How to Win Winter Like Norwegians
If you're like me, Daylight Saving Time is a death sentence. I'm a summer girl through and through. Winter rolls in and I miss the warm rays from the sun. My skin gets dry and scaly and I feel like an animorph. Did I mention it's really dark and cold outside?
Norwegians would say I've got the wrong attitude about winter, and they know a thing or two about it considering part of their country is in the Arctic Circle. Instead of hating or just enduring winter, they celebrate it. And they have a word for this: koselig. Pronounced kush-lee, it loosely translates as "cozy" but means so much more.
Actually, I'll let these guys tell you about koselig.
See? Koselig is so much! It's snuggling under blankets; it's the way the light from candles dance; it's laughter; it's the best hot chocolate you've ever had; and it's feeling loved. It's warming your heart.
So, this winter, I’m going to make sure to warm my heart, see the beauty in winter and create more koselig moments with my friends and family. Plan of action: Take a lot of bubble baths to prevent lizard skin and bake more cookies to fill my house with the smell of gingerbread, peppermint and chocolate.
Centered in a bay window, the freestanding tub in this beautiful master bath is as sculptural as it is inviting. Designer Liz Williams chose this symmetrical arrangement to play up the classic architecture of the space, and to create a focal point in the large bath.
With a guiding principal of tranquility for this master bathroom design, designer Catherine Frank recommended an open layout to create a flexible, curated quality for the space. "The focal point of this linear, rectangular room is a freestanding acrylic bathtub by WetStyle; its sleek curvature and monolithic form create a sculptural vista seen immediately upon entering the room," she says. "We specified a neutral palette to further simplify the environment, using only three materials: rift-sawn white oak, striped marble slabs and textured white marble tiles on the accent wall behind bathtub."
A wall of onyx is undeniably the star of the show in this spectacular walk-in master shower, so lighting designer Gregg Mackell took care to illuminate the natural artwork (as well as the entire space) well. He says, "Square aperture shower lights provide a strong downlighting component, while hidden LED strips in the niche and under the bench provide a soft indirect floating effect. By using metallic trim finishes, the shower downlights visually become just another piece of shower hardware."
In this contemporary master bath, the warmth of natural wood balances the stark elegance of the freestanding tub, for a look that's sleek and sophisticated. "The simplicity of the materials and layout gives the occupant a calming sense when in the space," says architect Steve Besch. "The clean cedar wall is a relaxing backdrop to the freestanding tub and decorative light fixture."
All the Amenities
The renovation of a 10,000 square-foot Colorado home included a complete revamp of the master bath. The new space includes a huge walk-in shower outfitted with all the bells and whistles — a rainshower-style shower head, a hand-shower, steam function — and is fitted with gorgeous blue Moroccan tile. Favorite feature: "The built-in cabinetry beside the shower not only houses the bath linens, it has a warming drawer to keep them toasty," says designer Andrea Schumacher.
Even the most well-appointed, high-end bath must offer practical features. To help this one serve the dual masters of style and substance, designer Wendy Ann Miller created dual vanities with a mix of closed and open storage, topped with sculptural vessel-style lavatories. The result, says the designer, is "a sophisticated space with timeless appeal, that suits the homeowners' needs for both function and luxury."
To give this remodeled master bath its look of soothing sophistication, designer Liz Williams played cool tones of taupe and blue against the rich textures of the antique ceiling beams and doors. "To lend some unexpected edge to the design we laid Helsinki marble from Walker Zanger in a chevron pattern on the floor," says Williams. The cabinets were custom finished by artist Judy Neukrug in a striated look that mimics wood grain.
"This bath is part of one of my all time favorite projects," says designer Jamie Herzlinger. "I designed it to be a true spa — an oasis in the home." The feature-filled shower boasts steam, two shower heads, a hand-held sprayer, a bench and even a stereo system. Cove lighting in the ceiling is "the perfect way to set the mood for a relaxing steam while listening to music," says the designer.
Not every house has room for a sprawling master bath, but luxury comes in small packages, too. Case in point: this compact master bath, which boasts a light-as-air look and pampering shower accessories. "The space had good bones to start with, but I wanted to give it a dose of personality and a larger appearance," says designer Yanic Simard. "The clear glass fixed shower panel, frosted inset cabinet door, floating vanity and airy porcelain tiles visually open up the space, while the mosaic-tiled shower niche adds pleasing variety without appearing busy. The deep toned vanity adds a rich counterpoint without adding too much weight, for a perfect balance of materials."
In a personal steam room, designer and architect Peter Rose created sculpted body recliners to provide a truly relaxing experience. "The undulating forms of the recliners are tied to the rectilinear forms of the wall through the integration of mosaic tile on both. Glazed porcelain wall tiles provide an elegant and immaculate spa counterpoint," says Rose.
For a beach house with spectacular ocean views, designer Molly Frey created a master bath oasis influenced by the watery tones of its setting. Spa-like amenities include a large shower with a combination of marble and glass tile, multiple shower heads and body sprays, a large soaking tub, radiant heated marble floors and custom-built vanities with frosted-glass detailing. "We even added a shelf to hold an iPad at the vanity, a heated towel rack and linen storage built into the eave," says Frey.
Old World Elegance
In some projects, the bath is the last space to get the designer's magic touch. But in this renovation, the master bathroom was the first priority. Designer Andrea Schumacher created a rich, classic look by pairing khaki-colored grasscloth wallcoverings with blue-and-white Suzani-style draperies that perfectly frame the piece-de-resistance: The freestanding cast iron tub. "The mother-of-pearl fireplace surround lends a hint of glam to the room," says Schumacher.
Green and Gorgeous
Not only overflowing with pampering amenities — multiple shower heads, a built-in bench, integrated storage niches — this walk-in spa shower boasts green cred, to boot: "The luxe-looking limestone wall tile is actually Lithoverde, the only natural stone comprised of 99-percent post-industrial recycled and reclaimed material," says architect Kevin Yoder. A skylight floods the shower with sunshine, a feature the owners cite as one of their favorites.
A mix of gleaming glass and warm natural materials give this enormous master bath a look that is at once airy and grounded. Designer Magued Barsoum created a focal point in the large space by nestling the freestanding tub in the semi-surround of the bay window; a large walk-in shower features Rainforest Green granite trim and a heated towel rack.
Fit for Two
Designed with the needs of a couple in mind, this master bath features dual vanities joined by a show-stopping two-person whirlpool tub. The tub's square shape plays up the room's linear theme: Designer Carla Aston chose to repeat rectangular elements throughout the space to create a clean, modern look.
I asked other HGTV.com editors how they celebrate winter and here's what they shared:
Farima: My favorite part is having an excuse to stay indoors and cozy up to a fire or underneath a blanket with some hot chocolate or a warm cocktail.
Kelly: In other seasons, I feel like I'm missing something outdoors if I stay inside, but in winter, I have my excuse. I spend more time making. Winter is when I sew, bake, craft and generally make art and other things.
After amassing a variety of paint swatches from your home makeover, organize them into groups by color. Conceptualize an overall look or design based on the size, scale, shape and proportion of the swatches. Here, a gradient effect was created by lining up the colors and differentiating them by levels of saturation. For a cohesive look, consider cutting all swatches into the same shape using craft scissors. Attach the swatches to poster board using double-sided tape, and then add matting before placing into a frame.
Create graphic art for your space with corrugated foam core and nail heads or brass tacks. First, decide on a message, name or combination of words. Next, use a pencil to free-hand the message directly onto the foam core. Using the traced letters as a guide, apply nail heads or brass tacks with a hammer or rubber mallet. Once complete, place the foam core inside a complementary frame and hang.
Organic Branch Taxidermy
Create the look of taxidermy with all-natural materials. Pick up a wooden plaque and a bag of crafting moss, then search outside for a pair of branches similar in shape and size. Cut the branches back using pruning shears and attach the branches to the plaque using plumbing or cable clips and screws. Once complete, add a nail to the wall and hang.
Homeowners who love to entertain will surely love artwork created from guests' signatures. Pick up a basic art canvas, then use nails or screws to add trim around the canvas’s edges as a frame. Next, hang the blank canvas in a high-traffic area where guests are certain to gather. Keep a marker nearby and ask guests to add their signatures to the canvas. The random placement of the signatures will result in something personal and graphic which reads differently from far away than it does close up.
Layered Paint: From a Distance
While many art stores offer paint supplies which texturize canvases, texture and depth can also be created by layering paint. To layer paint with a textural effect, apply the paint in random areas using a painting knife, ensuring the layers are thick. After several hours of drying, continue to layer paint in different colors and in random spots on the canvas.
Turn any basic object into a work of art with a gold or silver leaf application. For a high-end metallic finish, all you need are leafing sheets, leafing adhesive and a detail paintbrush. Apply the sheets directly to the objects with a paintbrush dipped into the adhesive, then use the paintbrush to fill in any cracks. For proper display, either place objects inside a cloche, on risers or in an open frame.
Spray Bottle Art: From a Distance
Drip art is commonly known for its use in grade school art classes. It's created by holding a canvas vertically, then dripping latex or acrylic paint randomly across the top. Another interpretation of this style is spray bottle art which involves applying paint directly to a canvas, then spraying it with a bottle of water to dilute the paint and cause it to drip downward.
Sweet butterfly wall art mimics the grace and delicacy of the real thing. To create a similar look, use cardstock paper and cut out butterfly shapes in various sizes. Gently fold the wings, and attach to the wall using a small amount of sticky putty.
Colorful Crate Bookshelves
Simple crates become a work of art and unexpected storage with a few coats of bright, colorful paint. Once painted, attach the crates to the wall by drilling a hole in each corner and screwing to the wall. Courtesy of HGTV Magazine
Painted Ceiling Medallions
While this stunning display looks expensive, it was actually accomplished using a gorgeous mix of inexpensive ceiling medallions. Once painted in coordinating shades, the light-weight medallions can be attached using velcro or a strong glue. Courtesy of HGTV Magazine
Homemade Modern Art
You don't have to be an artist to create a one-of-a-kind piece that both adds style to your space and complements your home's color palette. Learn to make this modern, geometric art here.
Wall Decor With Woven Baskets
Add gorgeous texture and a brilliant blend of color with a few shallow baskets displayed effortlessly on the wall. To copy this look, try hanging the largest basket first, layering in others. Nail each basket to the wall by the basket's center to achieve the overlapping look. Courtesy of HGTV Magazine
Jackie: Soups in the crockpot, clementines, going to my boys' basketball games and the random no-school snow day.
Jessica: Nothing makes me feel more warm and cozy during the winter than the glow of holiday lights. Even the city lights seem to sparkle a little bit more during the colder months.
Nestled in the Ozark Mountains about 250 miles from St. Louis, this Missouri town explodes with Christmas cheer during its six-week Branson Area Festival of Lights. While the entire town is illuminated, one of the brightest places to be is Silver Dollar City, a theme park within Branson that embraces 1880s Ozark culture. A five-story, special-effects Christmas tree towers over the park, lighting up in sync with favorite Christmas songs. And every night during the Gifts of Christmas Holiday Parade, eight musical floats adorned with 100,000 lights roll through the streets of the "city." About 1.5 million people visit Branson each year to admire the town's amazing holiday displays.
More than 21 miles of lights bathe this Bavarian-themed town each holiday season, creating a scene straight out of a vintage postcard. During the town's Christmas Lighting Ceremony, trees and storefronts are lit one by one as the crowd sings "Silent Night" and other holiday tunes. Since Leavenworth receives so many visitors each the holiday season, the lighting ceremony is held during the first three weekends of December to give everyone a chance to see this one-of-a-kind Christmas spectacle.
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio's famous River Walk is beautiful year round, but during the holidays it shines with a canopy of twinkling lights. Almost 125,000 lights cover every branch and bridge, and nearly 150 trees are illuminated along the riverbanks. The river's famous barges, which make hour-long trips down the channels, offer one of the best ways to admire the lights.
Las Vegas, Nev.
This always-glitzy city takes it up a notch during the holiday season. One must-see spot is the city's posh Bellagio resort and casino. The hotel's 13,000-square-foot conservatory and botanical gardens are transformed into a Christmas wonderland with 30 to 40 evergreen trees, about 10,000 poinsettias, animated penguins and reindeer crafted out of pecans. Outside, the hotel's famous fountains are choreographed to "dance" to Christmas carols.
Since 1947, residents of 34th Street in Baltimore's Hampden community have come together to create a Christmas wonderland that's quirky, creative and over the top. Decorations range from traditional – lights, nativity scenes and inflatable snowmen – to one-of-a-kind, like a Christmas tree made of hubcaps and ornaments made of Old Bay spice mix. About 50,000 people turn out to see the unique decorations each year.
While the entire city becomes an incredible winter wonderland, the spectacular department store window displays alone are worth a holiday trip to the Big Apple. A few of the most popular are Saks Fifth Avenue's storybook-inspired spectacles, Barney's hip installations and Lord and Taylor's classic scenes. The buildings themselves are also embellished with lighted snowflakes, toy soldiers, even wrapped up in an enormous ribbon and bow, like the Cartier building.
The Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony brings people of all ages to Daley Plaza in Chicago's downtown "Loop." Musical performances lead up to the main event: the illumination of a 50-foot tree decorated with thousands of multicolored lights and hundreds of ornaments. Nearby, the city's annual Christkindlmarket offers handmade gifts, unique ornaments and German delicacies.
Spread over 4.2 million square feet with more than 520 stores, the Mall of America is the country's largest shopping center. And every holiday season, it houses some of the biggest decorations you'll ever see. The mall is decked out with two dozen wreaths measuring 10 feet in diameter, 20 enormous bulbs weighing in at 450 pounds each, and two 40-foot trees that take four days to decorate. Mall of America is also home to Santa Sid, the most popular mall Santa in the country drawing more than 17,000 visitors each year.
Preparation for the holiday season begins in July at Nashville's Gaylord Opryland Hotel, when employees begin stringing more than two million lights throughout the 50-acre property. The resort's three massive atriums are adorned with hundreds of poinsettias, cascading lights and larger-than-life Christmas scenes. The resort also boasts a spectacular nativity scene, featuring figures that are eight to 10 feet high.
The lighting of a National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C., has been a tradition since 1923, when President Calvin Coolidge lit a 48-foot Balsam fir donated by the President of Middlebury College in Vermont. Today, thousands gather to watch the tree lighting ceremony in President's Park, just south of the White House. Surrounding the National Christmas Tree is the "Pathway of Peace" – 56 smaller decorated trees representing the 50 states, five territories and the District of Columbia.
Beth: These sweater leggings from Gap are so ridiculously soft, cozy and comfortable. I put them on every night when I get home from work along with a soft henley T-shirt and my lambswool-lined L.L. Bean slippers and am instantly wrapped in koeslig.
Add a different spin to your holiday decor with these simple, colorful pinecones. All you need to do to create this look is wrap bright strands of yarn around pinecones — no glue required. They make perfect embellishments for gifts or placed in a bowl as a centerpiece. Design by Camilla
White Napkin Ring
This napkin ring is so simple to make and will add that extra touch to your tablescape. Elizabeth Anne cut a small section of an old sweater and sewed the ends. Wrap the rings around silver napkins for a sophisticated winter look, or use colorful sweater remnants for a brighter tablescape.
You can easily transform your home's decor from fall to winter by incorporating sweater elements. Alicia brought a wintry feel to her living room by covering a vase and lampshade with sweater material. The look instantly warms up the space during colder months.
Scrap Sweater Trees
You can make these festive trees by using your sweater scraps from other projects. Take the scraps and hot-glue the pieces to tree-shaped cardboard pieces. Apply larger pieces to the bottom, and use smaller pieces as you work your way up the tree. Make a simpler design by starting at the top and winding sweater material around the cone, gluing along the way. Design by Camilla
You can repurpose an old sweater to make the perfect holiday gift. Camilla felted her sweater and sewed the bottom to create a wine bag. Complete the look with metallic ribbon and a sparkly pin.
Serve warm apple cider to guests by covering an old cutting board with a sweater. To get this look, wash your sweater in hot water and put in the dryer to felt it. Cut a rectangular shape from the sweater big enough to cover the board. Sew the sides and bottom to create a pocket, and slip over the board. Design by Camilla
Winterize your home's decor by covering spring vases and candleholders with sleeves from an old sweater. For a rustic look, Alicia chose a neutral-colored material and embellished it with twine.
Colorful Pot Cover
Brighten up your terra-cotta pots with a colorful old sweater. Camilla Fabbri washed her old sweater in hot water and put it in the dryer to felt it. She cut off the sleeve and fit it over her pots. Stitch a card to the top to give as a holiday gift.
If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind hostess gift — or a way to bring texture to your space — wrap basic candleholders with sweater remnants. Add leaf accents or pinecones for an easy way to add a winter look. Design by Camilla
Wool Sofa Pillows
Sweater pillows add interest and texture to a space. Alicia transitioned the look of her living room by accenting her sofa with pillows covered with wool material. The soft-gray palette stands out against the neutral sofa and accessories.
Placing a sweater rug in your entryway is one way to welcome your guests during the holidays. The neutral color doesn't take away from the design of the space, while the texture brings just the right amount of interest. Photo courtesy of FLOR
Grab your old wool socks and scarves to make this colorful, unexpected wreath. Cut the socks along the seams, and wrap them around a wreath form. Secure socks with floral pins. Design by Brian Patrick Flynn
A cozy rug can instantly warm up your home. This striped cable-knit warms your toes and adds an inviting feel to this open space. The hints of red, green and blue are the only source of color in the room, making it an unexpected focal point. Photo courtesy of FLOR
Kayla: I add lots of IKEA's faux sheepskin throws/rugs around and I go a little pillow crazy. I have more than 30 throw pillows in my home and they all come out to play during the winter. I need as much texture, pattern and color as I can get! (My cat also appreciates the ample places to cozy up.)
Mallory: Winter means holidays — the BEST holidays. And not feeling guilty about a lazy night on the couch. Also, hot toddies.
Boozy Chocolate-Covered Cherry Hot Cocoa
A magical blending of orgeat syrup, brandy and creme de cacao ensure this warm and creamy cocktail tastes just like decadent chocolate-covered cherries. Get the recipe.
Tipsy S'mores Cocktail
What would fall be without chocolatey, gooey s'mores?! This adults-only sip combines all the goodness of the campfire classic with a soul-warming boozy kick. Toasted marshmallows add a tasty finishing touch. Get the recipe.
Hot Cherry Pie Cocktail
Cherry, vanilla and amaretto give this cocktail all the flavors of a hot-from-the-oven cherry pie. The whipped cream and pie crust crumble make it as pretty as it is tasty. Get the recipe.
Coconut Cream Pie Cocktail
When it's cold outside, warm up with this indulgent cocktail that tastes like rich coconut cream pie. Topped with toasted coconut and graham cracker crumbs, it's a boozy twist on the classic dessert. Get the recipe.
Spiced Cappucini Cocktail
Stir Old Tom gin, Licor43 and Kahlua into strong brewed coffee then top with whipped cream and freshly ground nutmeg for an after-dinner drink that's perfect to enjoy while catching up with family and friends. Get the recipe.
Mexican Hot Cocoa and Puff Pastry Cinnamon Sticks
Spike this traditional, pepper-infused Mexican cocoa with your favorite tequila — or even rum, coffee-flavored liqueur or whiskey — for a soul-warming sip. Get the recipe.
Spiked Hazelnut Hot Cocoa
Add a splash of hazelnut liqueur to this made-from-scratch hot cocoa recipe then top with whipped cream, chocolatey hazelnut spread and chocolate-covered cookies for a chill-busting drink that borders on being a dessert. Get the recipe.
Irish whiskey and a dollop of whipped cream are all you need to turn a cup of coffee into this cold-weather classic. This drink isn't overly rich so it pairs well with dessert yet is tasty enough to serve on its own. Get the recipe.
Warm Apple Pie Cocktail
This apple-cider-based cocktail gets its kick courtesy of Tuaca, a delicious Italian liqueur made with citrus peels, spices and vanilla. Before serving, add a fresh cinnamon stick for an extra bit of spice. Get the recipe.
Hot Buttered Rum
Gather with friends and family around a roaring outdoor fire to enjoy this soul-soothing cocktail. Hot milk, brown sugar, dark rum and real butter give this drink its signature flavor. Get the recipe.
Toasty Hot Chocolate With a Kick
Almost a dessert in itself, this cold-weather cocktail is warm, chocolatey and creamy. For guests with a sweet tooth, it's the perfect late-night or after-dinner cocktail. Get the recipe.
Spice Up Hot Chocolate Mix
Take storebought cocoa from boring to blissfully boozy with a shot of your favorite flavored liqueur — peppermint, cinnamon and butterscotch schnapps are safe bets — or liquor, like bourbon, whiskey, tequila or vodka. Make your cup extra creamy using a combination of half and half and milk.
Classic Hot Toddy
This classic combination of whiskey, lemon and honey not only is good for what ails you but its mellow flavor is the perfect complement to rich Thanksgiving desserts. Get the recipe.
Watson: The feeling of gloves on my hand. Maybe it's the novelty of living in a warmer climate, but I look forward to donning gloves when I'm walking.
Marianne: In my family we have a sweet tradition that I look forward to every year called Candletime, and it's as simple as it sounds. Every evening after dinner but before the kids bedtime, we light a few candles and talk about our day. We snuggle on the couch, read books and enjoy the quiet and dark of this time of year.
Shannon: This is the first winter since I adopted my dogs. When it's cold and gross outside, it's the perfect excuse to stay home and snuggle with them.
Liz: I go for warm, bright colors — in my clothing (bright yellow tights!), in my decor (I have a glowing orange lamp on my desk at work) and even in my food choices (citrus, citrus, citrus!). It makes it feel sunshine-y even when it's dark and cold outside.
Try creating a playful palette by mixing patterns and colors. For example, a yellow headboard is a perfect way to mix up a mostly neutral room. See more of this home from HGTV Magazine.
Beachy Kitchen Hues
This cozy breakfast nook offers a nod to the homeowner's Cuban heritage with graphic patterns, seat-to-ceiling tiles and brightly-painted furniture. See more of this home from HGTV Magazine.
Luxe and Cheery
To help you get in the koselig spirit here's a playlist I'm working on for the season. I hope it warms your heart as much as it does mine. Happy cold, y'all! Let's koselig.
Let us know on Twitter and Instagram how you'll warm your heart this winter by using #hgtvwinter.