By SARAH RAY-FAY | Moonshine Ink

Snow has fallen. The holidays are upon us. It’s official: Winter is here! While  Truckee/ Tahoe residents and visitors love to immerse themselves in all the glory of winter sports and activities, everyone yearns to come home to a warm and cozy place, especially with the temperatures dropping and snow falling outside. Keep the winter blues away by making minor changes in your décor. Here are some tips and guidelines to help channel your inner hibernator:

1) UPDATE YOUR BEDDING: Add a variety of textures such as woven cotton blankets atop good quality flannel sheets. Finish it off with a down-filled velvet or corduroy duvet that is gently folded back so you get a layered look.

2) INVEST IN GOOD-QUALITY NEW DRAPERIES: Whether you get custom or premade draperies, make sure they are lined to help keep the cold out. Properly lined draperies also have more body and hang better than those without lining. Neutral colors are generally best and look more timeless. Bonus: They blend in with existing furniture and decor.


3) ADD SOME NEW TABLE LAMPS AND FLOOR LAMPS: With less daylight hours during the winter season, rooms can get dark and dreary. Overhead lights are good for performing tasks, but low lights add ambience. Be sure to get warm temperature light bulbs.

Photo by Sarah Ray-Fay

4) BRING HOME SOME UBER-REALISTIC FAUX PLANTS OR TREES: Fakes have never been so good. Adding a beautiful faux tree or table-top arrangement of succulents or flowers brings that breath of fresh air and instant delight. Good quality ones can be expensive but they’re worth it: You never have to water them and they last forever.

5) PICK UP SOME NEW CLEAN-BURNING CANDLES: Many come in beautiful glass containers that can be used for other things after the candle is finished. Some studies have shown that looking at the flame of a candle helps to promote better sleep, too.

6) SHOP AROUND FOR NEW ART THAT MEETS YOUR FANCY: Whether it be original, prints, or giclées, hanging a new piece of art in your home does wonders for the soul. Take the opportunity to introduce some new color to your room and don’t be afraid to play with scale. Filling a wall is way better than leaving loads of blank space, so go for the large piece or a series of several pieces that work together.

7) TOSS SOME NEW THROW PILLOWS ON YOUR SOFA: For an immediate lift, find yourself at least two goodsized pillows (a 24-inch square is perfect) that have a down blend fill, or faux down if you have allergies. The “designer karate chop” fluffing technique is a must so that your pillows don’t look like stiff blocks. Fabrics like chenille, velvet, and faux fur are perfect for the winter.

Photo by Sarah Ray-Fay

8) THROW ON A CHUNKY THROW: Add the ultimate cuddle factor to your sofa by casually draping a throw along one of the arms. Soft-to-the-touch and neutral colors generally work best.

~ Sarah Ray-Fay is principal designer and owner of DesignBar and DesignBar Home Furnishings in Truckee, located next to Wild Cherries Coffee House. She holds a B.S. in design from Arizona State University and has been practicing interior design since 1987. Connect with Sarah at


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