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Hot tub? Sunny window seat? How WNYers hunker down at home in winter

For some, it’s a comfortable reading chair and ottoman near the fireplace. For others, it’s the corner of the couch under a thick throw – with a hot drink and television remote within easy reach.

When we asked a few Western New Yorkers to describe the coziest spot in their house during the winter months, we heard these and other options for retreating on cold days.

(Not one of them mentioned wanting to hibernate in their beds, by the way.)

Interior designer Susan Reedy Jackson, of Reedysign Interiors and a member of the Interior Design Association of Western New York, said her favorite spot in her East Aurora home is a window seat in the south-facing kitchen – especially on sunny days.

“This bench window seat does double duty as kitchen table seating and inviting rest spot,” said Jackson. This is where she reads, drinks tea, works crossword puzzles, sits and talks.

“The wood for the bench was taken from an old, 180-year-old barn,” she said. “Add plump soft pillows and a chenille throw, and you’re good.”

Her strategy for the winter-weary: “When Mother Nature decides to send abundant sunshine on a winter day... find a southern exposure window and settle in.”

Horticulturist Nellie Gardner, owner of Flower Fields in Spencerport, highlighted several cozy spots in her home.

One is the kitchen island where she and her friends gather to cook and socialize. The other is the Flower Fields shop on her property where she dries flowers and creates her handmade botanical wreaths and swags right through the winter months.

Gardner, horticulturist at Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House, 125 Jewett Parkway, also pointed out where her dog – a rescue named Farmer – spends time in the winter: near the freestanding gas stove by Regency. (For proof, see below.)

Farmer takes a snooze on a chair by the freestanding gas stove, a favorite place to be after a cross-country skiing outing with his favorite humans.  (Photo courtesy Nellie Gardner)

Farmer helps out in the sun-filled Flower Fields shop. (Photo courtesy Nellie Gardner)

Interior designer Pamela Witte has two favorite spots at her home.

"A dark teal velvet chair to curl up on by the fire is one of my favorite spots to be on a cold evening," she said. "This is the first home we've owned that has a fireplace, so we are really enjoying it."

The other is their hot tub.

"We can crank our tiny hot tub to 103 degrees. It fits two people. That's all we need," she said.

The hot tub. (Photo courtesy Pamela Witte.)

The velvet chair and gas fireplace at the Witte home. (Photo courtesy Pamela Witte.)

Do you have a cozy winter spot you love at your home – either inside or out? Please email a photo with a short description to and we may publish it as part of this story. Please include your name and the town or city in which you live.




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