by Rochelle Riservato
Many Hudson Valley residents and tourists enjoy the cold, brisk, and refreshing weather of winter—taking to the slopes, sleigh riding, and creating snow sculptures can be exhilarating. However, once you’ve come in from the invigorating cold air, A HOME SHOULD GREET YOU WITH A WARM AND INVITING FEELING TO TAKE THE CHILL AWAY.
Winterizing a home can also mean transforming your home into an inviting retreat to escape the drab, gray days of winter with home décor. Decorating can and will play a huge role in adding a feeling of winter coziness—and in some cases actually provide warmth!
John Krenek of Spruce Design and Décor in High Falls says, “Just as we add layers to our wardrobe for the winter season, we always advise our clients to do the same to their homes. This is the time to prepare our ‘nest’ for Old Man Winter’s fury, and it’s all about comfort! Add beautiful blankets to the ends of beds for those frigid nights, put mohair or velvet pillows along with a fabulous wool throw on the sofa, and make sure you have adequate lighting for reading and entertaining purposes. Also, use colors that reflect the season—browns and grays mixed with red and orange tones are our favorites. Fill your home with things you absolutely love. Mix modern with old.”
And with winter providing our homes with less uplifting daylight, The Tender Land Home’s owner and decorating expert, David Pillard, suggests, “The darkness of the winter season is an opportunity to bring light into your home. Whether it’s during the day or the evening, a fire in the fireplace always makes a home cozier. Candles have the same effect. Choose jewel tone colors like burgundy, deep greens and reds, and dark browns, cluster the candles around a room, and instantly a room becomes a refuge. If you prefer scented candles choose something woodsy like Fraser fir—a gentle reminder of the winter forest outside.”
So just a candle, a change of color, or some wintry-warm throws can alter a home into an entirely new look for the season. But there’s even more one can do to make a home feel warmer. Larry Ruhl from The High Falls Mercantile suggests a different kind of warmth—the warmth of having friends around you—even furry ones!
Says Ruhl, “As winter approaches, one of the best ways to keep warm and toasty in your home is to entertain. Beautiful table settings with loads of candles, a fire, friends, and of course the warmth of our four-legged friends
all bring a sense of comfort and safety.”
While decorating and entertaining are fabulous ways to transform your home, what about giving yourself some winter revival, as Robin Kirk of The Nest Egg Country Store in Phoenicia advises. “Forget the home for just a bit—after all you just dug your car out of a snow bank! So take time to indulge yourself by making your bathroom a warm and cozy place to be. Just take a nice, leisurely bath with some special hand-made soap that looks and smells good enough to eat. The Nest Egg offers many—from Milk ‘n’ Honey, Olive Oil and Aloe to Green Tea and Cucumber and a plethora of so many other soothing varieties.”
And as you’re lavishing yourself clean, Kirk suggests adding the mind-therapeutic essence of incense as it wafts softly across the room. And to top it off, add the warm glow of candles to provide the only light you’ll need to clear the mind and transition yourself into a nice meditative state in the soothing environment of warm water. Having these little luxuries in your bathroom all winter long adds welcoming warmth for not only you, but winter guests as well. Kirk also suggests, “After your bath, get into something snugly warm, such as our LazyOne PJs, that provides the perfect ‘hug’ of cozy softness.” Ahh, the luxury of a bath is surely a fantastic way to rejuvenate the mind and body after some winter chores or outdoor sporting.
For a real colorful way to brighten up winter, one of Herzog’s expert design consultants, Allison Keck, suggests paint as a dazzling way to change ambiance. Although it may seem like a drastic or permanent change, Keck said you can just do one wall as a focal point; she adds that one can always repaint.
“Paint is such a quick way for transformation, and it’s not permanent,” says Keck. “It’s an affordable way to add warmth and tone to completely transform any room or just give a pop to small spaces such as foyers.” With today’s wallpapers available in myriad designs from subtle to textural, a one-day, one wall paint or wallpaper project can alter the aura of a home in a very short time. “We just did Ostrich-skin textured wallpaper in an office,” says Keck.
And for other pops of color, Jenny Wonderling, owner of Nectar—a feast for the senses in High Falls—says, “When the temperature dips we reach for our cozy throws and blankets. Not only are they the perfect snuggle partners, but they add splashes of color and coziness to any space.” She says the roasted reds, deep oranges, and toasty creams can warm a room and adds that there’s nothing quite like nestling into a soft cashmere throw with a steaming cup of hand-crafted specialty tea blends for those crisp nights—from velvety, floral bouquets to exotic and luxurious greens, creamy blacks, and spicy chais. And while sipping and snuggling, don’t forget to grab a journal for your thoughts during winter hibernation. Whimsical or leather bound, lined or not, write on!
Now if you wish to go beyond the simple—and either already have that extra special sunroom addition or have been planning on one—why not ponder the suggestion and advice from Colleen DePuy of Hudson Valley Sunrooms in Port Ewen? She explains that a Four Seasons Sunroom is a picture-perfect way to bring in the energy of the warm, winter sun while soaking up the benefits of its all-important provision of Vitamin D.
Says DePuy, “A glass addition can not only lift the spirits of winter doldrums, but it allows a winter-long array of real plants to provide you and your family a most healthy environment—plus a stunningly comfortable atmosphere with pops of color! Add a wood-burning or propane stove and you’ve got a warm and welcoming place for visitors—or a place to just kick-back on a wintry day while snuggling into a comfy couch, reading a book, or sipping hot cocoa while watching the kids build a snowman!” Sounds like a visual version of “surround-sound” that’ll certainly keep one from experiencing sun deficiency disorder.
And finally, speaking of winter-warm suggestions and being warm, both emotionally and physically, John Mountford of Fireside Warmth in Kingston says, “A great way to create warmth in the home is with a new high-efficiency wood burning or pellet stove. Styles range from modern to classic and vary in size to suit a variety of needs. These heaters can provide warmth and radiant heat in individual rooms and throughout the home. The heat provided by these stoves will help homeowners save significantly on annual heating bills.”
So whether it be a simple pop of color with paint, pillows, or plush throws—or a more extensive heating unit or sunroom—you can be sure there are definitely many ways to make a Hudson Valley abode into a homey, inviting place for a bit of hibernation over those cold winter months.
John Krenek, Spruce Design + Décor, 1209 Route 213, High Falls. 845-687-4481; sprucedesigndecor.com
David Pillard, The Tender Land Home, 64 Main Street, Phoenicia. 845-688-7213; tenderlandhome.com
Larry Ruhl, High Falls Mercantile, Route 213, High Falls. 845-687-4200; highfallsmercantile.com
Robin Kirk, The Nest Egg Country Store, 84 Main Street, Phoenicia. 845-688-5851; nesteggshop.com
Colleen DePuy, Hudson Valley Sunrooms, 355 Broadway, Port Ewen. 845-339-1787; hvsk.fourseasonssunrooms.com
John Mountford, Fireside Warmth, 901 Route 28, Kingston. 845-331-5656; firesidewarmthonline.com
Jenny Wonderling, Nectar, 1412 Route 213, High Falls. 845-687-2870; nectarimports.com
Allison Keck, Herzog’s Home Center, 151 Plaza Road, Kingston Plaza, Kingston. 845-338-6300; herzogs.com