Winter is upon us and it’s time to get cosy and look forward to nights in and lazy weekends. Most of us like to spend more time at home when it’s cold outside and it gets dark in the middle of the afternoon. If you’re keen to make sure your house is ready, here’s everything you need for a cosy home this winter.
It’s no secret that bills are going up. This winter, many of us will be looking for ways to stay warm without breaking the bank. Insulation is not only beneficial for creating warm, comfortable living spaces, but it can also save you a huge amount of money. If your home is old, or you have draughty rooms that leak hot air, now is the time to explore insulation options. There are measures to suit every budget. From inexpensive DIY solutions like sealing door frames and placing draught excluders by your doors to replacing windows and doors and investing in loft insulation and double glazing, there are lots of ways to make your home warmer during the winter months.
If you don’t know where to start with insulating your home, it’s wise to focus on the rooms you use the most and identify problems. You might find that your kitchen feels cold or that there’s a draught from your living room windows, for example. Research online to see what kinds of insulation options are available and see if there is financial assistance on offer or discounts and deals that could save you money. It’s an excellent idea to ask for advice in hardware stores if you’re looking for affordable, hassle-free DIY options.
Adding soft furnishings to your home is one of the easiest ways to create a cosy feel. From bedrooms to living rooms, you can use rugs, blankets, throws, cushions and curtains to add ambience and make every space feel warm and inviting. Mix and match fabrics and textures and opt for items that look great and offer functional benefits. Throws and blankets are great for keeping warm while you watch TV or relax in bed while rugs are ideal for keeping your toes toasty while you’re walking around the house. Thick curtains help to reduce heat loss. Heavy fabrics, such as velvet, faux fur and wool are perfect for the cooler months. When it warms up, you can swap to lighter materials, such as cotton and linen.
If you’re not used to throwing cushions on your bed or having rugs around the house, look for ideas in interior design magazines and social media feeds. Some people like to adopt an organised, uniform approach to arranging cushions and throws while others favour the more relaxed, laid-back vibe synonymous with the Scandinavian hygge philosophy. You can decide if you prefer a lived-in look or a smart 5-star hotel aesthetic.
Colours impact the look and feel of a room. While light shades and neutral tones create open, bright spaces, dark, warm colours can add cosiness to more intimate spaces. If you’re looking to turn a living room or bedroom into a space to snuggle up this winter, for example, why not paint the walls, add a statement wall or use accessories to carry a new colourway? Popular shades for autumn/winter include rich reds and burgundies, warm neutrals such as mocha, caramel and beige and dark tones of green. If you don’t want to go all-out with colour and paint all of the walls, you can add coloured accessories and accents to lift plain walls. Wall art, plant pots and soft furnishings are excellent examples.
Cooking and socialising at home
There’s nothing like enjoying a homemade Sunday lunch or brunch on a Saturday with delicious food and a freshly-brewed pot of tea or coffee. If you enjoy cooking and socialising at home, it’s a great idea to make sure your kitchen and dining spaces are ready to make the most of evenings in and relaxing weekends. Search for reviews online to find the best coffee machine if you’re partial to a coffee in the morning and try some different blends. You could even order a customised template for sprinkles or treat yourself to some new espresso cups or cappuccino mugs. If you’re a tea drinker, why not invest in a large teapot if you’re planning family brunches and explore some different flavours? For amateur chefs, there’s a dazzling array of gadgets and culinary instruments available, as well as novelty items, such as personalised chopping and cheese boards, aprons and storage jars.
If you’re planning to revamp an entertaining area or create a new zone for dining in your kitchen, browse design blogs and social media to get ideas and take inspiration from places you’ve seen or love to visit. Perhaps you’re a fan of the decor in a local café or a trendy bar, for example, or you want to recreate a design you’ve seen in a restaurant on holiday. It’s important to remember that you don’t need to spend a fortune on a large-scale renovation project to achieve incredible results. Simple things like adding wall art, changing the colours in your kitchen or dining room and using accessories to make the area unique and inviting can make a big difference.
Lighting is critical for being able to see in our homes, but it also plays an important role in setting the tone, especially during the winter. You can use lamps and lights to enhance the aesthetic of different rooms, but you can also select lighting to add ambience. Soft lighting creates a sense of cosiness instantly and it makes even the largest, most open rooms seem more snug, comfortable and homely. Explore different products and think about the style of the room when shopping for lamps and wall and ceiling lights. It’s also a fantastic idea to swap bright bulbs for less intense lighting or to use a dimmer switch. Soft lighting is particularly effective in calming, tranquil zones, such as informal snugs and living rooms and bedrooms.
Lighting candles makes living spaces seem warmer and more welcoming and it can also add soothing aromas and scents to your home. Candlelight is much softer than switching the main light on and you can also choose scented candles to make you feel more relaxed. If you are burning candles, always supervise pets and young children and keep them away from soft furnishings. Blow them out when you go to bed or leave the house. If you’re worried about safety, but you love the look of candles in your home, opt for LED candles.
Have you ever noticed that soothing scents hit your nose as soon as you walk into a luxury hotel or spa? Scents and aromas have a powerful impact on our moods and they can make any space feel cosier and more relaxing and serene. There are many ways you can add pleasant smells to your home, including burning candles, using diffusers and pods, burning incense and using room sprays and home perfumes. Smell is very subjective, so it’s worth taking some time to test products in shops and stores. Think about the vibe you want to create before you decide what to buy. Examples of relaxing, soothing scents include lavender, sandalwood, vanilla, chamomile, ylang-ylang, neroli, rose, jasmine, cedar and bergamot.
Making the most of certain features in our homes is a simple, effective way to embrace new trends and style your home for every season. In the spring and summer, it’s all about maximising natural light and taking full advantage of views of open spaces or lush green lawns. When it’s chilly outside, draw attention to fireplaces, comfy couches and sumptuous beds lavished with cushions and cosy, warm blankets. Angle chairs and sofas towards a log burner or a fire and move sofas and chairs away from the walls to make the space seem smaller. Make the fireplace stand out by adding a basket of logs and candles to the surround or using mirrors and framed prints or photographs to draw eyes to the mantlepiece. In the bedroom, you can do the same with layered cushions and throws and accessories and lamps on bedside tables. You can also change your bedding to embrace seasonal trends. You might want to swap white, yellow or pink bedding and prints like florals and stripes for monochrome and darker colours or patterns like tartan, dark florals, graphic lines or stars, for example.
Winter is upon us and many of us will be spending more time at home in the weeks ahead. If you’re looking forward to cosy movie nights and lazy weekend brunches and roast dinners, it’s important to make sure your house is ready for cooler climes. Insulate as best you can to keep warm air in and add soft furnishings to create comfortable, inviting living spaces. Get your kitchen ready for entertaining and enjoying hot drinks and hearty homemade meals and use soft lighting. Create ambience with relaxing scents and aromas, change the focal point in your rooms and opt for warming, soothing colours.