As the temperature drops so does our morale, but having a snug home to retreat to at the end of the day always feels good and lazy evenings in front of the fire is certainly the perfect way to make the winter days whizz by.
Luckily there are some clever things to do in your home to change its character from cool and airy for the summer to cosy and snug for the winter months.
Check your curtains!
A great deal of warmth can be lost through thin curtains so it makes sense to have thicker lined curtains for the winter months. There are some reasonably priced thermal curtains on the market and the prices are even better now that it is sale time! Thermal curtains can retain a huge extra 30% of the warmth in a room so well worth the investment. If pennies are short, check out eBay, Freecycle etc. as well as local charity shops foe heavier lined curtains in fabrics such as wool or velvet.
Go to ground level
If you have followed the trend and stripped away your carpets to reveal wooden floor boards, you might just want to cover them again for the cooler months! Nothing beats a good wool carpet for keeping in the heat but fitted carpets are pricey. Why not follow the Greek tradition of having a large piece of carpet to roll out each year when the temperature drops and to roll back up and store when the sunny days of spring arrive.
Large pieces of carpet or colourful rugs to lay out on the floor will definitely make your room feel warmer, but do remember to secure them to the floor to prevent accidents. Ikea has some lovely Scandinavian rugs that are perfect and of course there will be some available in the various sales too and charity furniture stores.
Paint a wall
Strange as it may sound, to make a room seem cosier, a thrifty move is to paint a feature wall in a dark colour as this will make the room appear smaller and instantly warmer. Dark blue and slate grey are good options and dark green and shades of rich burgundy are perfect.
Get your fireplace back in action
If you have had your fire bordered up, consider using the open fire again, but before you do get the chimney cleaned and checked. If you have a gas fire in the fireplace that is fine, but to help make it look more appealing light some candles on the fireplace.
Banish any draughts
Check all windows and doors for draughts and to solve any problems, buy some draught excluding tape from your local DIY store. The old sausage-style draught excluders are easy to make and work well too and if your front door is still draughty, consider hanging a curtain across it.
Add some cushions
Scatter cushions piled onto a bed or sofa look instantly inviting, particularly if they are in lovely tactile textures such as faux fur and think Aran knits. Winter whites and lovely warm shades of forest green, burgundy and cinnamon all work well and of course tartan is instantly cosy looking! A throw draped over the sofa looks very appealing and of course a throw can make a bed look irresistible!
Invest in a log burner
Now admittedly, these are not cheap – on average £1,600 but they are a really good investment as not only will they make the living room look cosy as they are available in a range of lovely soft shades, it will definitely feel cosier too at a cost about 20p for 5 kilowatts of heat which is not bad! A wicker basket of logs helps make the room look inviting too. Just be aware that there may soon be a crackdown due to the pollution they cause.
Soften the lighting
Whilst clear bright lights work well in the summer months, they can make a room look cold in the winter. Opt for some softer white hues to add a warm glow to your home. John Lewis has Calex Globe Lights on sale and these are proving very popular. They are made in soft brown glass which evokes a sense of nostalgia for gas lights and log fires – which definitely does the trick! Fairy lights strung across walls are another way of making a room feel inviting and of course adding a painting or photographs to a bare wall help too.
Add some candles
Candles and tea lights are a lovely way to add a warm cosy feeling to any room – try them in the bathroom too! Scented candles such as cinnamon, pine and eucalyptus can evoke a lovely warm wintery feeling too and seasonal room sprays will help too.
Introduce some pine into your living room
Wood always makes a room look warm so if you do have a pine coffee table, get rid of all the junk on it so that the wood can be admired. If you are buying some new furniture, pine is a good choice for bedroom headboards and kitchen tables too because with Nordic style accessories, pine always looks cheerful, but can be easily toned down with pastel shades for when summer comes round again.
Mugs of home-made soup
One of the best ways to make everyone feel snug and cosy is to pour them a mug of home-made soup! If you don’t already make soup, you will be amazed at how easy it is do especially as most supermarkets sell bags of mixed vegetables that you simply prepare and cook…all you need now is a really good film to watch to help pass the winter’s evening.