Designers Share 15 Cozy Colors You Should Embrace This Winter

Get advice from the pros on incorporating these snuggly shades into your own home.

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January 08, 2019

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Dahlia Burgundy

Interior designer Becky Shea is all about drawing inspiration from the outdoors. "It's really important for us to think about what's happening in nature seasonally, even when everything is in hibernation, so we can implement a little differentiation into the homes we design," she explains. She loves this rich shade of burgundy for wintery looks since many of the flowers and berries in harvest — dahlias, juniper and cranberry, for example — bloom in this hue.


She offers advice for those who feel a bit noncommittal about the color: "If painting a space in this hue is too bold, stick with accessories that complement a lighter palette. This will give your space that seasonal refresh you're looking to achieve without a permanent commitment."

Golden Yellow

Cold, dark winter days can make your home feel just as dreary as your mood. What better way to warm up than with a dose of sunshine? "Yellow is associated with warmth, like the sun," says interior designer Amy Kartheiser. "It evokes a pleasant feeling, and it has the ability to make people feel happier, especially when it is bleak outside," she explains. She suggests using the happy hue for pillows, lamps, accessories or artwork.

Charcoal Gray

A monochromatic palette of deep, inky charcoals makes this room feel like a cozy, mid-winter’s dream. Interior designer Jenn Feldman says it’s important to pay careful attention to all elements of the design when working with a dark, tonal palette like this one. "It's all about that perfect mix of layers and textures working together and playing with the light in the space to make it work from day to night. Accent lighting with gorgeous lamps and soft white bulbs can take any space from good to great."

Rust

Sometimes all it takes to infuse a space with warmth is a simple throw blanket in an earthy color tone. Such is the case for this bedroom design, which relies heavily on a gorgeous rust-hued wool blanket for an instant sense of coziness.


Designer Abbi Williams loves to derive color from everyday items her clients will actually use. "This wool blanket not only brings warm, sassy color to the room, but [also] a carefree casualness of being able to wrap up in the blanket and drag it around the house with you," she says. Her advice for adding rust to an existing design? "Think about items you get to enjoy every day. Wrap stacks of books in colored paper for your bookcase, or buy table napkins or kitchen towels that let you enjoy the color every day."

Emerald Green

"This color is a great fit for winter, as it is reminiscent of pine trees and leaves of holly," says interior designer Maureen Stevens. While other greens may read spring or summer, emerald works beautifully as a cold-weather choice thanks to its depth. "It's cozy because, while green is a fresh and bright color, this particular hue is intense and deep," Maureen says. "I suggest pairing this shade with golds and deep grays for a luxe feel."

Navy Blue

"Deep hues like this one really make a space feel intimate and inviting — perfect for the winter season," Maureen says. She praises naval blue for its versatility and says it can work for a variety of spaces. "It can be regal and classic on one end while being versatile and trendy on the other." Not sure where to try it out? Maureen suggests using it for the base of a gallery wall. "A dark background is great for art!" she says.

Exuberant Pink

Inject energy into your winter design by trying a hue that’s out of the ordinary — exuberant pink. "Even though this is a brighter color, you can make it cozy by adding a warm white faux fur throw and other soft details," Maureen says. "It's very festive in its own way and perfect for the winter and holidays. It's a departure from the vanilla and beige world, and I absolutely love that!" We’re with you, Maureen.

Woodsy Brown

"When I think of the word 'cozy,' I often find myself picturing natural and warm tones," Maureen says. "This specific color is so organic — a perfect addition to a cozy space! It reminds me of nature. Think pinecones, tree branches and the wintery outdoors." Maybe even better than the hue’s organic appeal, though, is its timelessness. "Warm woods will never go away when decorating a home," Maureen says. BRB, hunting down some woodsy brown ASAP.

Alabaster White

Interior designer Marie Flanigan knows that when it comes to white walls, choosing the right hue really, really matters. For this beautiful living room design, Marie selected Alabaster by Sherwin-Williams. "There are countless shades of white paint, and those shades will read cooler or warmer depending on how each was composed. Sherwin-Williams Alabaster offers a powerful balance of bright light and warmth. It feels clean, fresh and soothing, but also cozy and inviting."


She recommends walls in a similar, snowy hue for a design that feels calming and welcoming. "White walls infuse a refreshing sense of balance," she says. "They evoke peace, allowing the eye to enjoy healing moments of rest."

Wedgwood Blue

Interior designer Jess Cooney says Wedgwood blue is the perfect choice for winter. "There is a great warmth to this blue tone that bridges gray and green quite beautifully," she explains. Wondering how to incorporate the hue into your own home? Jess suggests trying the color for an accent wall or working it into your textiles.

Teal Blue

Winter can feel a bit dull and bleak, and that’s exactly why Jess is a fan of teal blue. "It's anything but drab and can be worked well into a more minimal scheme," she says. "It can be whimsical and stately at the same time." She suggests pairing the pretty hue with pops of white and brass.

Lilac

Lilac isn’t an obvious choice for winter, and that’s what makes it a top pick. It’s saturated yet soft and bold yet delicate. It jolts you out of winter’s monotony with its flowery vigor but keeps you cozy with its complexity and depth. If painting your molding purple feels a bit too bold, consider adding smaller accents of the color through throw pillows and blankets or tabletop accessories.

Ebony

"This black accent wall is dramatic, creating a visual landing point as your eye travels through the room," says interior designer Ginger Curtis of Urbanology Designs. "This bold use of color instantly creates a feeling of coziness because there's a sense of perimeter in the space," she explains. Ginger suggests choosing a dramatic hue like ebony for a room with soaring ceilings and plenty of white.

Sky Blue

How does Ginger make a soft, bright color like sky blue feel wintery? According to her, it’s all about contrast. "When using color, creating a sense of contrast is one of the most powerful tools to highlight and complement the different hues at play," she explains. In this design, she chose to contrast the room’s subtle shades of pink with a dose of sky blue. "Sky blue bedding brought the look full circle and made the look complete," she says.


"Even in the winter when we're drawn to darker, saturated color, light and bright spaces with contrasting colors can feel equally cozy. To create a space you want to cuddle up in, use contrast and varied textures throughout."

Peacock Green

Similar to emerald, this rich shade of green is ideal for winter because it simultaneously adds depth and life to any space. Consider pairing the jewel-toned hue with another wintery pick, like charcoal, ebony or alabaster.

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