Nothing beats the feeling of being cosy and comfortable whilst the elements rage outside of your window. This is especially true during the winter months when snuggling under a soft blanket trumps many other activities.
Even in Australia coldest parts such as Tasmania are nowhere near as cold as other regions of the world. But regardless; at the end of our colder months, we still felt the need to share some winter warming tips with our readers!
Check out these tips to make your home feel warm and welcoming:
It is no secret that colour can be a significant influence on our emotions. Deep rich red and orange shades, jewel tones, and royal hues all convey feelings of toasty relaxation. For a cosier living space, try blending in warming colours.
This suggestion does not mean you must paint the interior of your home to have a comfy space for winter. You can easily incorporate these shades with accent pieces, pillows, art, throws, or rugs. Add these tones to bedrooms by swapping out bed linens, pillows, and draperies. You can return to your usual scheme when the weather warms in the spring.
If you are planning to repaint, steer clear of harsh pure white shades. Lean towards ivory or cream. These colours offer the flexibility of pure white without coldness.
Think about layering in your home the way you layer your clothes. Adding a few great touches to your décor can make a huge difference in both the level of comfort and the overall style of your home.
While you certainly can layer by adding cushions, rugs, and throws, surfaces such as coffee tables and nightstands are also excellent for layering. Add candles, decorative books, plants, or fresh flowers to bring your home to life.
When days are dreary and light is scarce, it is tempting to shut your blinds, pull your curtains, and hunker down during winter. But when you do this, you are robbing yourself of warmth and the emotional lift that comes from sunlight. You will want to bring in as much natural light as possible during the daylight hours. Just remember to close the curtains and blinds at sunset to keep the warmth.
You do not need to depend on just the sun to give light. Adding lights throughout your home using attractive fixtures or candles will add to the cosy atmosphere.
Bring in Nature
If the thought of winter has you pining for sundrenched days in the garden and alfresco dinners under the stars, try adding some plants to your décor. Green plants, as well as flowering specimens, work with just about any interior style. Remember to choose containers that compliment your colour and design type.
If you are someone who struggles to keep an aquarium healthy, you may not want to care for indoor plants. Likewise, some pets may become ill if they nibble on the fresh greenery. You can still use plants to liven your home. Just opt for high-quality faux plants. Some are so beautiful and detailed you cannot tell they are not alive.
Creative use of different textures will bring a sense of comfort to your home. While minimalist décor can be exquisite, an abundance of cold hard surfaces and neutral colours will not invite you to snuggle up with hot tea and a good book.
Just as with the use of colour to warm your home, you deciding to add texture does not mean an extreme makeover for your house. You can work texture into your home in several ways.
- Assorted woven baskets in earthy tones or warm colours
- Wool, linen, faux fur, or velvet throws or pillows
- Area rugs with exciting patterns woven into the material
- Handmade items, especially ones with sentimental value, like the blanket your gran knitted as a wedding present.
- Art pieces, decorative screens, or room dividers
Whilst not practical for every home, fireplaces are gorgeous focal points and effective heat sources. Whether you have a working fireplace or plan to add a gas version, using a fireplace will exponentially enhance the physical and aesthetic atmosphere. Adding a feature that includes stacked firewood gives the area additional interest, as well.
** A Word About Heating Safety**
It is a tragic fact that in winter, people experience a property loss, physical injury, and in some cases, loss of life because of a mishap involving heating their home.
Here are eight guidelines to keep your home and family safe while staying warm.
- Use only one appliance per power point- overloading can start a fire
- Check electric heaters for damage before use.
- If your gas heater has no flue, use it only in large, ventilated areas. Never use in a small room such as a bathroom.
- Have gas heaters serviced every two years.
- Have your chimney cleaned before use, and always place a fireplace screen in front of a fireplace that is burning.
- Never attempt to dry wet clothing on a heater.
- Do not use your gas stove or oven as a heating source.
- Never bring a gas heater marked for outdoor use only into your home as a heat source.
Remember Your Floors
A comfortable and cosy home starts from the ground up. Make sure you are using your floor covering to your advantage this winter, as about ten per cent of heat can be lost through the floor.
The material of your flooring can make a big difference in the look as well as the comfort level of your home. For many people, carpeting is an efficient and effective way to keep their floors warm. However, it is not always the first choice for some.
Vinyl and cork are excellent materials for insulating and retaining heat. They work well in various levels of humidity and make stylish options.
Laminate does not insulate as well as carpet, vinyl, or cork. However, it does help to keep floors warm. Additionally, laminate flooring works wonderfully with heated floors and has many style options.
Regardless of your flooring, adding area rugs will help keep the cold at bay. Rugs add to the texture, colour, and layering aspects of warming your home as well.
If you are installing new flooring it could also be a great opportunity to install a type of underfloor heating.
Besides Décor, What Changes Add Warmth to My Home?
Both large and small changes to the look of your home can vastly improve your comfort. However, there are a few ways to conserve energy (think lowering fuel bills) while creating a comfy climate.
You can lose as much as 35 per cent of your home’s heat due to insufficient insulation. Home heating expert Chris Barnes notes that Australians who have well-insulated homes save hundreds on their heating costs. A bonus is that a house with good insulation will stay cooler during the summer months.
Hanging curtains can do wonders for a room style-wise. However, quality curtains also can keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Up to 40 per cent of a home’s heating energy goes right out the window.
If your home is subject to unpleasant draughts, consider using one of the many adhesive sealing kits available to stop drafts, save money, and feel comfortable.