- Rising fuel bills will make central heating an expensive option this winter
- It is also an environmental issue, as 22% of carbon emissions come from homes.
- Items like throws, rugs and draft exclusion can help make your space warmer — as well as more stylish.
- We list some of the best cozy home items for winter
Baby, it’s getting cold outside. Few people will be turning on their central heating, but rising fuel bills will make it an expensive option this winter.
It could cause more damage to the planet.
As Prime Minister Boris Johnson will remind us at next month’s Cop26 global climate change summit, we urgently need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. About 22 per cent of UK emissions come from homes.
Simple steps: You can reduce the impact of higher bills, do something for the environment, and make your home smarter with these energy-saving tips
Many people will remember the sound of parents or grandparents urging them to put on an extra jumper in the middle of winter and turn off the lights when they leave the room.
This advice is even more relevant today. You can reduce the impact of higher bills, contribute to the environment, and make your home smarter with these energy-saving tips. Your grandma would be proud.
Five years ago, hygge (based on the Danish word for cosiness and conviviality) was the biggest thing in decor. It is time to revive this cult whose inscriptions include drinking hot chocolate and throwing it on all chairs, beds and sofas, covering oneself.
Then there are fake fur throws in cream, grey, navy, pink, rust orange and teal (£50 to £90 depending on size).
The Fake Fur Throw from Marks & Spencer costs £25 to £39.50, depending on size, and comes in blush, charcoal, cranberry, ivory, silver gray and navy.
In heels, you’ll find a velvet throw (£299). Quilted in Emerald (£35) in Habitat.
There are many ways to display it elegantly when it is not wrapped around your knees.
You can fold the throw in thirds lengthwise and then fold it in half to make a neat rectangle.
Or fold it in half vertically, pinch the middle crease, and lay on a bed and sofa for a casual look.
hit the draft
If your front door is old, the letter box may be letting out cold air. Fitting a £4.50 B&Q letterbox draft exclusion on the inside of the door may help solve this.
Not on the High Street offers a draft exclusion with the words: Mind the Gap (£36.95)
A cushioned draft exclusion is another defense against the cold. Graham & Greene has velvet draft exclusives in jewel-like colors like emerald (£38), or cheetah print (£19.95).
Knot on the High Street offers a draft exclusion in three sizes with the words: Mind the Gap (£36.95). This should serve as a timely reminder to the forgetful members of your household about the need to conserve energy.
heat under feet
A rug is an easy way to insulate, which helps to trap the cool air underneath. Wayfair offers something for every taste, from edgy to rustic.
A rougher blue/grey rug (£48.99) would be appropriate for a more contemporary interior, while a yellow and red kilt (£189.99) would supply zing to a neutral décor.
The luxury option is the John Lewis Gooch Oriental Kazakh Supreme Rug in a multi-colored pattern (£2,795). If friends justify this purchase, you’d say it’s an heirloom item that will reduce fuel bills for decades.
A runner will raise the temperature in a hallway where visitors are shivering but welcome.
Softer tones: Raucher blue/gray rug (£48.99) would suit a more contemporary interior
The black-and-white geometric pattern from B&Q’s Harrieta (£21) would work in almost any style of interior.
If you want the stripped-down cottage look, LA Redout has the Aftas Jute Runner (£50).
For something a little more colorful, consider Dunlam Urban Essence (£29) reminiscent of an Impressionist painting.
It also stocks vintage-look runners in a traditional afghan pattern (£59 to £89).
The luxurious buy is the Paul Smith Rainbow Runner (from £3,203) of The Rug Company. The sight of this hopeful masterpiece will give every day a glow for years to come.
small steps to save
Maybe you’ve insulated your ceiling, installed double glazing, and converted to an LED lightbulb. Still you can go ahead.
A large number of small changes, such as lowering your thermostat by just one degree, can result in big savings.
You might also consider installing a smart thermostat, such as the Google Nest Learning (£187) that lets you control the system via an app on your phone.
Other measures include servicing your boiler to make sure it is operating at maximum efficiency and reducing the number of times you use your dishwasher and washing machine by one cycle each week. Use microwave instead of oven.
Put a lid on the pan when steaming foods, plus fill the kettle with only as much water as you need to make coffee, tea, or fill your fur-covered hot water bottle (£9.99 from Argos), the ultimate giveaway chic piece. .
Such economies will soon become second nature and the radiance of virtue will rest even on the snowiest of days.