Get cozier at home by adding warmth
Jane Austen wrote, "There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort." Some of us are natural homebodies, but when both the weather and the economy turn frosty, we're all headed indoors for some reassurance.
Nancy Molitor, a clinical psychologist based in Wilmette, Ill., says the home is for many people an adult version of a blankie or pacifier — a symbol of security and warmth. And this new year will see us seeking both.
"The dynamics of cocooning are fairly simple," says Molitor. "I would expect to see more emphasis on soothing, pleasurable products so people can both stay home and feel more warm, secure and content at the same time."
If snuggling up seems like a good idea, here's an array of products designed to calm and cuddle:
- Garnet Hill offers some beautiful throws, including a fisherman's cable knit, luscious ribbed cashmere and a colorful Afghan just like Mom used to make. At Homegoods, faux fur blankets are bestsellers at a great price point.
- Whip up a batch of chocolate fondue or hot milk and throw another log on the fire. No fireplace? Then consider Burley's electric fire, a free-standing appliance that offers either flames, heat or both, all from a simple and energy-efficient electrical connection. There's even a model that lets you mount and retract a plasma TV.
- Pottery Barn has a faux fur beanbag chair that beckons, assuming you can keep the cat from settling in. Plush pile pillows provide warm support for the sofa; they're the color of a frothy mug of eggnog. And a colorful collection of wool Pendleton blankets gives off a great cabin-y vibe.
- If some midwinter redecorating were in order, the Pearce chair, upholstered in sumptuous velvet, would be a good choice; velvet wears well, and its softness is inviting.
- Rare Device carries — from the ultimate cozy designer, Alyssa Ettinger — knitwear-patterned bowls and little cups perfect for candles or hot drinks. When the cold winds blow, even the dishes can dress in warm mittens.
www.raredevice.com - Alyssa Ettinger's knitwear-patterned ceramics, $50-65
www.homegoods.com - faux fur throws, $24.99-40; chocolate fondue set, $9.99
www.garnethill.com - fisherman's cable knit throw, $148; ribbed cashmere throw, $268; Haverhill Afghan blanket, $328
www.potterybarn.com - Pearce velvet armchair, $999-1,399; low pile cream fur pillow covers, $19-29; faux fur beanbag, $249
www.burleyfires.com - Electric fires, various configurations, $7,500-9,500