Living Room Winter Makeover How-To

For many, winter means spending more time indoors. Why not makeover your living room to create a winter retreat for family and visitors? Don’t fret about what colors are popular during the season. Instead, focus on warmth and comfort. Start your living room winter makeover by removing non-seasonal pieces. These decorating tips fit most design styles including country, traditional, modern, casual and eclectic.


Place a rug by the front door to collect the snowy boots of family and guests. Try a budget-friendly and machine washable rag rug folded lengthwise to double its absorbency. When a closest for coats is too full (or non-existent), install a row of hooks or a board with pegs near the front door to hold coats and scarves.


Create a cozy ambiance in your living room winter makeover by adding small lamps with low watt bulbs to illuminate shelves, cabinets or a windowsill. Decorate a chandelier with faux pine boughs or magnolia leaves or other greenery. Add small touches of color to the greenery in the form of faux berries in red, gold or silver.


Put flowery furniture slipcovers away for the winter. Cover the couch or chairs with slipcovers in earth tones of brown, green or blue. Plaid is also reminiscent of winter nights in front of the fire and can be incorporated into your decorating projects with slipcovers, drapes or blankets. Move furniture away from the wall to create a cozy, closer seating area. A drop-leaf table comes in handy as a serving table for holiday parties. Add side chairs with the table to create seating for family games.

Under foot

Place two or three layers of large rag rugs in the seating area, using the weight of the furniture to hold the rugs in place. Rag rugs add color to the room and softness under foot. For a more formal look, choose an area rug or oriental rug for the seating area, preferably with a foam pad underneath. Kids will appreciate the soft play area.


Use vases or bowls made of glass, wicker or wood to hold citrus fruit, Granny Smith (green) apples or pine cones. Stand short tree branches in vases. Spray adhesive on the twigs and sprinkle them with glitter for pizzazz. Place a small grape vine wreath on a side table and tuck a scented candle in the center. Spice-scented candles bring on thoughts of pumpkin pie and other delicious cold weather treats. Swap out pictures in frames for winter season photos or clip winter pictures from magazines. Fill a corner with a potted evergreen such as Norfolk Island pine that prefers to be indoors. Make a trip to the library to collect books on seasonal activities such as holiday baking, winter sports or travel. Display the books on a coffee table or side table.

Curb high heating costs

Clip thermal panels to existing drapes and then close the drapes at night to help block drafts. Open drapes or blinds during the day and enjoy the warmth of the sun. If privacy is an issue, hang shear drapes or matchstick blinds. Drape a throw (small blanket) over the arm or back of a couch or chair, across an ottoman, or fold the throw in thirds and roll it to create a cylindrical pillow effect. Choose a color of throw that stands out against the background of the seating. Prefer not placing throws on the furniture? Roll the throws and place them in a large basket on the floor or on a shelf. Throws aren’t just an interior design choice; use them to ward off chills and keep the thermostat down.

Source: “Norfolk Island Pine Needs TLC,” B. Rose Lerner, Purdue University Extension

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