The cosiest month yet

We might be waving goodbye to 2017 but we certainly haven’t seen the last of winter yet so take a look at this advice ahead of one of the coldest periods.

January and February can be freezing but if you’re dreading the cold weather, you're not alone. Nearly half of Brits admit to feeling low during the dark evenings so to help the nation see the winter light, Contura Style & Marketing Director and Scandinavian lifestyle expert, Catharina Bjorkman, provides her top tips to 'creating cosy' ahead of the onset of the coldest months.

“With temperatures plummeting to as low as -30°C, winter in Sweden is all about enjoying 'cosy',” says Catharina. “We even have our own term – Mysig - that describes both the concept of cosiness and the pleasure that it provides. There is so much to love about winter – cosy nights in, dimmed lighting and candles, intimate gatherings with friends or family, comfort food, roaring fires, wrapping up warm…”

  1. The great winter cover up.

When it's dark and cold outside, there's nothing better than getting your cosy-on indoors. Make sure good quality blankets are dotted around your home ready to wrap up at a moment's notice. We Swedes prefer the minimal look and stick to neutral colours and subtle patterns but the most important thing is to choose soft, snuggly blankets for maximum cosiness.

2. Satisfying scents.

An inviting scent makes us happier to be home and can significantly impact our mood. Freshly laundered clothes top the nation's favourite smells list but for the cosiest and most welcoming of whiffs this winter, we suggest the smell of baking.

3. Brighten dark nights with flickering light.

Candles are a staple of the Swedish home, especially in winter. It's common in Sweden to have a candle (or three!) flickering in every room or window.Electric candles can look just as effective but no matter what type of candle you go for, dim the lights and enjoy dancing flicker. The essence of cosy in winter is, without doubt, a roaring fire. A log fire will make your home inviting, keep you toasty, and creates a warming glow for the cosiest of living spaces.

4. Comfort food.

Winter calls for warming food. Cold-weather staples such as soups, stews, casseroles, pies, curries and roasts are relatively easy to make and will provide the comfort (and calories) we need to get through winter.

5. Winter reads.

Snuggling up with a good book is a splendid way to get through the long winter evenings. Rather than spending time glued to apps, tackling emails or social media, reading is a great way to escape the daily grind and the perfect distraction for a successful 'digital detox'. How about starting a winter book club with friends or family?

6. Live Mysig.

A Swedish cultural gem, the term Mysig incorporates all of the above. Mysig translates as 'cosy' and describes the happiness we feel from a warm and welcoming environment. To achieve Mysig, relax in the bath with candles, curl up on the sofa with a good book, do some baking, enjoy coffee and cake with friends, surround yourself with snuggly soft furnishings... It's about embracing downtime, making our homes cosy and spending quality time alone or with others.

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