Winter home essentials

As the temperature dips, woollens are no longer enough  to keep us warm indoors. To truly enjoy winters, you need to winter-proof your home, writes Natasha Menezes.

The slight nip in the air has turned into full-blown chilling nights thanks to winter. Winters are when you want to sip on pipping hot tea, cuddle under a thick blanket and enjoy a good read.

However, to actually enjoy this season, it is necessary that you winter-proof your house and add elements of interiors that will keep you warm throughout. With the right match of elements, you can make your home feel warm, cosy, inviting and yet elegant.

First and foremost, seal off vents in rooms that you do not use regularly. The idea is to let warm air circulate through the room. Ambient heat from the other rooms will travel to these areas and keep this warm air circulating.

In the morning, open all your curtains and blinds on the side that faces the east, and keep the west facing side closed. Do just the opposite at noon time, and, finally, at night, keep the west-facing side closed once again.

This will help in maximising the direction of direct sunlight into your home and at the same time prevent loss of heat. Ideally, you must close all your vents at the fall of dusk to retain the heat from the day.

Paint your walls with neutral colours like white, grey and beige as this will be the starting point of redressing your home for winters.

You can give your space more character by experimenting with contrasting colours of turquoise, neons or purple. Splashing your home with brights will make your home look unusual, yet interesting. Suede and velvet upholstery brings up the temperature of the room. Use these materials for your sofas.

Electric fireplace

If you have the necessary space, then why not invest in a fireplace? Now a days, you get modern fireplaces. Modern ones run on electricity and are more efficient in heat generation. Traditional ones on the other hand are those that require wood pallets and are not so recommended these days. They also need to be constructed when you are constructing your home which isn’t the case with modern fireplaces.

When you invest in thick curtains you are inevitably preventing loss of heat through the vents of your windows. “Use thermal lining for your curtains. Cheaper options are fleece and PVC shower curtains,” says Poonaam Amla, a well-known interior designer. You can even drape your doors — and not just your windows — with thick fabric to wade off the cool breeze gushing into your home. Curtains or rugs will work well here.

Floorboards account for as much as ten per cent of heat loss if they are not insulated. Wooden flooring generates quite a large amount of heat loss. So it is imperative that you cover your floorboards with area rugs and thick carpets. Carpeted areas add to the cosy element and also keep your feet warm in winter.

Add another layer of warmth to your carpeted area with throws and cushions. Line them up against the floor or the couch; the straight lines here do not matter. The unevenness with which you keep your cushions and throws will mark you an extra point on the coziness meter. Next is to place rugs of different textures around your house. Quilting is apt for bringing up the warmth factor. Patchwork is another great option. Place these along your bed, sofas or even the floor. Again, the lines don’t matter.

Keep it interesting

The untidy look will mitigate the boring evenness of your carefully placed cushions and furniture.

Use traditional furniture wherever possible as this will break the monotony of evenness. It also adds up to the sassyness and glamour quotient. Parul Amla of Antrik Design Studio recommends wooden furniture as it brings an element of the outdoors to the inside and adds yet another layer of warmth to the room.

Natural fabric or furniture will give your home a rustic feel, which will further add warmth to your room. She further adds, “Go for low-lying furniture with unusual bends and curves, it will make your room look more interesting. Try and keep the top half of your room open and do not invade it with tall furniture. The openness gives more warmth to the home.”

The right kind and amount of lighting will just factor in all the missing elements. Use dimmers where possible and place lamps in every nook and corner of the house. Yellow lights just multiply the cosy factor several times over. It also hides the flaws you may have in your house. Adorn your walls with frames and decoratives of different shapes and sizes. It is not important to have symmetry — the idea is to mix and match.

Accessories that work best in winters are candles. Buy candles in varying degrees of shape, colour and sizes and remember to light them up in the dark. This will also add a bit of drama and romanticism to your room. Place candles in spots that you would like to highlight. With these tips, you are now ready to savour the cool winter season. So sit back, relax and enjoy the holidays!

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