The holidays are just around the corner. And as exciting as that is, it also means that winter is coming. Now that the temperatures have started to drop, here are five ways you can make your home cozy this fall and winter.
Drafts drive up your utility bills and drive down comfort levels. If your home has old single pane windows or if the space between two sealed panes is fogging up, it’s time to consider new windows. Look into government loan and rebate programs for energy efficiency upgrades. For a short-term fix, you can seal particularly drafty windows with clear plastic film kits available at any hardware store.
Pro tip: To identify drafts, light an incense stick on a windy day and, from the inside, hold it close all the window and door frames and along the baseboards. Make note of anywhere that the smoke flutters in the breeze and come back later to seal it.
Everyone has their own personal barometer. Having a supply of stylish wool or cashmere throws makes it easy for family and guests to stay cozy. Wood, tile and other cold surfaces have made wall-to-wall carpeting seem passé. But you can warm things up with some strategically placed hallway runners and area rugs in the rooms where your family congregates.
If you’re planning a bathroom reno, consider installing in-floor radiant heating under your tiles. If your home is heated by a boiler, you can tie into the existing hot water system. If not, there are electric mats you can buy. Either way, you’ll appreciate the warmth underfoot when you step into the bathroom instead of a chilly reception from cold tiles.
Lighting can instantly transform a room. A proper lighting plan includes three layers: ambient, task and accent lights. Ambient lights are the overhead lights that provide general illumination. Task lights, as the term suggests, help you get things done, whether it’s a table lamp for reading or the under-cabinet lights in the kitchen you use when prepping meals. Accent lights are used to highlight things like treasured photos or art on the wall.
To create a cozy mood, turn off – or at least dim – the ambient pots lights and ceiling lights and turn on some lamps with warm bulbs and maybe even light a few candles.
Add a fireplace
Nothing exudes coziness like curling up in front of a fire. Traditionalists might opt for the seductive smell of burning natural wood. For easier ambiance, consider a gas or electric fireplace.
Regardless of the heating source, a well-designed, professionally installed surround will make the fireplace the focal point of any room. Shouldice Stone’s Shale Stone in the Hudson shade, with a distressed wooden mantel, exudes a classic country home or cottage look. Our palette of warm browns and reds provides endless options to create a cozy fireplace that will fit with any design and décor.
Need some inspiration on how to make your home cozier this winter? Check out our portfolio of projects.