A chill in the air can mean only one thing – winter’s on its way. As well as layering up with jumpers and choosing stodge over salads, this is a perfect time to make your home feel warmer and more welcoming, with smart interior design tricks and practical solutions.
1. Review your windows
A staggering 50% of domestic heat is lost through your windows, so if you only have time to change one thing, this is a good option. Start by looking for any draughts around your frame: placing a lit candle nearby is helpful to see if it flickers *. Then seal up any gaps with window tape. Or maybe find a window specialist in your area to do the job for you if you’re not very hands on. Next, look at your window treatment. Light voiles are lovely in summer but not good at keeping your home snug in the colder months, so think about swapping them for heavy curtains or insulating blinds, such as Duette, which can reduce heat loss by up to 46%.
Image source: Duette
2. Keep throws and blankets handy
It’s easy to reach straight for the thermostat if your home grows cold in the evening but a better plan is to make sure you always have something to hand to snuggle up under. Throws on sofas and chairs, or in a basket nearby, are an easy way to resist the temptation to turn your heating up a degree or two. Take inspiration from Neptune’s cosy home accessorising in the below image. Likewise, make sure you have a supply of blankets easily accessible in bedrooms. Don’t forget to pop them in the washer beforehand if they’ve been in storage for a few months, so they smell clean and fresh.
Image source: Neptune
3. Rev up your radiators
We’re so used to central heating working well that we may never think about giving it a helping hand or an overhaul. Basic but beneficial, think about adding reflectors behind your radiators to bounce heat back into the room. They’re inexpensive, easy to fit and effective, especially if your radiators are below windows.
Bleeding radiators should be done before winter hits but if you have persistent cold spots in the middle and bottom, they may need a bit more TLC. Over time, they can fill with sludge, which results in a colder home, higher bills and potential damage to your heating system, and will need to be flushed. A plumber or heating engineer should be able to power flush a whole central system in less than a day or radiators can be flushed individually.
Alternatively, if radiators are past their best, try getting an energy efficient radiator fitted that uses less water, such as this wood veneer-clad model from The Radiator Centre. Less water means it heats up faster.
Image source: The Radiator Centre
4. Change your colour scheme
Greys and blues might be on-trend but you can’t beat warmer colours for giving an overall sense of cosiness. Try adding a few pops of red, orange or mustard to your home or bring in some texture too, with tartans, checks and tweed. Scatter cushions are ideal for creating a temporary snug
scheme or choose larger pieces of furniture in key tones. Velvet is set to be a huge trend for the season, so think about reupholstering your sofa or a chair in a rich, tactile shade.
Image source: Sainsburys
[* Never leave lit candles unattended]