3 Tips to Skip the Winter Blues, and Bring the Outdoors In

By the time February hits, unless you’re living in Miami, you’re probably over winter. Freezing, cold weather and snow after Christmas, are not so magical.

While we’re all longing for the energy and new life that comes with spring, I have some tips to bring the outdoors, inside, until then. You don’t have to be in your backyard gazebo on a warm July evening, to experience the comfort of nature.



If you’re anti-fake flowers and ficus trees, succulents are for you. And if you don’t have a green thumb, succulents are totally for you! Hear me out.

If I can do it, you can. I promise. I can’t tell you all the plants, flowers, and herbs I have killed in years past.

  • You can assemble a succulent or cluster of succulents in a terrarium, bulb, pot, an antique piece of pottery, or driftwood. The container simply need to be at least 3 inches deep.
  • Cover the bottom of your container with pea gravel, then layer cactus soil. Moisten soil, but don’t drench the soil.
  • Arrange your succulents, using ones of various heights and colors. Here’s your chance to let your creative self loose.
  • I got a cannister of small river rocks at Target for five bucks, that I like to layer on top of the soil, once my succulents are planted. This gives it a finished look, and the rocks add a different texture to the pot.
  • Succulents need minimal up-keep. Allowing the soil to go dry before re-watering, will yield lots of growth. Over time they will get bigger, and you can replant them if you’d like.

Once you get started, there is no turning back. You’re gonna be in love.



Here’s a big change you can make, at a low cost. Whether you’re painting a room, your kitchen cabinets, or a piece of furniture, paint can really lighten and brighten your home.

  • There are lots of ways to go at this. Simply giving surfaces a fresh coat, will instantly lighten up the mood, and make up for the lack of Vitamin D that’s not streaming through the windows during these dark months.
  • You can consider making use of paint colors seen in nature. Greens, grays, yellow, brown, blues, and white, can all bring an earthy atmosphere to your room.
  • I love the warm, subtle yellow in my livingroom. Though it’s not bright or saturated, it brings the essence of sunlight into our otherwise, dark room.



The pleasure of the great outdoors, is in large part due to the fact that it engages each and every one of our senses. It captivates us like none other.

We behold the beauty of the changing leaves, smell the familiar budding lilac tree, hear the spring peepers, taste the bounty of the garden harvest, and finger the various textures from bark to grass to the ocean waters.

  • You get the point. Allow these things to inspire the way you spruce up your home.
  • Find a way to display seashells from your beach trip last summer. Make your antler collection a focal point on a minimalistic shelf. Print a large copy of a photo from your recent (or back in the haydays) travels. Or print a group of prints to frame and hang together.
  • It’s winter. While there are aesthetic benefits of using layers and textures, in the cold of February, there’s a practical benefit, too. Invest in some super-soft blankets. Amp up the pillow quantity in your livingroom and den.
  • Create comfy spots for additional seating. Chances are you, your friends, and family are spending a heck of a lot more time indoors, than out. Take time to think through the rooms you spend the most time in, and optimize comfort in those rooms.
  • Candles. I just love them. Such a simple, little jar, instantly warms up a room. Take the time to find a scent you love, because let’s face it, there are a lot of ones that are pretty disgusting.
  • Have convenient, decorative storage pieces for all the gear. I’m talking a wooden coat rack for guests, baskets for hats and scarves, and rugs that can stand up to the salt and snow.
  • One thing I’m passionate about when it comes to design, is warm lamps. Lots of homes have harsh overhead lighting, that should be avoided at all costs. Leave guests feeling sun-kissed after lounging in your den. Think lots of lamps, that aren’t super-high in watts.


I’ve mentioned a lot of different tips for bringing the outdoors into your home in the cold of winter. Don’t be paralyzed by all the things you should/could do. Choose one or two specific to-dos from this post, and do them.

You’ll be surprised what a big difference a couple of little changes will make. These improvements will tide you over until you’re sprucing up your yard in May. And just maybe, you won’t be pining for summer…..quite so much.

How about you? How do you like to keep things fresh and nature-inspired, in your home?

Erin Emanuel