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The Winter HouseNew England Home

Being down with the flu this week wasn’t in my plans. I had grand plans for saying good-bye to the holidays and immersing myself in NESTING and getting things done around the house! I planned on BLOGGING! But instead, I’ve been curled up in my bed with a fever, chills and coughing and not feeling up to doing much of anything. It’s not been fun start to January. My whole family has been sick, so I didn’t even have anyone to wait on me. Meh.

Even under the best of circumstances, it’s easy to get in a winter slump in January, with the cold weather and lack of sun in the foreseeable future. I usually combat the looming winter blues with puttering around the house, cozying up spaces with more blankets and textures and creating a comfortable place to sit by the fire.

I love nesting and getting cozy so I rather enjoy the opportunity to nestle in.

The Winter HouseBHG

As I get on the mend here I am especially looking forward to making plans for some design updates for my home this year. I do that every year but I’m especially excited about it this year. Since we don’t have a major remodel in the works, I’m looking forward to the smaller projects that make a house more cozy, personal, functional and livable. But until my flu brain fog lifts and I can emerge from my cocoon, I am just peeking around online for inspiration.

The Winter HouseBHG

I do know that I am always evolving and refining what I want to live with versus what I love to look at online. Sometimes the two conveniently merge in the middle, but sometimes not. Sometimes a clean and simple room grabs me online, but in real life in my own house I know it would feel cold and dreary and I’d miss the personality that a bit more color or pattern brings to a home. I know I need my house to have a bit more life to it, so finding the balance of what I love in pictures and need in real life is a part of the challenge. I definitely have a heightened sensitivity to how my house feels and never would settle for it looking pretty in a picture if I didn’t LOVE it in real life.

The Winter HouseCozy Winter Bedroom

In the winter I often just walk around my house looking at every angle. When I love what I see, I’m happy. But if I feel unsettled at all, I know I need to keep working on it. Right now I have so many of those areas I want to keep working on. I’m making progress, but still feel like I have a long way to go. And with a small budget of time and money, I want to find contentment and prioritize what is important so I don’t really obsess over it all the time. New furniture would be nice and all, but sometimes just re-imagining what you already have is a better idea. I’m looking forward to rethinking and repurposing this year. And organizing. Lots of organizing.

The Winter HouseBHG

How are you enjoying this first full week after the holidays?

Did you get lots of snow? I’m sure that wasn’t in your plans any more than the flu was in mine. I hope none of you got the flu!

I guess if we had some setbacks this week to our big plans for the first full week after the holidays, we can start over again NEXT week and have more success, right?

The Winter HouseSerena Crawford Portfolio

The Winter HouseHouse Beautiful

The Winter HouseSouthern Living House Plans, Historical Concepts

Do you enjoy winter nesting?

What are your favorite things about your winter house?

The Winter House

See my essentials for a cozy winter home HERE in my guide on eBay!


  1. Lynn from ForLoveOrFunny

    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been sick! Feel better, soon! I am planning to “nest” by figuring out how to inexpensively remodel two bathrooms. Gotta draw up a plan and see if I can convince my husband we can do this! :)

  2. Jo-Lynne Shane {Musings of a Housewife}

    I’ve never been one to decorate for winter. I just take down Christmas and put everything back the way it always is. This year, for some reason, I’m feeling the urge. I can’t wait to see what you do with your space! (And sorry to hear you’ve been sick.)

  3. Faith

    So sorry you are sick. Everyone in my family has the flu but me (fingers crossed that I don’t get it). Looks like you are making the best of your down time. Get well soon!

  4. Ginger Kay

    In photos, I love bright, white rooms. In my home, I do not like white walls and need colour.

  5. Dawn Fritz

    Melissa, I’m an avid reader of your blog and was just so excited to see that you used an image from a home my firm designed (the last one, from the 2012 Southern Living Idea House). It made my day! I’m sorry that the flu got you and sure hope you are back in the saddle soon.

    • Peggy

      Dawn…that was my favorite picture…might have to duplicatw the look in my house :)

  6. Catherine

    I love winter nesting but the lack of sunshine right about now starts to get to me. I don’t mind snow when there is sunshine!

  7. Rose L

    I always enjoy your thoughtful posts, Melissa. I can relate very much to the thought about enjoying magazine pictures but not seeing them coming to life in my own home. I like the clean fresh white look but could never live with it especially since we have dreary winter here for eight months of the year. But I like to take elements of that look and add them in where I can as well as parts from other looks and styles. My whole house remodel is going well and I’ve just finished up my sewing room re-do. I have moved so much furniture from one room and put it into others to give new purpose to so many many pieces and I am really enjoying the change that is making each room feel new again. Additionally taking time to keep tweaking those rooms that are now “done”. Adding bits, changing out bobs. It’s so satisfying and so comforting. Feel better very soon!

  8. Cathy

    Yes, I enjoy photos of white in homes, but can’t do it in my own…..all the pics shown make me want to put drapes on every window to try to warm up those spaces. I need color to live happy..not just neutrals with a few colored accessories thrown in.

  9. Lisa

    Hope you feel better! Ugh! Being sick sucks! If you want a design challenge feel free to decorate my home. After you’re well, of course. ;)

  10. Julie {Lilacs & Longhorns}

    I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been sick! I hope you feel better soon!
    You’ve spent your time well and have found some beautiful inspiration. I have always adored that last picture from the Southern Living houose — something about that plaid chair just gets me every time I see it!
    I’m like you…I often swoon over pictures that I honestly couldn’t really live with in real life..I, too, need color and more “stuff” but I sure do appreciate the beautiful design.
    Here’s to feeling better soon and getting back to nesting!
    Happy New Year!

  11. Julie @ Creating This Life

    I love winter nesting. And all of the photos you posted are right up my alley. Feel better!

  12. sandyc

    So sorry you’ve been floored by the flu. The “winter house” blog is interesting for me as I reflect (not with any glee but with gratitude) on how lucky I am to have glorious sunshine almost every day in the fall and winter here in my area of Arizona (Phoenix/Sun City West) while others having been dealing with snow and gloom and will have to for several more months. It’s still normally a perfect time to nest although I’ve kind of been doing that for the past year since I moved into the house in December 2012. I’m delighted with my living room and bedrooms and getting there with my office area. Kitchen/laundry room is my 2014 “big” project – no costly renovation or remodel but a small bucks change of my 1986 oak cabinet kitchen to a white country French kitchen. Courtney’s great fill-in post on the Sarah Richardson kitchen led me back to posts on your new kitchen and other inspiration picks so I’m wound up again and ready to get started.

    P.S. Love the jute-look rug in the Southern Living room. Ultimately I’ll have tile throughout my open living space, but jute area rugs make my kitties very happy, they have a casual look I like, are cleanable (from horked hairballs or in-too-fast-out-just-as-fast kitty dining) and are indestructible.

    Feel better so you can nest with joy rather than in defense..

  13. Lynn

    I hope you feel better soon!

    I love the red lantern in the pic from New England Home. I have a similar color scheme, and I am trying to salvage an existing lantern. That lovely orange/red color should do the trick. Love it!

  14. susan maclean

    I really want that wicker walking stick basket against the wall in pic 1!! But what is more important is that you get to feel better soon. Just stay warm and cosy and you will soon pick up xx

  15. Linda

    Thaks for sharing all the loely photos to inspire us all. Our winter house has lots of candles and lap blankets. Plus a change of pillows. The wall wreath is seasonal too. Going for comfort and warm feeling living.

  16. teresa

    Sorry you have not been feeling well…thats not fun! So far this year I have tried to clean up all the little places around my home…hoping that gets me in the mood to manger the bigger projects…looking for something fresh. not sure what…guess I will know when i see it.
    Stay warm…
    Ps. it has been so dry in our area that we actually would love to borrow some of your rain and snow.

  17. Melinda

    I love our cozy fireplace. Especially the push of a button and on comes the flames.
    Cozy blankets and a green wreath. I love the clean feeling after the holidays, maybe it’s putting away the dusty decorations and spindley tree?!
    Candles always add a touch of warn glow and bring a sense of calm. Probably my favorite thing this time of year.

  18. Leah: )

    Yes! I am obsessed with nesting, (and DIY) and as soon as the holiday craziness is over and all of the decorations are put away, I always feel “ready” to get going with new projects. Since Christmas pretty much wiped us out (plus needing new tires for one of our cars, unexpectedly) I am planning to Craigslist a few pieces of furniture that I never thought I’d part with, but aren’t really working for me anymore – to free up some space and get a little cash to start taking on a few 2014 projects!!! The only dilemma is where to start…so many ideas…looking on the internet for some spark of inspiration/motivation! (Guess I better sell those pieces first…: )
    Feel better Melissa!
    Leah: )

  19. Maria M

    Every picture in this post is so wonderful — cozy and textural, without being too perfect. My favorite kinds of spaces. I’m so sorry you haven’t been well…I hope you are feeling better and that you continue to in the coming days. I love nesting after all of the Christmas decor comes down. That’s when the real organizing happens for me — not so much in the craze of Spring Cleaning. To me, it’s the best way to start the New Year. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Relax!

  20. Kristi@Chatfield Court

    Love winter nesting but I’m feeling a little uninspired since the holidays. Don’t know what it is but I’m just trying to move forward slowly and hope it passes quickly. Hope you are feeling better soon. Have a good weekend.

  21. Susan Tinberg

    I enjoy the winter months to some extend especially inside my cozy warm house. H1n1 going around – stay healthy and rest up before trying to re-enter your usual life. Loved the photos and the ideas. That red bedside table was a real popper.

  22. Ann Ruggles

    Sorry you are under the weather, but thanks for the eye candy! That fireplace pic from BHG is my definition of a perfect cozy room. Here in Texas it’s not all that cold for very long, but I love curling up in a nice room with my cats, books and laptop.

  23. Julie

    I’m with you; getting my grove back on after the holidays it a bit slow. Every day is a new beginning and every week even better. No time better than now to start over. As for nesting…for me it never stops. I was glad to box up the holidays and put my warm cozy neutrals back out. I just recently changed my all white linen bedding to include a herringbone blanket and rug. It adds just enough warm. Smooches

  24. tara

    we had the flu over christmas…had to cancel with my family. :((((
    BUT, it didn’t take us long to realize that it was actually a gift for us….we had run so hard and fast for the whole semester that it actually was nice to be forced to lay low and rest for a week.

    i’m sorry you got it…but i hope you found some joy in being able to just turn everything off and rest.

  25. AmyE

    Laughing at myself as I scrolled through this post reading all the words. And then realized while reading the comments about all the pictures that I didn’t even glance at those. Sigh … Some things never change. ?


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