Here’s the thing: you are going to be home A LOT for the next few months. The holidays, the winter season, the sunsetting by 5:00 PM? It’s all going to be unusually tough this year. So Ben Blair and I have been talking about how we can embrace it, and coming up with small but impactful things we can do around the house that will make the whole place feel cozy. Here’s some of what we are doing:
Pile on the Throw Blankets
Put them on every chair, every sofa. Pile them in a big basket near the TV or the reading lamp. Fold them at the end of the bed.
Velvet Weighted Blanket
A source that might surprise? Home Depot has a whole bunch of weighted blankets, with lots of size, color, and weight options. And the prices are decent — the one pictured is under $50.
My daughter Maude found this blanket and it’s a hit. Super soft on both sides, it comes in several sizes and colors.
Scent the House
You could use a favorite candle, essential oils, or simmer something on the stove. This month I’ve been simmering sliced citrus (usually the old, sad clementines no one is going to eat), with stems of dried thyme, and a dash of vanilla extract — the combo was a suggestion of Kelly Hurst. In December, I’ll switch to whole cloves and cinnamon sticks, and some ginger too.
When we lived in a house with forced air heating and heating vents, I would put a few drops of cinnamon oil on a piece of cardstock and tuck it in the living room vent. Every time the heater would turn on, it would blow the cinnamon scent through the house. My mom taught me this trick and I love it.
If you have a working fireplace, light it up. If building a fire is too arduous, try those super easy to use compressed logs. If you don’t have a fire place, put unscented votives on safe surfaces around the room. If candles are a no go (hello toddlers!), gather all the twinkle lights you can find.
Bulk Votive Candles
Get a ton so you won’t hesitate lighting some every day. I prefer unscented because I like to use a lot of them, and I want the light, but I don’t want to get overwhelmed with the scent.
Votive Candle Holders
You’ll want holders for your votive candles — they are sized to fit votive candles perfectly and they protect your furniture. I have a set of these basic glass holders (a set of 16 for $11) and I use them throughout the year as needed. But it would also be fun to get something more glam that would help reflect the light.
Or these vintage looking matches (they come in red or black).
Or get a good-looking butane lighter.
Keep Those Toesies Cozy
A soft rug, fur-lined slippers, luxe socks. Keeping your feet warm and cozy will go a long way to keeping you feeling good.
Pink Tent Slippers
They’re made by the North Face. I love that they look like little quilted tents for your feet.
These are hand-crafted by an Etsy maker and they look like perfection. Click through to see the other color options.
There are lots of pretty options out there. This soft pink pair from Boden is especially sweet.
Faux Fur Rug
This one is so soft. You can put it on the bare floor or you can layer it over carpet. It comes in a few different sizes and colors — the 3’x5′ option is on sale for $49.
Put the Kettle On
If you don’t have one, I strongly recommend treating yourself to an Electric Kettle. Like other small kitchen appliances you can find them at bargain rates or choose a pricey option. You’ll use it to make tea, get those spices simmering on the stove, or just to quickly boil water for a box of pasta.
Classic Electric Kettle
KitchenAid offers beautiful colors.
Modern Electric Kettle
It’s sleek and simple, and a bargain at less than $30.
Traditional Stovetop Kettle
If you prefer a non-electric kettle, you’ll be glad to hear this Le Creuset whistling beauty is 25% off. So sturdy you’ll be handing this down to the grandkids someday.
Le Creuset Mugs
Pretty mugs in pretty colors to hold your tea or cocoa.
Tea Advent Calendar
This Teapigs option will fit right in with your rustic holiday decor.
Colorful Tea Advent Calendar
So cheerful! It’s from the English Tea Co., it’s organic, and it includes seasonal offerings like Christmas Cake, Candy Cane and Gingerbread Man. And it’s a great price at $12.
Hot Cocoa Mix
Try a few until you find a favorite. I like this handsome container from Monarca, the famous Los Angeles bakery.
Make a Playlist
This is a good assignment for your kids. Give them some themes or ideas and ask them to make weekly or monthly playlists, and then keep the music flowing.
How are you feeling about the cold weather and darker days? I keep thinking it’s midnight, and then I look at my clock and it’s like 6:30 PM. Hah! What would you add to this list to create a cozy house?
P.S. — More gift guides.