Shorter days and a drop in the thermometer means there really is “No place like home”. Particularly in retirement, having somewhere safe, comfortable and warm to relax is vital to our health and wellbeing.
Not everyone can afford to crank the heating up, especially if you are environmentally conscious, and ways to reduce your heating and maintenance bills is a whole other topic.
So as the weather forecast for the coming months is dire, here are 6 ways to make your home cosy for the winter, without using more gas or electricity!
1. Throws and blankets
Instead of cushions on your sofa or armchair, why not keep folded throw-overs and tasteful blankets handy? Some even double as giant jumpers and shawls, meaning you'll never have to forgo warmth, even when you get up to make a cup of tea.
The shops offer many lovely blankets and covers in all sorts of fabrics and shades to match your home. Snuggling under a soft cover can be enjoyable in itself whatever the weather, but it's especially comforting when you read, do puzzles or watch TV in the winter.
You could also swap your cushions for fluffy ones, which adds to the luxurious feeling of sinking into a winter cocoon in your living room.
2. And so, to bed
In the bedroom, is it time to swap your crisp cotton sheets and pillowcases for flannel or brushed cotton bedding? Modern manufacturers have taken this classic household item and brought it up to date with a wide range of colours and even patterns. Flannel and brushed cotton tend to hold the heat of your electric blanket or heated cushions much better too.
You could also add one of the throw blankets mentioned above to your bed, for extra warmth on cold nights.
3. Getting to the foot of chills
Even when wearing our favourite slippers, winter can sometimes turn feet into blocks of ice.
Some great tips include leaving your cosiest slippers right near the outside door – perhaps with some bed socks too. This means that when you arrive home you can quickly change and get those feet wrapped up warm as swiftly as possible.
Also consider your floor. You could invest in some thick rugs and mats to cover tiles, hardwood flooring, and thinner carpets. Or, layer several less expensive non-slip rugs, to create insulation and under-foot comfort. You could do this in key spots, such as around your favourite chair or where you stand for longer periods.
4. Let there be light
It’s no secret that light plays a substantial role in creating the right mood. This includes providing opportunities to make our home feel cosier.
When retiring, is tempting to make sure all rooms are well lit. However, if you get the chance to renovate and update your house, give serious consideration to a variety of lighting levels, as well as using as many energy savings solutions as possible.
A relaxing cosy room could have muted ambient lighting. Or, adjustable levels to dim lights lower for cold winter evenings. Then, you could use accent light – such as spots – to show up features of the room, and task lighting such as LED strips over kitchen worktops or where you sit to read.
5. Warmer colour schemes
Winter could also be a good time to consider using warmer shades of paint on your walls, or adding textured wallpaper featuring oranges, reds, yellows, and neutral browns, all of which are considered helpful in creating a cosier aspect.
If a complete redecoration is out of the question, changing the colour scheme of fabrics – curtains, cushions and coverings – can be enough to psychologically lift the light and warmth of your interior.
6. Increased wellbeing
This one is about increasing your perception of being cosy and safe in your home too. Having pristine, smart, and minimalist décor is great if that’s your preference. But in the winter it can be comforting to be surrounded by familiar mementoes, ornaments, and family photos. Could your wall art be updated to include warmer colours and scenes that create an uplifting atmosphere too?
Also, keep your phone handy near your chair. This means you can warm your heart with a quick chat with family members, whenever you get a spare minute.
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