Designing Your Winter Home

Kellie Burke, of Kellie Burke Interiors, Gives Us a Run-Down of Cold Weather Designs

As the cold settles in during November and we start to spend more time inside our thoughts turn to the holidays and our homes, many of us with an eye toward upgrading our home interiors.

That’s why this time before the holidays is always the busiest for designers, says Kellie Burke, of Kellie Burke Interiors in West Hartford. 

“This is definitely our busiest season. People are coming back to spend more time inside their homes and they’re looking around and saying ‘I want it to feel fresh and new and I want it to have a different look, a different twist, when my family comes for the holidays.’ ” 

Sometimes that refresh can be as simple as changing out the window treatments in the main living spaces or upgrading lighting, Kellie says. For others, it can be a fresh coat of new paint on the walls or totally overhauling the design of a guest bedroom or several rooms. 

“Oftentimes we just need to paint the space because that will really transform the room. Or it can be as simple as laying down a new carpet in whatever space you want to refresh. A rug is a really awesome way to lay in a new pattern or color in a room. Something modern or abstract is a great way to liven up a room.” 

The key to design during the cold months, she adds, is to play off the sense of seeking warmth and comfort from our living spaces. 

“It’s a time when you’re really nestled in your home and spending more time with each other and you’re more family-oriented.”

Playing off those themes can mean adding design elements that encourage gathering around a fire, both indoors and out. 

“Winter is the time when you seem to have more time to yourself, sitting by the fire and snuggling by the fire. So think of placing chairs near or around a fireplace and adding interesting throws to evoke that sense of comfort. For instance, we sell the most amazing faux fur throws and you can lay them over the back of a sofa or throw several of them over a collection of chairs around the fireplace. It’s a way to make the space feel snuggly and warm. Maybe add in a giant ottoman or coffee table and stack some books on it. The idea is to create a sense of community in your space.”

With the colder weather also comes shorter days and that can make your home feel dark. Designing a new lighting plan - which can include something as easy as swapping out your lamps for new ones - can chase away the shadows of winter “so it doesn’t feel depressing and dark and it gives it more of an illuminated feel,” Kellie says. 

Bringing live tropical plants into your home in winter also imbues the space with a green, natural and lighter vibe. Even faux plants can bring that sense of lightness to your interiors. 

“Our New England homes can feel dark in winter but we have amazing greenery that we sell to liven up your homes. They look very authentic and they look like they’re thriving all year round.”

And then, of course, many of us bring real trees inside at Christmastime. Many of her clients, Kellie says, seek out her help to decorate multiple trees in different rooms of their homes. 

“We have a lot of fun with Christmas trees. We’ve decorated multiple trees in different rooms in our clients’ homes and each tree is designed to match the room by Riverside Nursery so that they are beautiful and fanciful without being over the top.”

Kellie Burke

Kellie Burke Interiors 

1041 New Britain Ave., West Hartford



On Instagram: @Kellieburkeinteriors

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