We all need a winter wardrobe, but so do our homes!
As winter starts to draw closer we start to think about pulling out our woollies and socks and shutting out the cold of the upcoming winter nights we can also create a warm and welcoming home. Through adapting our decoration and furniture layout we are essentially creating a ‘winter wardrobe’ for our home. One of the most obvious ways to do this is through colour.
All colours are associated with a temperature of cool/cold or warm/hot. This can be used to psychologically make your home feel warmer (or cooler).
By using colours on the warm side of the colour wheel you instantly raise the perceived temperature of the room.
They have proven that reds and oranges for example increase our heart rate and blood flow. This explains why you actually feel physically warmer.
You often hear experts on TV shows telling you to repaint your space in a warm colour. Great idea, but in reality who is going to change your wall colour scheme every season. There are a few easier, more simple things you can do to get your home ‘winter ready’.
So how do you create your homes ‘winter wardrobe’?
Easy, using all or some of these tips below.
- Use accessories and textures such as cushions, throws, rugs and artwork. Rich tones such as gold, mocha and brown create an instant warming effect.
- It is not uncommon for people to have several quilt covers. If this is you than change it to a thicker, textured cover in warmer tones such as deep reds, pinks and mauves or any colour on the warm side of the colour wheel. Anything with bulk adds to the perceived warmth. Of course, changing your actual duvet to a heavier weight will also keep you snug as a bug through the cooler winter nights. Then switch it back to a more light-weight one once the warmer months come around.
- Add layers of blankets and cushions in all your bedrooms. Adding a faux fur throw on the end of the bed makes you want to curl up with a good book and cup of hot chocolate, especially on a cold and rainy Sunday afternoon. Chunky knits and soft cashmere will also add nice texture and warmth to any space.
- A change in season is also a good time to replace time-worn linen and towels. Clean-out that linen cupboard and replace old crunchy towels with fresh, soft fluffy ones. Invest in some new warm flannelette or linen sheets and put the cotton ones away until spring.
- May seem like a random tip, but the beginning of winter is a great time to consider cleaning out your wardrobe. Sort through and organise your wardrobe by packing summer clothes away and bring out those winter woollies. Any unwanted clothing can be donated to charity. This will help to keep your wardrobe organised and clutter free.
- If you are in the process of replacing window treatments don’t go past lined curtains. They are the best and cheapest form of climate control available and great for both winter and summer. Winter for keeping the heat in and keeping it out in summer.
Did you know that during winter up to 40% of heat in your home escapes through uncovered windows. Keeping your windows covered will help to insulate your home and prevent heat loss.
- The trend of using metallics in interiors such as copper, brass and gold is still going strong. Adding items such as pendants, vases, platter, lamps etc work well. This can be an inexpensive way of creating the cosy effect.
- Add mood lighting by using floor lamps, table lamps or wall lights. Change the globe from a cool white to a warm white. Although a word of warning here, it may change the colour of some rooms so do a trial with one light first before replacing all globes in this way.
- Look for inspiration outside your window and bring the beautiful winter leaves inside by placing them on the dining room table, putting them in a bowl or even a vase. Combined with spicy fragrant candles, an instant injection of warming colours to your home.
- Cover up those hard tile, hardwood or concrete floors! They can be chilly underfoot during winter and do not retain any heat. Unless you’re lucky enough to have under-floor heating, it’s time to invest in a rug or two.
Also, if you’ve been considering installing or updating carpets in all your bedrooms, then now’s the time to invest. Nothing beats hopping out of bed onto the soft warmth of a carpet through your toes.
- Have a fireplace and reposition your furniture to face the fire and centre of the hearth. Then complete with extra cushions and throws. These with a fluffy rug and a stack of freshly cut wood has you set for the night.
- Just because the temperature has dropped does not mean we have to abandon our outdoor rooms. The same principles apply to this room as it does to the indoors, however we do need to create a barrier from wind and rain. To do this, clear café blinds are invaluable. Strategically placed they can cut out the winter chill yet create the feeling you are still outdoors.
- Another option is the outdoor heater. A gas one you often see in cafés or even an outdoor fireplace or fire pit.
Fireplaces – love them or hate them
Environmentalists will say they are bad for the environment due to emissions. Those who live a very cold climate or a very cold house will say they are a god send. They are said to be the most luxurious and comforting type of heat available. The heat is not suffocating, they heat the flooring and furnishings, and it is a truly luxurious feel.
There is nothing more mesmerizing than watching a burning fire. Even the smell creates a sense of cosines and safety.
The downside is having to chop wood and kindling, though you can actually order wood to be delivered in small or large sizes and finding the space to store the wood to keep dry. The cleaning of the fireplace is no real issue and you can even have a chimney sweep in yearly to ensure the flue is clean and safe.
So, what can you do if you are concerned for the environment and the use of timber as the fire source, but still want to look and feel of a real fire?
You can use a pellet heater. These heaters have a lower carbon output than gas or wood, and the pellets are made from sawdust waste/shavings compressed together and held together by lignin which is naturally occurring in sawdust. The pellets are easy to store and burn very efficiently with a thermostat to control the heat output.
There are alternative heating options and the size of the space you intend to heat and for how long will determine what type is best for you.
Electric heaters. These are portable and easy on the budget to purchase. However, they’re not great at heating large spaces or for long periods of time. Then there are gas heaters which are great for larger areas and can heat the space for longer periods of time. And of course there are reverse-cycle are conditioners. They can be costly to install but can be worth it in the long run as they are economical for the amount of heat they generate. As well as the added bonus of cooling your home during the summer months.
Talking of air-conditioners, this is a good time to clean or replace the filter of an existing air conditioning system in your home. It’s been suggested that filters should be cleaned or replaced every month or two, depending on the frequency of use. You can clean the build-up of dust and allergens by using a vacuum with a brush attachment. Wipe dry with a microfibre cloth to remove any remaining dust.
It might seem a lot however, did you know that keeping your filters clean can actually lower you air conditioners energy consumption by approximately 5-15%. As well as saving you money, this will also keep your family safe and healthy.
We hope that you have enjoyed our blog on creating a ‘winter wardrobe’ for your home. For more information on heating solutions this winter click here.