HGTV’s resident property stylist on redesigning your home for the winter

Transform your home into a cozy casa with these quick fixes to add warmth to your space

Red Barrinuevo is the Principal Designer at Redesign4More and an award-winning property stylist and interior decorator based in Toronto.


Canada is a country of four seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and at long last, summer. I’m kidding of course, but there’s some truth to my humour. Winter can be long and gruelling, and summers always end too quickly. But there’s so much to love about the cooler months of the year.

Snow swirling outside and the image of family and friends gathered indoors around a crackling fireplace with steaming cups of cocoa and blankets piled high. It’s almost Norman Rockwell-esque.

Get inspired by this beautiful season and warm up your world, from the inside out. Here are some of my favourite tips to keep handy — because you never know when those flurries may start to fly!

Layer up

You probably remember your mom telling your younger self to, “Layer up. You never know what nature has in store.” Well, mother knows best and this principle applies to decorating your home, too.

Let’s start with the obvious — textiles. Fabrics and soft elements such as blankets, pillows and throws add physical warmth while creating a casual, cozy aesthetic. Look for rich fabrics and colours. Focus on rooms like the living area, den and bedroom, and dress them up in heavier materials such as wool, velvet, fleece and faux fur. Layer an extra area rug or two to create warmth and softness underfoot. On the walls, consider hanging a traditional (and temporary) tapestry to add vibrancy. Then, add heavier window drapes to enhance privacy and hold warm air in while keeping cold air out.

These simple additions won’t cost you an arm and a leg, and at the earliest sign of spring, just pack up these winter wares and replace them with lighter linens, cottons and sheets.

Accessorize

Mix materials to cozy up your space.

No, I don’t mean a hat and mittens. Look to decor to create a cozy ambiance. This temperature tactic is purely aesthetic, but highly effective nonetheless. Crank up the eclectic vibe in your home by mixing materials such as natural wood, a variety of metals and add some shimmer. Mirrors reflecting a simple string of white lights and flickering candlelight go a long way!

On the move

Reposition your existing items. I really love this because it can be done without spending a dime or leaving your house — which bodes well, come the wicked weather! Re-evaluate your home and take stock of your inventory. Can you move furniture around to refresh the space for the season? Consider relocating seating, side tables, art and accessories. Focus some extra seating near the fireplace to draw the eye and welcome visitors to this cold-weather comfort. Then, light it up!

As the song goes, winter is (arguably) the most wonderful time of the year — provided you have a warm place to cozy up in and loved ones to cozy up to. Let the snowflakes, long nights and below zero temperatures inspire a space that serves not only as home, but as a warm and welcoming escape.

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