We tend to spend far more time at home in the winter months. Outside is cold, dark and – did we mention – it’s cold? If we’re opening up our homes for BBQs and socialising in summer then we’re bringing out the blankets, locking the windows and hunkering down for winter. This means that in Autumn, we tend to find ourselves looking around our home and assessing just how warm and welcoming it is. As we start to feel the shiver of winter drawing in, we’re actively looking for comfort and our homes are where we most need it.
So, without breaking the bank, let’s explore some ways to make your home cosy in winter:
As mentioned in our blog on Keeping Your Carpet Looking New, mud can be a big problem in winter. As wonderful as those long wintery walks are, we do not want to be dragging mud, leaves and wet into the house. Precious Netflix and hot chocolate time should not be wasted because you’re busy scrubbing mud out of the carpet or mopping up muddy footprints. So, prevention is the best course of action.
Invest in a good inside and a good outside mat. The outside mat should be rubber which will scrape the worst of the mud and any debris off of trainers and walking books. A coir matt inside will dig a little deeper into the groves of shoes and absorb some of the dampness too. Even with two stages of shoe shuffling and scrapping, we still recommend a ‘no shoes on in the house’ policy in the winter months. So a shoe rack in your entranceway is also a good idea.
We’ll all be trying to insulate our homes this year in any way we can. Door draught excluders are not a good solution for cracks and gaps in your door frame. If there is air coming into your home from outdoors then you should look at installing a door sweep or weatherstripping. These are DIY jobs most people can do themselves and they are likely cheaper solutions than you might think. However, even with a well-insulated door, the cold can get it. After all, it is the barrier between the indoors and outdoors so it’s going to be one of the colder parts of the house. Outside doors especially but, if you’re managing your energy usage by heating only the rooms you’re in, then you’ll want to be keeping out drafts by closing and insulating inside doors too.
Weighted fabric draught excluders are an excellent way to absorb more of the cold air that creeps in from underneath doors. Plus, since they’re fabric, they can make us feel cosier too.
Prepare Your Essentials
It’s always so much worse when something goes wrong in the home during the winter months. Therefore, we recommend getting your checks done to ensure everything is working efficiently before winter really takes hold. This includes getting your boiler serviced, getting your chimney swept (if you have an open fireplace) and checking in and around your home for any large cracks that might let cold air into the home, or worse, into the pipes. Booking a gutter clean for after autumn may also be a good idea for clearing out those fallen leaves and preventing blockages.
Some of these services will cost money but it will be far less than if something were to go wrong. Often a boiler breakdown or frozen pipes will take a while to fix and may even require you having to stay elsewhere whilst costly work is carried out.
There is also maintenance work you can do in the home to ensure you are energy efficient so you’re keeping all that lovely warm air indoors. This includes bleeding the radiators.
Bring Out The Blankets
Soft furnishings should be plentiful in colder months. Not only do they keep us warm but just seeing them makes your home feel cosy in winter. You can spend a lot of money on blankets or you can source cheaper ones or even pick some up second-hand. Knitting your own will take a while but a least you’ll be keeping your hands warm.
Whether your blankets are designer or were a special purchase at Aldi, keeping them fresh makes a big difference. If you’re going to notice a scented fabric softener on anything it’s going to be on blankets and cushion covers. Soft furnishings can also brighten up what can feel like a drab space in the winter months when the sunshine isn’t pouring in.
Cushions and other soft furnishings are great at locking in the heat and thicker curtains will help keep warm air indoors. Rugs are also highly effective in not only making a room feel cosier but in actually making it warmer since it is adding an extra layer over your flooring.
Wrap up your home in winter with soft-to-touch furnishings and accessories that beg you to snuggle up and hibernate in your cosy den.
Dark evenings call for soft lighting. In the evenings it is usually more pleasant to have lamps on to create that cosy feeling that central ceiling lights just can’t conjure.
The right lighting has the power to transform a room and in the colder, darker months we are looking for that gentle glow that brings warmth to the room. Opt for warm white light bulbs that have a yellowish tone, or, if you’re really looking to enhance those warming tones, you could try a retro vintage bulb that emits a deeper yellow glow. Whatever tone you go for, LED bulbs are a more energy-efficient option and will last far longer than other light bulbs.
Can scent make your home cosy in winter? Absolutely! Some smells are capable of conjuring up feelings we associate with comfort and warmth. Spicy scents such as cinnamon might remind us of hot chocolate and warm puddings and fresh pine aromas bring back memories of fresh air and Christmas.
Oil diffusers, incense sticks and plug-in air fresheners can fill your house with fragrances that make you feel at home as soon as you step through the door. Scented candles though, will also light and warm your home. Large designer candles do tend to retain their strong scent for longer. However, Glade candles are surprisingly high in quality and can be low in cost, especially when on offer at the local supermarket which they often seem to be. They also have some gorgeous winter scents including Apple Cider, Chocolate and Pine Wonderland.
Bring Nature Inside
Winter can feel lifeless and despite common resolves to ensure we’re still getting out in the fresh air regularly, this quite often gets abandoned when the weather turns especially unwelcoming. This is why we have Christmas trees. To cheer us up and bring nature indoors in the dark cold months of winter when we’re missing the greenery.
Nature is naturally uplifting and there are plenty of indoor plants that flourish in the winter months. Spending time in nature has been known to improve mental health, boost mood and increase creativity and even having a few plants at home can be effective. They can also improve air quality in your home which is probably a bonus if you’re heeding our above advice and burning all those candles in the evenings.
Check out our Best Low-Maintenance Houseplants Guide, especially if you love the idea but lack the green fingers.
And One Extra…
Our final (and extra) piece of advice to make your home cosy in winter is to give yourself permission to relax. Winter can be tough and all that daily rushing about with work, school pick-ups, shopping trips, tasks and errands is far more bracing when we’re doing battle with the weather.
It doesn’t matter how many candles you have, soft cushions you throw around or warming tones you create if you carry all that stress inside with you. Be kind to yourself and make your home your sanctuary this winter. Create a transition between the outside world and the world you have created inside with a ritual that eases you into your comfort zone. Whether that’s making a hot chocolate and enjoying sitting in your favourite chair for 10 minutes or whether it’s immediately changing into your PJs and dressing gown. After all, there’s no such thing as too early for bedwear during a British winter.