If your home is anything like mine in the wintertime, it feels a bit like the back of an icebox, with an AC unit blowing full blast—placed outside in the middle of Antarctica. Or at the very least North Dakota.
Sure, I could turn up the heat (and I have). But by the work of some odd math equation, the utility bill continues to rise while my core temperature continues to fall.
That’s why I’ve learned to turn to other methods to stay warm and cozy as I hide from the elements. Best of all: These items are more affordable than constantly jacking up your heat, and they’re more practical than putting on five sweaters at a time.
Creating a warm environment is just a matter of investing in a few essentials. Here’s what you’ll need.
A sheepskin drape for your favorite chair or sofa
With colder temps, snow, and ice already piling up, it’s time to ready your favorite chair or spot on the sofa for some quality time with Netflix and a bottle of wine. You don’t need much for a seasonal makeover—a fuzzy sheepskin drape will do the trick of making your space look so chic and inviting on a chilly day.
“The soft, subtle texture will instantly cozy up the look and feel of the space as well as make you warmer while you sit in that spot,” says Joe Human, a designer at Designs by Human in New York City.
What to buy: Ikea RENS Sheepskin Drape, $30
Mini electric fireplace
A mini electric fireplace is a great way to add some warmth if you don’t have the real thing in your home—or if your central heating system just ain’t cutting it. It screams “cozy” and will add instant ambiance to your space. Plus, it’s safe and apartment-friendly! (Just confirm with your landlord so you don’t get in trouble.)
What to buy: Comfort Zone Mini Ceramic Electric Fireplace, $39
Hot toddy glassware
Depending on where you live, cold temps seem to linger like a Westeros winter. To cope, you might want to pour yourself a tipple or two at some point. (Hey, no judgment here.) Enter: The hot toddy, an old-fashioned warm drink that you can bring back into fashion. But what are you supposed to serve it in? You could use a plain ol’ mug, or bring out these festive glasses and have yourself a proper warmup.
What to buy: Uncommon Goods Hot Toddy Diagram Glassware, $30 for 2
A cozy rug for cold mornings
“There’s nothing worse than hopping out of bed in the morning to a cold floor,” says Carole Marcotte, interior designer at Form and Function in Raleigh, NC.
The solution: A cozy 3-by-5-foot rug next to your bed. And you don’t have to break the bank.
“That size rug is big enough to ward off chilly feet at an amazing price compared to similar design high-end rugs,” she says.
What to buy: Target Manel Rug, $49
Velvet floor pillows
Once you’ve got your warmest socks and flannel PJs picked out, it’s time to cozy up with a good book—nestled among chic floor pillows, of course.
“Choosing one in faux fur or soft, velvety fabric in grays, charcoals, midnight blues, deep, rich, dusty purples, or dark bronze tones will instantly add warmth and create an inviting space to relax and unwind,” says San Francisco–based interior designer Cecilie Starin.
What to buy: Urban Outfitters Ruthie Velvet Floor Pillow, $49
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