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Snuggle Up At Home

A Warm Winter Chill-Free Home crack

It may be a mystery to those who lament the passing of summer, but home hibernators can’t wait for the chill in the air so they can cosy up at home.

Naturally, if you want to truly enjoy the cold winter months, it’s essential to prepare your nest properly.

Your home should be so snug you’re happy to stay in, and such a welcoming, cosseting sanctuary that envious friends never want to leave.

If your living room’s still reflecting cool summer style, you need to get busy dressing it properly for the season, because pale, flimsy fabrics and a distinct lack of layers will be about as appealing as a fading tan.

Echoing nature’s beautiful shades from rich reds and oranges to plums and burnished golds will give a warm glow that counters our hard northern light.

And as texture and luxury are key trends in home decor, the high street stores have a feast of opulent-looking faux fur throws, velvet cushions and rich rugs, which shouldn’t turn your bank balance as red as those leaves.

After all, it’s essential to make sure your home doesn’t lag behind in the style stakes - giving you the perfect excuse to indulge in some retail therapy.

Don’t let winter catch you unawares: check out practical and decorative ways to ensure rooms are aglow and fit for the season.

Latest flames

Toasting your toes in front of a fire (even if it’s fake) is one of the pleasures of winter, and there’s no need to feel left out in the cold if you haven’t got a chimney.

There are many attractive fires available which don’t need a flue (outside vent), but if you have a chimney, then a wood burning stove is the height of fashion.

Hot buys: The Panther Wood Burning Stove, £1,462, from Morso, could suit a traditional or contemporary setting.

The Alpine Stove, from £1,169, from Chesney’s, can be used as a multi-fuel stove or a wood burning stove. It’s eye-catching, sleek and comes in two finishes - matt and enamel, and range of colours including Red Ochre and Atlantic Blue.

A Calor Gas Portable Heater, £89.99, with three heat settings, could be a handy heat booster.

Window warmers

A fifth of all the heat lost from a home escapes through window panes and frames, according to the Energy
Saving Trust.

While double glazing’s a worthwhile investment which will also improve the energy efficiency of your house, for a more budget solution, reduce bills by dressing windows with thermal curtains.

If you’re having curtains made, ask for floor-length with a medium to heavy weight interlining, and blackout or thermal lining, which all help to create a wonderful barrier against draughty windows.

Hot buys: A Duette Fixe Honeycombe Blind claims to cut heat loss by up to 34% during the winter, as the
double-walled design forms an air pocket and provides extra insulation.

The Apollo Blinds range starts from £75 for a free hanging made-to-measure blind.

While numerous companies install complete double glazing systems, it’s worth checking out small companies such as Ecoease who can supply budget secondary window glazing, which can be self-installed. Panels cost £43 a square metre, plus £4 a metre for the magnetic edging strip.

Wicked walls

Transform a room decorated with colour and pattern by opting for colours at the warm end of the spectrum, such as soft reds, russet browns and rich purples, or echo the season with nature prints.

If you’re seeking something unusual, dress walls in paper inspired by the tailored look of men’s suiting.

Savile Row Tailored Linens Collection contains laminated fabric paper with subtle horizontal weaves, a soft lustre and a hint of texture.

It comes in a range of 10 chic suit-inspired neutrals - from deep charcoal to classiccamel, £94.75 per metre, from House Couturier.

Hot buy: A Wallrock thermal liner claims to reduce ‘room warm up time’ by up to 65% and achieve a saving of up to 36% in energy. It works by reflecting heat back into the room, and can also helpfully conceal rough plasterwork and be covered with wallpaper. £44.99 per roll, from Wallpaper Direct.

Snug sanctuary

Bedrooms should be havens of tranquility, where you can relax feeling warm and nurtured at the end of the day.

Layer a bed with soft bed linen and sumptuous throws. Cashmere blankets are the ultimate in sensual coverings and The Sleep Room’s selection, £130 each, are in subtle and evocatively named shades - bark, storm grey or cream.

Spoil yourself by topping those blankets with a faux fur throw. The White Company’s throw is in alabaster, £100, or go wild and choose one from a stunning collection at Graham & Green - Chinchilla Stripe or Jaguar Spot Throw, £165 each, and cushions from £28.

Hot buys: Sales of electric blankets are up by 28% at John Lewis and are an easy way to keep warm and snug in the winter.

Try single Dreamland 6862 Fleece Underblanket, around £30, or a Dreamland 6682 Sleepwell Heated Kingsize Mattress Cover, around £90, which is a luxurious quilted cotton blanket with dual controls and four all-night settings.

Hug a cushion

Don’t let winter winds blow style out of the window, or you’ll end up with a random selection of accessories that will trash your taste credentials.

Avoid uncoordinated throws and a mis-match of lightweight and winter weight cushions.

Instead bag bargains at Ikea which has a bang on trend folksy style selection of throws and cushions. A Birgit throw with bright embroidered pattern is £34.99, and Birgit Linje cushions in bright red, £14.99 each.

Hot buys: Homebase’s cord covered Megan Corner Sofa is a snip at £644.99, as is its deep squashy Tuscany Cuddle Chair, £449.99. Cushions from £9.99 each.