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Warm blankets, a cozy fire, fairy lights, hot cocoa and twinkling candles – the recipe for a winter at home that sounds pretty inviting. 

Taylor Johnson of Taylor Johnson Interiors is not only an interior designer, she is also the mom of a 3-year-old, so she understands that making home work for a family requires some extra special touches, especially when everyone is spending so much more time there. 

Like many families, Johnson said she has focused on her outdoor spaces, as well as sprucing up the inside of her home.

“We’ve invested in a swing set because we’re not going anywhere,” she said. 

For those looking to make their winter hibernation a bit more comfortable, Johnson said decluttering is a good way to start.

“Walking back into that room once you’re done with it, you are going to take a breath of fresh air,” she said. 

You might even get a sense of a staycation.

“If you could go anywhere this fall, where would you go? Strive to make home feel like that,” she said. 

For those who have a child who is doing virtual learning full time or e-learning days on a modified schedule, decluttering can sound almost impossible. But even small steps can help.

“Find a dedicated area for all of it,” Johnson said. “A lot of times it will be the dining room table and that’s fine. Be intentional with it.”

Johnson said giving kids a comfortable chair with supplies nearby and a way to keep their laptop at a comfortable height are all important ways to support learning at home. 

“Baskets are a young family’s best friend,” she said. “With young kids, I get closed storage any time I can. Maybe repurpose a cabinet or a buffet as a school supply spot, just for this year. Don’t strive for perfection. It’s going to be the way it is. If something is overflowing by December, just start again. Don’t sweat it.”

Try these tips from Johnson for a more comfortable home this winter:

·      Clear off shelves and only put up things you love. Group small things in clusters. 

·      Add a sensory experience. If you like scented candles, try something that evokes the season, like a pumpkin pie scent.

·      Use clear acrylic frames to display kids’ seasonal artwork. Rotate as necessary, showing off those handprint turkeys this month and moving to snowflakes in December.

·      If your children are learning at home this school year, pack away items that you don’t use often so you can create extra space for their supplies. It’s only temporary.

·      Do what you can to create a sense of calm. Use lamp lighting rather than overhead lighting. Install dimmers for overhead fixtures. 

·      Add throw blankets to the family room. 

·      Change out small décor items, like throw pillows, with the seasons. 

·      Create comfort outdoors, too, with comfortable seating. 

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