How to Get That Warmer Feeling at Home  
by Barbara Jennings
When the weather starts to cool off, I often find myself wandering through my home looking for ways to make my rooms warmer. I've already completed my decorating projects for the year, and have a number of large projects planned for next year, but getting my home to feel warmer for the coming months is on my mind now.

With the days becoming shorter and the temperature dropping, I realize that everyone in my family is likely to be spending more time indoors. Planning for that is my fall assignment, just as spring cleaning is what I think about during March. I'll often use this time of year to get some repairs completed. I might even add small projects that I've been thinking about for some time. It's a time when I start to feel extra energized, especially with the biggest holidays of the year on the horizon.

I love being at home. It's my favorite place in the world. So September and October I'm concentrating on how I can make my entire home more cozy and comfortable for myself and my entire family. You might find some of these projects suitable for you and your home.

  • I add some color. - Autumn hues, such as terra cotta and orange, deep reds, dark greens are perfect for this time of year, especially leading up to Thanksgiving. Consider buying a soft plush throw, decorative pillows, tablecloths, or putting a skirt on an end table. Change out your candles. Bring in different scents. Place a colorful, textured valance over softer summery curtains. Take a quilt from your bed or armoire and hang it up. Change out your plates, napkins, placemats, silverware, jars and such to more casual ones that repeat some of the newer colors you've just added.

  • Add cozy nooks here and there. - Rearrange the room. Look for ways to add a cozy chair, reading lamp and side table in a favourite corner, especially by the fireplace. This would be a great place to curl up and read a book or even just take a nap with your cat nearby. It could become the perfect place to drink hot chocolate and work on a hobby, like crochet or knitting or a good crossword puzzle. Look for places where you can do this that are traditionally unexpected for such a grouping. That can be real fun.

  • More throw pillows. - Your dining room could use an extra splash of color, perhaps. Add some small throw pillows to the dining room chairs for extra back support. Dress up areas of the home that are more utilitarian. I just finished redecorating my laundry room, making it fresh and clean and adding lots of artificial flowers, plants and baskets. Now my whole family makes up reasons as to why they should do laundry. It's great! Can you believe our laundry room is one of the nicest rooms in the entire home now? Add extra colorful throw pillows in your car too. I bought a scented card in vanilla and hung it from the rear view mirror. Every time I enter my car I get to enjoy the scent. Love it.

  • Play your favourite music. - Wow, there's nothing quite like the sounds of your favourite singer or group filtering from room to room. It even makes walking down the hall more pleasant. When arriving home after dark, there's nothing quite like entering your home to the sound of music. You can get a timer that not only will turn on the light for you at dusk, but will play your favourite music station as well. It's a pretty good security step as well.

  • Activate your fireplace. - Be sure you don't have any tree branches that have crawled down your chimney over the spring and summer growth time. Periodically have a chimney sweep clean yours for safety reasons. Bring in plenty of logs and stack in a large brass or copper pot by the fireplace. Real cozy looking. Toss a few pine cones into the fire, especially the first one of the season.

  • Bake - bake - bake. - There's nothing quite as nice as the aroma of baked goods. Try ginger cookies, banana nu bread, apple crisp, cherry cobbler. Heating the oven on those nippy days helps the warm up the whole room. If you're trying to sell your home, make sure you always have some baked goods that just got done prior to your open house. You'd be amazed at the difference a little ambience can make. So put away those springy, summery fabrics and colors, especially if they are on the cool side of the color spectrum. Bring out the darker, warmer hues and scatter them about. Soften the bulbs in your lamps for a cozier ambience. Light up that fireplace and keep the light on. Add extra solar lights outside to make your entry inviting, especially if you live in colder climates. Lights always make any environment more inviting and warm, even if it's just in our minds.

About the Author
Barbara Jennings is a well known author and interior decorator in Southern California. She is also a published artist. She teaches rearrangement design and how to do it as a home based business. Visit her website at Decorate-Redecorate.Com. Used by permission.

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