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It’s no secret that winter in Western New York can be brutal, forcing residents indoors for several months of the year.

With minimal daylight, snowy weather and chilly winds, it’s inevitable that you’ll spend a lot of time inside your apartment during the winter.

It can be easy to feel cooped up and go a bit stir crazy when you’re stuck inside an apartment for hours on end with minimal daylight, particularly if you’re used to spending a lot of time outdoors.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make your apartment feel like a warm cozy retreat, even in the dead of winter, that don’t involve turning up the heat. We’ve put together a list of ways to make your apartment feel warmer — not just in temperature, but in ambiance as well.

Tips For Making Your Apartment Feel More Cozy This Winter

  • Get plush area rugs to put on cold floors. Rugs help rooms appear larger and help create separation between rooms while adding color and texture. Buy a small one for the bathroom floor too, as those floors can be chilly on cold mornings.
  • Get a humidifier. Humid air feels warmer, and it will help your skin from drying out due to the heater and cold winter air.
  • Buy soft throw blankets and stylish pillows to add texture to your living room and snuggle up with while relaxing or watching TV. A decorative ladder or cute basket can also be used to display blankets to add coziness to your living area.
cozy apartment blankets pillows
Soft blankets, plush pillows and artwork can make your apartment feel more cozy. [Pinterest]
  • Use a space heater for areas of your apartment that get drafty. Choose one that has automatic settings and can turn off if overheated.
  • Hang curtains. They’ll help make your apartment feel more lived-in, and you can close them at night to keep in heat. Just be sure to check your apartment rules before putting any holes in the wall or making big changes.
  • Purchase flannel sheets and a down comforter to make your bed feel warmer and more comfortable on cold nights.
  • Use lamps instead of overhead lights. The soft lighting will make your apartment feel cozier. To really up the warmth factor, consider installing a system like Hue to dim lighting throughout your home straight from your phone, or switch to lightbulbs that are at least 5000-Kelvin to imitate natural sunlight.
  • If the lack of sunlight affects your mood, consider purchasing a light therapy box or heat lamp to mimic the effects of the sun. This lamp features ion therapy and emits 17,000-Kelvin UV-free light, which is equivalent to blue sky light in North Pole, to improve your mood, energy and sleep.
  • Learn how to bake. Nothing warms up an apartment like the smell of homemade cookies or banana bread. When you’ve finished baking and turn off the oven, leave the oven door open to allow the heat to spread throughout your apartment.
  • Add a chair in your bedroom or a corner of your living room to create a reading nook that feels intimate and separated from the rest of the room.
  • Hang mirrors to make rooms appear larger and brighter and take advantage of limited sunlight. Place mirrors on walls opposite a window so that inbound sunlight reflects back into the room, or place one at an angle to a nearby window so the light bounces from the window into darker parts of the room.
mirrors reflecting light apartment
Strategically placed mirrors can reflect sunlight to brighten a dark room and make it feel larger. [Image: Mirrorlot]
  • Purchase houseplants. They provide the feeling of being outdoors while serving as decoration and purifying the air. Stylish vases and planters also help to make the apartment feel more homey.
  • Hang artwork or posters to make the walls less stark. Bright colors and shapes create visual interest and make your apartment feel more alive.
  • Use string and clothespins to hang up photos. This trendy DIY method of hanging multiple photos can help your apartment feel friendlier and warmer. Select a few photos for framing and display them on tables, shelves or desks.
  • Don’t limit lights to just Christmas. Hang string lights around windows or columns to make dreary rooms appear brighter and serve as decoration all year round.
  • Display your book collection. Not only does curling up with a good book improve a day spent indoors, books can serve as decorative objects and make your space feel more personalized and welcoming.
  • Light some candles. They’ll help create the feeling of warmth in your apartment, and soothing scents can make you feel peaceful and relaxed. Just make sure to blow them out before leaving or going to sleep.
candles plants lights apartment
String lights and candles provide a feeling of warmth, while plants add life to your apartment and clean your air. [Image: Honeysuckle Life]
  • Add furniture and decorations in warm colors, such as reds, oranges and yellows. Warm colors give off the feelings of sunlight, fire and heat. These colors can make large rooms feel more comfortable and make dark rooms appear lighter and warmer.
  • Mix and match your furniture to make your space appear less cookie-cutter, and choose “warmer” materials such as wood over metal or plastic.
  • Get the fireplace effect without having to build a fire by streaming a relaxing fireplace video on your TV. The crackling sound effects and soft flames are calming on a cold winter night.
  • Invite friends over for a night in. Nothing warms up an apartment like people you love. Host a game night, make some yummy snacks and relax in your cozy space, and winter won’t feel so long and dreary after all.

What are your best tips for “warming up” an apartment? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook or on Twitter.

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