Already missing the outdoors?
First, the easy solution — grow some plants inside, on a windowsill or nearby table.
Katrina Shyann Eckenrode, a member of Minnesota Gardeners on Facebook, recently potted up the moss roses she grew over the summer, which she said will last all winter.
"Most flowers, if brought inside and given proper sun and weekly watering, will do well," she said. "I bring in my bigger planters over winter, as well. The biggest mistake you can make is not trying. Just experiment — if it doesn't work, all you have gained is knowledge for next time."
Daisy Robbins, of the same Facebook group, suggested aloe for growers with children and pets — it's not harmful if curious critters or kids take a bite, and it can be rubbed on dry, cracked hands for wintertime relief.
Kailee Klevan of Beyond Kitchens also sees some homeowners incorporating plants into their indoor decor — one of her clients did so by adding glass shelves to a shower to house pots. But there are myriad ways to bring natural materials inside during winter.
“It’s bringing the outside in, adding to that relaxing environment,” she said.
Chris Proell of Val-U-Blinds said he sees some homeowners “bringing the outside inside” with screen shadings and outdoor furniture added to porches — or, for those with the space, UV-safe treatments added to four-season porches. Rochesterites appreciate adding those to “slab homes.”
“Even in the winter, the sun’s so bright when it’s all windows,” he said.
If plants and four-season porches are out of reach, Kristin Proell, also of Val-U-Blinds, suggested looking for statement accessories in natural materials like marble or clay, which can anchor a design plan.
Make it work for the holidays
Emily Fritsch, an interior designer and decorator at Lilies and Life, suggested using woods and other natural materials to add a holiday feeling and scent to the indoors.
“Bring the outside in with fresh cedar branches,” she said. “Use floral wire to create a DIY fresh cedar garland to put on your mantle or staircase railing.”
Twine, evergreen branches and pine cones can also be hung from a door or wall — and faux berries and wooden snowflake cutouts add a wintry feel.
Feeling even more crafty? Fritsch suggested using birch wood to create candle holders, ornaments, gift tags or fireplace log decor.
When the time comes, “cut down your own Christmas tree for the scent of fresh pine,” she said. “And place extra branches in vases for added decor around your home.”