippers. Some days just turning up the heat won’t do and we need more help in warming up inside. Your future self will thank you so much if you have invested in some extra cozy winter accessories that will help keep you snug and warm. Of course, if you are the lucky owner of a fireplace, then there is nothing better than the heat of a real fire to warm you up.
Oh, and this wouldn’t be a true Songbird post if I didn’t mention one of the best luxuries of all, especially in winter. Don’t forget to add some fresh flowers to your winter decor.
I know the selection is rather small in winter. But there are still some flowers that work well in winter. Right at the start of January, the first tulips become available, soon followed by daffodils. Forged bulbs are also abundant now, and roses are usually available year-round. And maybe your garden will gift you with some small posies of snowdrops or winter roses.
Have some winter crafting fun
What better time to retreat into your craft room, get your stash of crafting goodies out, and create some fun DIY winter decorations. Here are some of my homemade winter decorations that you might find inspiring to try for yourself.
Sew Faux Fur Pillows
Yarn Wrapped Branches
Add Cozy Winter Home Decor
Winter is not the most known season for specific winter decorations. It seems to be a bit of a forgotten season in between the Christmas decorating extravaganza and the new Spring and Easter decor season. Yet I still think there is a place for some specific winter decorations. So don’t forget about a little centerpiece for your coffee table, a winter wreath for your front door, or a nice winter wonderland mantel decor.
Create a Winter Vignette \ Centerpiece
You can easily create a winter vignette as a centerpiece for your table with a few simple ideas. For example, add pinecones, evergreen twigs, moss, and some faux snowballs to create a winter wonderland effect.
Embrace Evergreens and Pinecones
To me, no room decor would be complete without some natural elements like flowers, evergreens, and in case of winter (or fall) pinecones. Pinecones, especially in combination with evergreens are so versatile.
You can make a pinecone centerpiece for your table, or an evergreen swag with giant pinecones for your front porch (or a small one for a mirror). Add some pinecones to a green wreath, spray some faux snow on it and you have an almost instant winter wreath for your front door. Or go all pinecones and paint them white for your winter wonderland wreath. Anyway, you get my drift. Greenery and pinecones are easy, cheap, and readily available accessories for your winter decor. They make great material for creating garlands, vignettes, wreaths and so much more.
Decorate your fireplace mantel for winter
If you have a fireplace I am sure that now is the time that it gets the most use and becomes the true central focal point of your room. So make sure that while you are sitting in front of that nice cozy fire, your eyes have something interesting to look at too. Decorate your fireplace mantel for winter (just make sure it stays safe and nothing flammable is anyone near the fire).
If – like me – you don’t have a fireplace then just fake it and decorate a sideboard, table, or some shelves as if it was your fireplace. I know I do!
Staples for a good mantel decoration are mirrors, wreaths, candlesticks, lanterns, and books. You’ll find a ton of mantel decor inspiration in this post chockful of Spring Mantel Decor Ideas and this post with Decorated Summer Mantels, or this post with Fall Mantel Decorating Ideas. I don’t know why I haven’t made a post about winter mantel decor yet, but I am sure that with a little creativity, it isn’t hard to rethink some of those other season mantel ideas into a winter mantel.
Add easy winter details / cozy winter decorations
Although winter is by no means a synonym with snow and ice here in the Dutch lowlands (stormy winds and lots of rain are far more likely), that doesn’t mean that all that traditional winter outside fun doesn’t make its way into my winter home decor.
Homemade faux snowballs are great winter decorating accessories, as are snowflakes. I once made some faux ice flowers by starching vintage doilies, but you can of course cut them from paper as well.
What Santa is for your Christmas decor, the snowman is for your winter home. It can be as easy as stacking books, just the right way to create an adorable snowman for your home. And if you are a lover of wooden signs and boards then go ahead and create your own custom winter sign for your home.
Don’t forget to decorate your winter outdoor space
Centerpiece for your garden table
And while we are at it, let’s not forget to add some outdoor winter decor. Even though we might spend so much more time inside during this time of the year, it is still a good idea to add some cozy touches to our garden and porch too. Here are some outdoor winter decorating ideas.
I have a garden table under my patio roof and it is the perfect place for a nice big winter centerpiece.
Front door wreath
Of course, you shouldn’t forget your front door either. Maybe the big season of hosting guests is behind us, but it is still an excellent idea to create an inviting front door, and what better way to do that than with a nice winter wreath?
You can also create some cozy winter vignettes for your porch decor. Think about sleds, skies, skates, wooden signs, planters with winter greens, little side tables, and chairs with decorations. Keep it simple but let’s add in some winter decorating fun on the porch too.
MORE Tips for Decorating your House for Winter
Here are some other ideas to create more coziness in your winter home.
- Add an electrical warming blanket to your bed or sofa
- Bake a warm apple pie and make the whole house smell good
- Hang a curtain on your front door and use draft stoppers on the window sills
- Stock up on flowering bulbs
- Fill a bowl with oranges or nuts for your dining table
- Make an ice lantern
- Craft some pretty bird feeders
- Add extra table lamps for more light on dark nights
- Place your candles in front of a mirror to reflect light
- Display your pretty wool scarfs and mittens in a basket
- Hang a vintage pair of ice skates on a knob or hook
- Force blossoms to bloom inside
- Cut paper snowflakes and dangle them in front of your windows
- Create some extra white space by leaving some surfaces completely empty
- Combine rustic galvanized metal with shiny white ceramics for an interesting look in the winter. January is the perfect month to let the simple style and beauty of the rooms in your home shine. Adding just the right touch of winter decor and lots of white!
Don’t feel that you have to do it all. Just choose some ideas that tickle your fancy and have fun decorating your winter home into a warm, cozy nest.
So how did I do? Do you think my home looks all snug, warm and cozy? I hope you found my winter home decorating tips useful. Let me know if you are going to try some at your home.
Marianne Songbird is the founder of Songbird, where she hopes to inspire everyone to create a home they love, one DIY project at a time. She shares anything from craft ideas to home decor inspiration and from DIY projects to decorating hacks. Originally from the Netherlands Marianne and her husband Lex are currently renovating a 250-year-old farmhouse in Germany.