If you have a to-do list, and are feeling energetic, January is a time of putting things to rights. But if you are feeling tired and a bit let-down after the holidays, treating yourself kindly is the first order of business. And the best place to start is by creating simple comforts in your home.
There are a few things you can do to make your home a place to rejuvenate during the long winter.
1. Make your bedding a simple pleasure. Are your sheets to your liking, with the texture, type and pattern (or none) to your taste? Have your pillows seen better days? Are your blankets warm enough? Maybe you need to add a duvet. Winter is a time to feel embraced and comforted when you climb into bed at night. Clean sheets, with a bed pulled smooth and neat in the morning, are a gift you give yourself at night.
2. Create pools of warm lamp light around your home. Part of what makes the holidays special is the addition of extra lighting – on trees, with candles, on mantles. With all of that packed away for another year, keep the winter glow going.
Use plenty of table and floor lamps in the corners of your rooms, avoiding the use of close-to-the-ceiling lighting, which is harsh and unflattering. Lamps help to create an atmosphere of cocooning – your haven from the cold dark of evening. Tri-light bulbs are great for adjusting the light as needed.
3. Use task lighting to make working in your kitchen easier. When it gets dark so early, it is frustrating to prepare meals in a dim kitchen. With only a ceiling light above and behind you, you end up standing in your own light. If your kitchen does not have wired-in under-valance lighting, you can add the plug-in variety. Attach them under the uppers, and control the cords in plastic runners attached to the underside of the cupboards. This is a bit of a project, but it’s an inexpensive one that will make cooking in the dark winter evenings easier. And your kitchen will be so much prettier.
4. Use small lamps in the corners of your kitchen counters.
Often a corner is dead space (available for clutter). A lamp or two brightens the room and makes working easier. In the evening after dinner, when the dishes are done, and the room is tidied, lamp glow on the counter will contribute to a peaceful feeling. I keep two lamps in my kitchen lit not only in the evening, but during grey days as well.
5. Add a warm, soft throw to your favourite chair for relaxing, reading and movie watching. The tactile pleasure is not only an affordable luxury, it’s an opportunity to add an accent colour or texture to your room. The faux fur throw below is a perfect choice.
I also love to use white sheepskin rugs on chairs and sofas. I’ve even added a brown one to my daughter’s piano bench to make practising more comfortable.
5. Have a favourite, beautiful mug for your tea, hot chocolate or coffee. It’s the little things.
Your January to-do list will wait a bit longer.
*Images via Pinterest, unless noted
If you’re on the hunt for a faux fur blanket, here’s a link to a gorgeous one:
And if you’re looking for a genuine sheepskin rug, this is like the two white ones I have, and perfect for draping over the arm and back of a chair or a sofa. It comes in various sizes as well: