Embrace the heart of winter with inviting home decor! Create a cozy retreat with frosty blues, warm caramel browns, greenery, and candles.


The winter living room

Welcome, February!

It is the heart of winter here in Maine, and I am happily embracing the cozy.

The view out my windows as I write is one of snowy shoreline and icy gray water.

But I am snug inside, seated by the fire, a mug of tea within reach.

Last month when I put away Christmas, I decorated for winter.

In the living room I swapped pillow covers and coffee table decor, and revamped the mantel display.

Easy changes that gave me the clean but cozy feel I crave this time of year.

Today I am sharing all the details, including styling tips and shopping links. And, as a bonus, two comfort food recipes I made this week!

Let’s get our cozy on together!

Winter Blues

Don’t be afraid to embrace the winter blues!

The color, that is…

You all know that blue is my signature color. So of course I use it year round.

But this cool color can feel a bit frosty this time of year. My trick is to cozy it up by combing it with warm caramel browns and cozy textures.

I drew my inspiration for this winter’s color palette in the living room from a pair of beautiful ruffle-edged toile pillow covers from Grace Harris Collection.

I am not usually a ruffled-pillow gal. But these oversized pillows, with their bold pattern and rich colors, combine with more understated pillows to create a warm layered look, without being too much. And the ruffle adds depth and detail.

For the other throw pillows I “shopped” my collection, pulling on the medium blues and warm caramel browns and mixing patterns, solids, and textures.

From HomeGoods last year: a warm tan linen with medium-sized cream embroidered flowers and a snuggly blue faux fur.

And from Etsy previously: a blue and caramel block print floral and a wool blue and white check.

Pro tip

Go for a mix:

  • Pattern: Solid, floral, check
  • Size: large, medium, and small florals, large check
  • Texture: Cotton, linen, embroidered, faux fur, wool

I kept the wool plaid throw from the holidays on the back of the big sofa. The blues and browns go with the throw pillows, and the green accents relate to natural elements in the room.

These are easy changes that create a warm winter ambiance, while still embracing my signature winter blues.

For more ways to get your cozy on this winter, check out these posts:

My February Home | A Little Cozy and a Little Fresh

Beat the Winter Blues | Lunch and Some Antiquing

Coffee Table

A few quick changes to the coffee table/ottoman were all it took to transition from holiday to winter.

I kept it basic with my Easy Coffee Table Trifecta.

1. Something natural:

Flowers, greenery, branches, a plant.

I used two stems of faux holiday greenery and some of my favorite foraged lichen-covered branches. For interest and a little drama, I chose a tall branch.

2. Something decorative:

This is where you get to have some fun! Seasonal decor or maybe something with a little whimsy. You could also go for a small grouping of items — three would be ideal.

For the holidays, I had a blue-painted wooden bowl filled with green glass fishing floats displayed here. I went super easy and just swapped the floats out for pinecones. Done!

3. Candles:

Particularly this time of year, candles cast a warm and cozy glow. You can use a favorite scented candle in a pretty container, a grouping of tapers or pillar candles, with or without hurricanes.

For Christmas I received a beautiful set of three frosted glass hurricanes as a gift from friends. I used the tall one to hold the branches, and the two others for candles. The frosted glass is perfect for winter and creates a soft glow.

The hurricanes are from Nantucket Looms, a wonderful store on Nantucket that carries a beautifully curated selection of home decor, art, jewelry, and clothing. If you are looking for something unique and special, check them out!

For safety and ease, I went with battery powered flameless votive candles. These are real wax and operate with a remote. You can set them on a timer, choose candle or light mode, and change the brightness. I have linked them below!

And while we are on the subject of candles. A number of my Instagram friends have been singing the praises of some colored wax flameless tapers from Amazon. You know I love my colored tapers, so I decided to give them a try. They come in a set of three different shades of one color. Of course, I went with the blue! I love them so much, I am going to order them in other colors.

I will still use real flame candles when I am hosting a dinner, but these are nice to have out for every day.

The base

Lastly, or actually to start, the whole arrangement needs some kind of base. A tray is great for corralling all the elements. Large coffee table books work too.

I went with both — two books with decorative covers on top of a neutral wooden tray.

Shopping links

Fireplace Area

The winter ambiance continues into the living room fireplace seating area.

The mantel embraces the season with a display of faux greenery, foraged branches, pinecones, and two bird figurines, all inspired by a vintage print I found a few years ago at a local antiques store that hangs above the mantel.

An antique faux woodgrain bucket filled with birch logs gathered in the woods sits on the hearth.

I do a version of this display each winter. You can read more mantel styling tips in my post from last year A Cozy Snow Day on the Coast of Maine.

As a finishing touch, I tied Maddie and Cisco’s favorite fireside chairs to the rest of the living room with new pillow covers from Etsy. The blue and caramel blockprint floral really pops against the cream fleece fabric (the snuggliest!) on the chairs.

M&C are feeling so cozy now! (And so am I!)

Shopping links

This Week Into Next

Happy Birthday, Jamie!

I had the best trip to Minnesota last weekend!

The only downside was that it was too short.

It was great to see my kids and we had a wonderful 1st birthday celebration for James. Nothing fancy, but my daughter hung a bunch of photos and a felt “Happy Birthday” banner. We made Molly Yeh’s Funfetti Cake. Jamie enjoyed his first taste of sugar, but I think the adults might have enjoyed the cake even more!

The fabric birthday crown I sewed came out so cute! Jamie even kept it on his head! I learned a few things, so I am hoping Poppy’s will come together even more easily (though it really was pretty straightforward) for her 1st birthday celebration in April. Would you be interested in a tutorial?

Trader Joe’s Lentil Soup

As usual, I stopped at Trader Joe’s in Portland on my way home from the airport.

Along with the usual treats, I picked up the ingredients for @serenagwolf’s Trader Joe’s Lentil Vegetable Soup. Have you heard about this recipe? It uses easy ingredients from TJ’s — their Holiday Hash and Steamed Lentils — along with some pantry staples and comes together in about 20 minutes. Chockfull of veggies, it is both healthy and comforting!

Baked Oatmeal

This week I also made Baked Oatmeal with Almonds and Berries from NYT Cooking.

I have oatmeal for breakfast pretty much every day in the winter. But it can be a hassle to make each morning. If you take your eye off it for a minute, it boils over and makes a big mess.

This version doesn’t have the creamy texture of oatmeal cooked on the stovetop. With the addition of eggs and baking powder, fresh berries and crunchy almonds, it is more like a breakfast casserole. Sort of. Whatever you call it, it is very tasty! This recipe makes enough for at least 6 portions. All I had to do was heat it up in the microwave each morning.

No boil-overs or goopy messes!

And with that, I leave you this week.

Happy February, friends!


Highlighting coastal decor and lifestyle, Maddie and Cisco, and the way life should be...