February 07, 2014

Image © Overheard in the Country

Whether you are suffering from bad weather or simply reading about it, this is the time of year when staying warm—and keeping our homes warm—is a priority. I have been reading about the series of storms hitting the country and I imagine all the people who have bundled up and hunkered down for a bitter winter.

It’s hard to be stylish when it’s cold. Let’s face it: you need so many layers of clothing to stay warm it can be tough to tell a person from a laundry bag. I exaggerate, of course, but that same challenge happens in our homes. No one loves to go out but you risk cabin fever if you stay home. Even in Southern California this is an introspective time of year. So, what do you do to stay warm? I turn immediately to food and drink.

Here’s the trick though: serve that chili or spicy hot cocoa and make it an opportunity to create some eye-candy too. If it’s beautiful to look at, you’re not going to be thinking about the weather, you will be focusing on the beauty of the moment you have created for yourself 

Share a cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate with a friend. The cinnamon and cayenne kick could warm up an iceberg. Add a little Gran Marnier whip cream and you won’t want to go back outside for hours. Recipe can be found here. I love the idea I found on Pinterest of stirring in some teaspoons of melted chocolate to make the worst weather vanish under the decadence of chocolate-on-chocolate.



A steaming mug of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings on a wooden table.

Image © and ©

It might seem counter-intuitive but another favorite trick of mine is to indulge in the ultimate stylish food: sushi. It’s gorgeous to look at, it’s exotic and it brings a zing to all of your senses. If you’re confident in the kitchen make it yourself. I prefer to order it in. There’s also the benefit that you don’t have to worry about it getting cold in transit.



Assorted types of sushi on a wooden tray.

Image ©

If all of this nesting at home with tasty treats fails to cheer you up then consider a tip from a previous post and fill your house with fresh flowers. We have the luxury of being able to buy flowers year-round. That fact alone might banish the winter blues. If flowers don’t feel right then bring nature inside by using a few branches to create a tabletop sculpture.

White vase on a table with branches in it, candle and decorative acorn near it.

Image sourced from iko design space.

It is the Lunar New Year right now—and peach blossoms are considered good luck. If you can find them, they are gorgeous. Try exploring some of the gorgeous vases at if you are looking to add to your collection. From small to large there are some great options.



Tree branches in a transparent glass vase

Image sourced from Thenewdiplomatswife.

Finally, consider simply surrounding yourself with friends and family and take advantage of the time to play a game of cards or tell your oft-heard stories. My husband has a repertoire of five long-winded jokes and I feel like this is the time to settle in, indulge him, and listen to them again. Laughter has to be one of the best ways I know to chase away the chill.



Stay warm—and please share your favorite tricks and tips for a stylish winter when the weather is wicked.



Written by Catherine Holliss



Interior Design Blog Writer,, LLC



Director of Interior Design, Sander Architects LLC.  

Photographs © Catherine Holliss unless otherwise noted. 



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