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Baby, it's cold outside. Let's make it warm inside. A little redecorating in the home will help lift your spirits a bit and make things comfy and cozy, because after all, coming home to a cheerful haven will help with the winter blues.
Color: Reds and oranges are thought of as warm colors and their brightness can uplift any home. Just a splash of color here and there can make a difference, such as toss pillows or vases or seat cushions. Consider large pillows for the floor that you can plop yourself onto. They are fun to sit on, too. These added items are inexpensive and can be stored easily at other times of the year when not in use for winter. Oh, and don't forget afghans, as they are the perfect and useful decoration for the winter months.
Rugs: Add area rugs around the house. They help keep the cold at bay even if you put area rugs over your wall-to-wall rug. Somehow, psychologically they make you feel warmer. And here again, most area rugs can be rolled up and stored when not in use. Small rugs are especially welcome on tile or wood floors when the temperature drops outside.
Greenery: Perhaps nature is not blooming too well outside these days but inside is another story. Greenery is always welcome at any time of the year, so enhance your dcor with live plants. Groupings in a corner always look good. Placing a plant on an end table can make the room feel homey. A large plant arrangement on the dining table can be an interesting replacement for whatever you currently have there, just for a change.
Lighting: Since the sun goes down earlier in winter months, we need more lights inside. How about a nice and cozy hearth fire? There are some pretty good-looking artificial fireplaces that can be used if a real one is not available in your home. And don't forget the warmth and romance of candles. Small uplights tucked into a corner in the room can give atmospheric light that, again, makes a room feel warm.
Rearrange: How's this for simplicity and zero cost? Rearrange the furniture. Sometimes just placing the sofa and chairs in a new position in the room can shake things up enough to make things feel new and inviting. And if you rearrange the accessories you will also have a "new" look. Sometimes our accessories have been placed in one location for so long that we don't even see them anymore. Relocating them will perhaps give them a new lease on life. Reframe some old family pictures, or dig out pictures you haven't displayed in the past, and frame and display them. Family pictures really do make a house a home.
Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of "Mystery of Color." Write to her at DsgnQuest@aol.com.
MCT Information Services