I am a recent winter convert. Yes, the weather is dreary but this chilly season provides all those little things we love about life – a good book, time with the kids, crackling fires and taking a break from our fast-paced lives. In winter, there’s absolutely no shame in spending days under a cosy duvet and not a shred of guilt need be felt for avoiding the chilly reality on the other side of our curtains. So when it comes to creating a cosy space to enjoy those cold winter months, we have you covered.
I’ve always loved the minimalist lifestyle and recently when I Kon Mari’ed the sh*t out of our lives, I was worried that I’d need to add a lot of clutter. But, really, all you need are a few throws or snuggle-soft blankets, some mood lighting and few bits and bobs to create a warm ambiance.
So here are 10 budget-friendly ways to add warmth and love your home this winter.
- Cosy starts in the bedroom
Creating a snug winter home can be as easy as switching your sheets. There’s more to it than simply adding charm and colour — it also means adding comfort to your bedroom. And heavier textiles are the way to go. Think brushed cotton, velvety flannel sheets, or thicker and heftier cotton sheets with a higher thread count.
I know, I know, ‘flannels’ immediately take you to grandpa’s plaid pyjamas and matching flannel slippers but nowadays there are tons of modern prints providing the same welcoming feeling that gives you an excuse to hit the snooze button. Making a switch to down duvet inners for instant warmth is another way to go. @home has their pillow and duvet inner sets on a 30% off sale if you can’t wait, and usually 50% off — ’round about July so subscribe to their newsletters because they do sell out rather quickly. Layering thicker curtains in plush fabrics also add warmth and interest to your space, and keep drafts at bay.
Here are my bedding favourites.
Brushed Cotton sheets from Mr Price – from 89.99
Palin and grid printed duvet set from Superbalist – from R249
Polycotton curtain from Pep – R159.99
Microfibre winter sheet set in several colours from Woolworths – R99.99 – buy any 2 and save 25% online
2. Create a welcoming reading nook
We recently got Netflix and it’s so easy to slip into a binge-watching hole. Only when load-shedding hit did we start spending our down time in more productive ways. I fashioned a comfortable space where I can curl up with a favourite book, a hot cup of tea or coffee and a snack – the perfect remedy to keep the chill at bay. Whether a couch, bed or cosy nook under the stairs, be sure to stack it with plenty of books and pillows, a blanket, a good light, and a side table or storage basket to hold everything together in one place – all this will make up a seriously snug setting that is impossible to resist on a nippy winter’s night.
Here are my favourite throws and scatters
Yellow print scatters from Superbalist – both R129 each
Mustard scatter from Pep – R12.99
Striped yellow throw form Woolworths – R299
Flannel throws from Woolworths – in yellow and grey – R120 each, buy any 2 for R200
3. Bulk up your towels
You’ve gotten your bath water to the perfect temperature, the candles are lit but stepping out when temperatures are below freezing and wrapping yourself in a threadbare towel can really ruin the entire relaxing experience. So if you’re looking for a pocket-friendly way to make your home life cosier, upgrading your towels is a good place to start. There is no better feeling in this world that slipping into luxurious, hefty, cotton-soft towels fresh from the dryer.
Printed towels from Superbalist – on sale – R149
Textured Bath Towel from Woolworths , various shades – R180 – buy any 2 and save 25% online
Jewel tone guest towels from Ackermans – R22.95
4. Keep the fire burning
During winter, electricity bills can really spike up so to avoid this we built a fireplace about three years ago and it was the best investment to make our home snug and comfortable. Even though it’s in the furthest corner of our home, it somehow warms up every nook and cranny. And the best part it’s high enough for wandering, inquisitive little hands not to burn themselves. If you don’t have a fireplace, grouping candles together will do the trick. You just need to be extra safe if you have little ones running around.
5. Keep slippers handy
Having a cosy home means, first and foremost, getting yourself cosy, too. It’s rather rare to have carpeting these days so if you have laminated flooring, tiles or cement, place slippers or sock in two of your favourite spots – perhaps a pair next to your bed or in your reading nook so you can help outsmart drafts and stay toasty. A rug or runner is also ideal for avoiding icy floors.
Bunny and mule slippers from Woolworths – R160 and R170 respectively
Faux fur rug from Mr Price Home – R599
Jute and striped rugs from Superbalist – R699 and R599 respectively
6. Add colour
If you’re on tight budget as we are, redecorating with every season is a luxury. But if you do want to breathe new life into a space, keep a neutral base such as greys, whites and creams – in that way you can add pops of colours such as yellows and reds to get that proverbial fire burning. Scatters, throws, paint and even temporary wallpaper is great way to transform any space. If you’re not a fan of bright colours, like me, add interest with a mix of textures. Think wool, faux fur, cable knits, velvets and different weaves to add depth and warmth.
7. Bring in light
Create layers of light with table and floor lamps – perfect for intimate dinner parties, reading and movie nights. Not keen on spending too much? Grab a few packs of tea lights and create the same ambience. They’re elegant mood setters, and available for a few rands at any supermarket. Mirrors can also bring tons of light to a dark area.
I simply love these lamps and mirrors.
Table lamp, rose gold lamp and floral cut out lamp from Mr Price Home – R169.99; R199.99 and R259.99
Cactus and round mirror, also from Mr Price Home – R129.99 and R299.99 respectively
Square mirror from Superbalist for R349
8. Basket of blankets
Fill a basket or trunk with a supply of soft wool, faux fur or fleecy throws and place next to your favourite sofa. Make sure there’s one for everyone to avoid blanket fights.
Saw these at Checkers – from R199.99
9. Invest in some green friends
Opt for exotic plants to give your home a tropical feel even when the weather is blistering out. Even fragrant plants such as lavender will set the tone for a season of relaxation.
10. Make a spot for projects and games
If you’re staying in, chances are that you’ll get bored at some point. So set up a space for tasks you’ve been putting off for a while – rearranging a drawer or planning your budget. You can also set up games that you and the family can enjoy together. A table with storage or a little kist is all you need to keep things neat and tidy.
And that a (cosy) wrap on getting your home ready for winter – the Two Babes on a Budget Way.