Living Space: Cool and classy is a hot winter look

Sometimes, the best way to face something is simply to embrace it. Instead of trying to come up with a warm, sunny decorating scheme in the depths of winter, why not embrace the frosty tones of snow and ice?

This approach is a hot decorating trend, so get cozy with a cool look as we slip into the coldest months of the year.

Swedish style

Accustomed to a cold climate, Swedes embrace a spare, cool look for their homes. Swedish style can be further divided into cottage, formal and modern.

Swedish cottage style is homey and references country touches like white casual furniture and crafts such as pottery and rustic wood pieces. But that doesn't mean a look that lacks sophistication - far from it. Highlighted by warm ivory tones, Swedish styling is sleek and refined.

Pale blues and whites tinged with an icy blue are commonly associated with Swedish decor. Add accents in silver or antique-gold. A few key pieces like a stenciled armoire or grandfather clock can round out a living room. Spare, natural-fiber curtains that let in plenty of light bring this spare look to life.

Cool contemporary

If contemporary style is more to your taste, adopt a full winter palette incorporating different shades of gray. Start with silver or gray wallpaper. Add a touch of sparkle with a crystal-draped chandelier or clear crystal lamps at the bedside. For a glamorous touch, incorporate mirrored furniture pieces that reference a frozen pond.

In the bedroom, layer the spread with soft, billowy linens and place a soft, knitted throw across the foot of the bed. Finally, toss out a sheepskin rug to give the floor a cool, white touch.

Think white

White is often seen as cold and sterile, but it doesn't have to be. An ivory white brings a warm layer yet radiates sophisticated style. White also makes a great backdrop for other colors, whatever the season.

Include texture in your design with nubby throws, plush upholstery fabrics and/or draperies. Pair icy blue, pale beige or dove gray with white furnishings to complete the cool, classy look.

Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website,