Getting Cozy: 5 home essentials for fall (and what comes after)

by Neal Kielar, Tastemaker in Residence

With Labor Day (and summer) receding quickly in the rearview mirror, thoughts turn to preparing for the cold months ahead. If you only have visions of tuning up the snowblower, fiddling with the thermostat and buying ice melt, you're missing the more pleasant aspects of getting cozy in your fall/winter shelter. Getting your home ready to counter weather's tougher elements is also a time to style your space into an inviting sanctuary for family, friends and even pets. Here are some of my home essentials for capturing the spirit of hygge.

CEDAR CHEST. There's nothing like the aroma of a cedar-lined storage chest. They were in their heyday from the 1920s through the 1960s, popular for both their beauty and practicality. The hygge quotient is high, with a cedar chest being the default storage space for wool blankets and sweaters. Many cedar chests can also be used as benches, all the better for pulling on your boots.

JAPANESE TEA SET. Stoneware tea sets ruled during the granola-and-earth-shoes era of the 1970s. Today they call that style Boho Chic, and tea sets like this one, once again grace coffee tables (think of the irony in that) and cozy nooks. Tea not your thing? Who says this isn't the perfect set for serving hot chocolate?

LIGHTING. If you live in the Northern hemisphere, the the amount of daylight in your life is on the wane this time of year. That makes great lighting more important in the moment. Yet those lights are going to be in your home all year long. So make them special. Have some fun. And be sure that they bring the kind of light – general, task, mood – that you need.

SERVING CART. It's time to tuck away warm nights at open air cafes and focus on entertaining at home. There are lots of major holidays clustered in the last months of each year, so you're bound to have a few friends over for an evening. Whether you use it to serve cocktails, snacks or tea (see above) a compact serving cart lets you take the party to your guests.

WOOL THROWS. Curled up in your favorite chair binge watching TV. Maybe reading a book or just gazing into the dancing flames in a fireplace. Nothing adds comfort like a good wool throw. We prefer vintage Pendleton and Faribault Woolen Mills offerings in plaids and patterns. For those averse to the itch of wool, there are plenty of cotton and acrylic options available.

Gather your fall/winter essentials - people with whom to share them - and have a cozy season inside.

Neal Kielar, Owner and Creative Director

You can follow MidModMen+friends on Instagram and Facebook, browse current offerings on their website or visit the store at 2401 University Avenue West, St. Paul, MN 55114.