Whether you live in an apartment or a large multi-floor house, everyone wants to keep warm and cozy in the winter. Proper insulation of doors and windows, suitable heating for the size and arrangement of your home, and an understanding of where your windows face and how much sunlight your interior rooms are exposed to on a daily basis are all important factors in keeping your home comfortable all year long.
Today I want to share my favorite interior design styling tips you can employ in your home to make your rooms and the people who live there, feel all warm and fuzzy inside!
1. Living room and bedrooms
Place warm, large-size blankets and comforters everywhere! You can snuggle up and save on heating! Just add popcorn and a hot drink and you are ready to watch a good TV movie.
Many Israeli apartments have large windows in the living room area; these are wonderful but are the major causes of drafts and heat loss. Hang heavy, winter drapes to help conserve heat.
If you cannot afford to buy custom-made drapes, you can buy the pre-packed standard size drapes. If you want even more insulation, without the extra cost: use long clear shower curtains – they can block out winter cold without adding bulk to your curtains or a heavy investment in cash.
In the winter, I recommend heavy winter drapes and in the summer, I recommend either light-blocking delicate curtains or have your windows go “au natural”!
Your curtains should be drawn in the evening and when it rains. During the day, keep your curtains and drapes open to get as much sunlight and a bit of warmth into your rooms as possible.
Most of our floors are stone or ceramic and cold, so think about investing in area rugs and carpets for the winter. Smaller rugs can be rolled up (after being professionally cleaned) and stored during the LONG HOT SUMMER months.
Arrange furniture in smaller, more intimate groups and make sure nothing blocks heating vents and allow a free flow of air throughout the room.
Lamps, strategically placed, can add extra light during the grey days of winter. (See my Lighting Rules below.)
We sometimes forget about our bathrooms in the winter until we step out of a nice hot shower and our teeth chatter from the cold.
This winter install a better heating unit that will warm the whole bathroom area.
Put down two small rugs – one directly in front of the shower/bathtub (make sure it has a non-slip backing) and one next to the sink.
Want to treat yourself to a winter gadget the whole family will love? Think about installing a towel warming rack.
3. Throughout the home
If you heat your home with air-conditioning units, don’t forget to clean the filters to help them work more efficiently. In addition, air-conditioning dries the air – to help keep moisture in the air, place bowls of water throughout the house – and out of reach of children!
Want to bring a little aromatherapy into your home this winter? Add a few drops of a soothing essence, such as lavender or peppermint, into the bowls of water. Try different oils in different rooms in your house to create a unique atmosphere in each!
Lighting is so important in your home because the daylight hours are so short. Let’s take a look at your lighting needs: firstly from an energy-saving point of view use energy-efficient bulbs in every fixture in your home! But before you go out and buy bulbs, you need to think about type of lighting you want for each room; think about the rooms’ function(s) and the atmosphere you want to create in the room.
While there are no hard and fast rules – I believe:
Warm to Warm white is perfect for living rooms, bedrooms and hallways.
White, Cool white or Cool Daylight is perfect for kitchens, home offices, work rooms and bathrooms.
Just a word about Cool Daylight light. This lighting is the closest to natural daylight and I believe that it can have a positive effect on how you and your family are feeling and functioning. This light is like a 'little piece of sunlight': it is bright, free of glare and helps create a great work environment. It can improve feelings of well-being and improve your ability to concentrate, read and work.
5. Now, what about you and your family?
We’ve talked about how you can make your home warm and fuzzy, now how can we do the same for ourselves? Easy!
Change to warm, soft and comfortable clothes when you get home.
Wear warm socks or slippers and make sure everyone in your family does as well.
Think about making a big pot of satisfying soup once a week to share throughout the week. Eat satisfying, warm comfort foods to keep you feeling warm and cozy through the night.
And don't forget to keep your pets warm this winter as well!
And don’t worry – we’ll be complaining (again) about the long hot summer days before you know it!
Yael Diamond, Interior Designer and Project Manager, specializes in consulting, planning and designing private residences, elite apartments, offices, and public business. You can follow Yael on www.facebook.com/yaeldiamondesigns.