How to Keep Your House Warm Without Turning up the Heat
As the temperature falls, your home becomes a cozy haven from the cold. Before you reach for the thermostat, find out how to keep your house warm in the fall and winter using interior design. With a few simple swaps, you can maximize heat without running up the electricity bill.
Does Furniture Make a Room Warmer?
Furniture can make a room warmer; it absorbs heat during the day and radiates it back into the room when the temperature drops at night. Dark colors and materials such as concrete, marble, brick, and ceramic tend to absorb the most heat. As you’re planning how to warm up a room without heating, consider moving a dark-colored sofa or stone console table to a place that gets the majority of the winter sunlight. The bright light highlights the material’s natural texture, making your room feel more inviting.
Materials such as vinyl, plastic, and metal can make your home feel cooler, both in terms of aesthetics and atmosphere. For a cozier feeling, scatter textured, touchable items throughout the house set to soften sleek surfaces.
The amount of furniture also matters; sparsely furnished spaces often feel colder. To modulate the temperature in the winter, slip a loveseat into your home office, or add a cozy recliner to your child’s playroom.
Practical Decor to Keep Your House Warm This Season
When you’re figuring out how to make your home warmer, start with the window treatments; windows account for nearly one-third of the heat loss in your home. Allow sunlight to filter through with cellular shades, which feature tiny interior pockets that trap air and insulate your room, so you don’t feel a cool breeze when you walk past the window. The simple linear accents and smooth finish blend into the clean lines of a contemporary or transitional home. For a soft, welcoming atmosphere that’s perfect for sipping mulled wine in front of the fire, hang insulated curtains close to the window to keep heat inside.
If your home has high ceilings, you can ward off the chill with a reversible ceiling fan. When you flip the switch to run the blades in the clockwise direction at low speed, the fan moves warm air away from the ceiling and circulates it, making the room feel warmer. To ensure adequate airflow in a spacious room, look for fans with a high cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating.
Next, turn your attention to your wood, tile, or cement floors; because hard surfaces conduct heat efficiently, they tend to feel cooler to the touch. Use plush shag or dense-pile wool or cotton area rugs in the living room and bedroom so you can walk across the room in socks without feeling a chill. A thick felt or rubber rug pad adds an extra layer of insulation and softness. In the kitchen, a washable rug keeps you comfortable while you’re trussing the turkey for Christmas dinner.
A fluffy comforter and a few plush blankets help trap your body heat when the temperature falls, making your bed feel snug and restful. Top it off with ultra-soft cotton sateen or flannel sheets, and you’ll look forward to crawling under the covers at the end of the day. If you still find yourself shivering, invest in an electric blanket with a sleep timer to raise your body temperature while you’re falling asleep and prevent you from overheating during the night. You might also consider switching to a gel memory foam mattress that regulates your body temperature and provides custom support in any sleeping position.
Throw Pillows & Blankets
When the weather is cold, you can make a room feel more comfortable with soft fabrics and fuzzy textures. Place a basket or ladder of velvety microplush blankets next to the the sofa so your guests can snag one when they brave the snow for a visit. Toss a chunky knit throw over an armchair to ward off a chill when your kids are bingeing a TV series during a snow day from school. Also, swap out your chic linen throw pillows with shearling or wool versions that make you want to lie down for an afternoon nap after a day of sledding.
Switch to winter-weight bathroom gear. For an extra winter treat, switch your usual bath towels with plush cotton bath sheets that provide extra coverage and absorption when you step out of the shower on a chilly morning. While you’re at it, hang a full-length robe on the back of the bathroom door to wrap yourself in softness for the cool walk to your closet.
A cozy home is as much about the vibe as it is about the temperature. Flickering candles dispersed throughout a room creates a warm glow that makes your house feel like a haven from the cold. To focus that glow in one centralized light source, consider using an indoor fireplace. For added sensations of warmth, fill the space with homey scents. Use vanilla or cinnamon incense and an air freshener to bring images of home-baked goods and festive gatherings to mind.