Expert tips on how to use 6 key trends to create the perfect hedgehog house this winter

From hedgehog houses and bat boxes to bee hotels and mice nests, building a hibernation station for local wildlife is a great way to provide shelter and protection for the various small, nocturnal creatures that will choose to spend their winters hibernating in various locations on your property. 

Ryan Fitzgerald, owner of Raleigh Realty, shares his advice on how homeowners can create the perfect hibernation station that’s not only practical, but that is on trend, and could potentially help increase the value of your home in the process.

Cottagecore Hedgehog Houses

To ensure a hedgehog house is aesthetically pleasing to both animal and homeowner, it needs to be on trend. Ryan explains how the Cottagecore trend is the perfect inspiration for any hibernation station, particularly one for a hedgehog.

“At the heart of it, Cottagecore is an aesthetic that celebrates the simplicity of cottage life, and living in the countryside – even if you don’t. 

“It promotes a certain style of decor that you would expect to see in crumbling farmhouses and gardeners’ cottages, and suggests a lifestyle that’s rooted in traditional, homemaker skills like making your own curtains, baking your own bread, growing your own vegetables, that sort of thing.”

On TikTok, content tagged with #Cottagecore has amassed a whopping 15.2 BILLION views, while according to Google, users search for the term more than 150,000 times per month globally, proving the popularity of the lifestyle. 

To transfer that aesthetic to a hedgehog house, Ryan offers his advice. “A simple wooden hedgehog box is fine, but there’s nothing really special about that. By introducing elements of the Cottagecore trend, you increase the kerb appeal of the hibernation station twofold.

“The habitat needs to co-exist with the nature around it, and as hedgehogs usually build their own nests in piles of leaves or underneath old buildings, it’s best to start there. Make sure the outside is decorated with foliage like vines, leaves or twigs – bonus points if you can incorporate mushrooms or wild fruit in your habitat!”

Five On Trend Hibernation Stations

It’s not just hedgehogs that hibernate during the long winters, as other animals like bats and dormice will also go underground towards the end of the year, as well as insects like bees and ladybirds, and even some amphibians.

Using five key interior trends from 2023, Ryan shares how to ensure that any hibernation station can be an asset to a property, and could even increase the value of a home, should you be planning to sell.

Cozycore Bat Boxes

Bats tend to use hollow trees or roof spaces as their hibernation station of choice, but many will opt for a bat box as an alternative for local bats. According to Ryan, the perfect trend for a bat’s habitat is Cozycore.

“People are big into Cozycore right now, with Google searches for the topic up 39% this year globally and on TikTok there are more than 145 MILLION views on Cozycore content. People want to be cozy! 

“The best way to achieve that is through soft neutrals throughout, and furnishings that literally cocoon and comfort the inhabitant. Cozycore is all about creating a tranquil haven, full of candles and fluffy blankets, and soft textures throughout.”

Maximalism Bee Hotels

“Bees are the epitome of maximalism,” says Ryan. ”They’re very all or nothing, very more is more, very energetic and bold. To help what’s left of their hives really stand out from the rest, the obvious trend is maximalist design.”

Maximalist design is one that will split a crowd, but it’s also a trend that is here to stay. Searches for the design trend are up 52% year on year, according to Google Trends, and more than 831.7 million views on TikTok content featuring the tag #Maximalist. 

“This eclectic approach to interior design really embraces the use of bold colors, clashing patterns, contrasting textures, louds prints, and soft furnishings in every corner of the home to create a really personal, really playful atmosphere. A maximalist’s home is full to bursting with personal objects and stories to tell – just like a beehive or bee hotel!”

Granny Chic Dormice Nest

Dormice will choose a slightly more riskier option of nesting location, and will use things like fallen logs and leaves to create their hibernation stations. Ryan explains how the “Granny Chic” trend is ideal for their hibernation stations.

“When you think of Granny Chic, you think about vintage-inspired prints, dark wood moulding, heavy patterns and lots of warm – albeit somewhat outdated – colours. To avoid falling into a real 70s trap, try using gold and red tones rather than brown ones.”

Dopamine Décor Ladybird Nest

In a similar vein to the maximalist trend, dopamine décor is all about inserting fun and happiness into your home. It’s a fairly new trend by name alone, with global searches for the playful design aesthetic up by 518% according to Google Trends.

This somewhat childish design trend is perfect for ladybirds, who will choose to spend their winters hibernating under leaf litter or in rotting logs. Ryan explains: “Dopamine décor is all about making you feel happy in the home. It uses joyful decorating and some frivolity as a way to escape the mundane of daily life. Think mood-lifting colour palettes, loud art, patterned wallpaper and plush furnishings.”

Heritage Frog Sanctuary

Another trend with vintage vibes, is the Heritage design aesthetic. Think primary colour palettes of mustard yellows, post box reds, leafy greens and schoolboy blues paired with classic stripes, herringbone flooring, wall panels, and lots of scalloped and ruffled furnishings. 

“When I think of the Heritage style, I think of rambling fields and water features and garden sheds, and so naturally, this design choice is perfect for frogs,” says Ryan. As most amphibians will choose quiet locations like compost heaps, rocky walls or garden sheds to spend their hibernation, Ryan couldn’t be more spot on. 

Increasing Kerb Appeal and Property Value

While building hibernation stations for local wildlife is a wonderful thing to do to ensure the survival of a very precious ecosystem, Ryan says there may also be financial benefits to adding bee or bug hotels, hedgehog houses and bat boxes to your garden.

Ryan Fitzgerald, owner of Raleigh Realty says: “With so many people looking for unique homes or ones with unique selling points, having a hedgehog house, a bee hotel, a bat box, or a chicken coop are some ways to differentiate yourself from your competition. 

It’s also a great marketing tactic as you will become known as the house that saves hedgehogs. It’s highly brandable from a seller’s point of view, and can attract certain types of people who will be happy to pay a premium for something like that.

“People who enjoy wild animals and helping the world will love the opportunity to have an aesthetically pleasing hedgehog house, and may consider paying over the odds to have such a unique feature in their new home.”