Keep Winter Cozy, but Not Too Cozy

by Blake Herzog

As desert dwellers we still manage to become cold during the winter and have moments when we need to pump up the coziness quotient in our home décor.

But piling on too many quilts and blankets and lighting too many fires in the fireplace not only feels incongruous with our desert climate, it gets downright stifling when our high temperatures are in the 70s and 80s.

But you don’t have to sacrifice your warm fingers and toes to keep the rest of your body parts comfortable — these are some of the ways you can keep your interior inviting and “wintry” without having to turn the A/C on!

  • Small swaths of shag — Covering a chilly tile or wood floor with huge, thick rugs can trap heat and weigh down the atmosphere of your home, but a few smallish rectangles with plush, wooly fuzz gives you toasty islands for you to take refuge on within your frozen sea.


  • Defuse cold with diffusers — Adding cheery “warm” scents like cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves, citrus and Scotch pine to your interior can be very effective at making you feel warm and cozy without adding heat to your space that you may not need.


  • Heat up your palette — If you’ve remained devoted to earth tones and neutrals in your home, try mixing in some yellows, turquoises, oranges, even hints of lime green to introduce a subtle tropical undertone. These hues can trick your mind into thinking about palm trees and glistening sunlight even when our temps have plunged into the 50s.


  • Rearrange your furniture — Hear us out: Tightening up your seating arrangement in your living room pools your emotional and physical heat into a smaller space, knitting your family and guests closer together until your space just oozes with coziness.


  • Use plenty of candles — These dancing flames bring romance and nostalgia to your space, whether they’re real or LED. Live flames may also provide just enough extra heat to keep you comfy but can clearly be a fire hazard without proper precautions.


  • Bring in more lamps — If most of your lighting is mounted on the ceiling you may not be seeing much of a “glow” at floor level, which doesn’t help your vision or your state of mind. Plugging in some extra table or floor lamps will flood the room with extra light at eye level, adding a luminous layer to cheer up the atmosphere.


  • Invest in quality bedding — If there’s one place you really don’t want to feel cold, it’s in bed. While cooler temperatures are known to help us sleep at night, it’s not good to be uncomfortable while you’re trying to get into that state. Egyptian cotton, silk (which retains heat) or higher thread counts in any material will have a snuggly edge. Try flannel or fleece sheets if you run especially cold, but otherwise they could be just too much.