Living Rooms

Kelly Wearstler's 5 top tips for styling a winter living room

Want to make your living space feel warm, inviting and cozy? Take advice from one of the world's top designers – this is how Kelly Wearstler styles her winter living room

Kelly Wearstler
(Image credit: Kelly Wearstler)

If your living room doesn't feel quite as cozy as it should at this time of year, there are some quick fixes that design maven Kelly Wearstler recommends – all of which are achievable, quick and easy. 

Below, the designer, who is internationally renowned for creating glamorous interiors in luxe hotels and high-end private homes, offers her take on the best winter living room ideas

Kelly Wearstler's tips for styling winter living rooms

Many of the items shown below are on sale at Kelly Wearstler, or of course, you can use what you already have at home. 

1. Use an autumnal color palette

Living room chair

(Image credit: Kelly Wearstler)

The first step to perfectly styling a living room for winter? Color, says Kelly Wearstler.

'Elevate your space with an infusion of alluring autumnal hues and the fiery, golden warmth of the season. Throw cushions in deep earthen colors and sumptuous textures add layers of depth and richness with easy transformation,' she says.

2. Introduce the outdoors with florals

Living room styling by Kelly Wearstler

(Image credit: Kelly Wearstler winter living room styling)

Christmas foliage ideas, are intrinsic to styling a winter living room. 

'Florals in a bold, grounded-spice palette bring an evocative, organic energy and connection to the outdoors inside.'

3. Conjure up warm light and fragrant aromas

Living room by Kelly Wearstler

(Image credit: Kelly Wearstler)

The simplest secrets to a cozy living room is often just getting the light levels – and warmth, just right. Similarly, the very best home fragrance can instantly transform a space into one that feels inviting and inspiring.

'Lighting a fire, tall tapers and a warm, fragrant incense heightens the sensory experience beyond spatial to spirited,' says Kelly.

4. Create a focal point for the space

Winter living room styling by Kelly Wearstler

(Image credit: Kelly Wearstler)

Every successful living room has a focal point. This might be a lit fire in a gorgeous fireplace, or it might be perfected coffee table styling. Or, it might be a decorative element that encourages sociability and togetherness. 

'I love adding a beautiful chess or backgammon set to center around for cozy evenings,' says Kelly.

5. Add layering for comfort

styling a winter living room

(Image credit: Kelly Weastler)

For any space to feel comfortable, it needs layering. This comes with rugs – laid for winter if not for summer – throws, upholstered chairs, floral displays, and even that chess set – all in warm, autumnal shades.

'Layering a patina of fall style instantly uplifts interiors and invites intimate, feel-good gatherings,' concludes Kelly.

Lucy Searle
Content Director

Lucy Searle has written about interiors, property and gardens since 1990, working her way around the interiors departments of women's magazines before switching to interiors-only titles in the mid-nineties. She was Associate Editor on Ideal Home, and Launch Editor of 4Homes magazine, before moving into digital in 2007, launching Channel 4's flagship website, In 2018, Lucy took on the role of Global Editor in Chief for, taking the site from a small magazine add-on to a global success. She was asked to repeat that success at Homes & Gardens, where she also took on the editorship of the magazine. Today, Lucy works as Content Director across Homes & Gardens, Woman & Home, Ideal Home and Real Homes.