Just because it’s cold and gloomy outside doesn’t mean it has to be on the inside. Giving your property a warm and cosy feel doesn’t have to be costly and winter is the perfect time to get those little jobs around the house done that you’ve been putting off.
Renovating For Profit's Cherie Barber shares favourite winter projects:
1) Add wall stencils
The trees outside may be bare, your walls could probably use some coverage too. There are some amazing stencils on the market these days and the best thing is that you can not only install them in a heart beat, you can change them to suit your mood and the seasons just as easily – without damaging the finish of your walls.
For winter, try adding some greenery inside to put your mind in a warmer climate with some bamboo motifs, or mirror the migration happening outside with some retro flying ducks. Either way, you’ll have an easy and attractive new feature friends will comment on when they pop in for a hot chocolate.
2) Hang wallpaper
Think about the things you enjoy most during the colder months, fluffy doonas and flannelette sheets will most certainly cross your mind. Normally, neither of these tantalising textures can be integrated into any stylish living area. The good news is they have inspired some funky finishes that will give you the same snuggly effect as your daggy ugg boots.
Wallpaper is making a comeback, so try using a textured or velvet finish to add warmth and depth to an otherwise cold, stark space. If you’re confident, give a single feature wall a go yourself. You’ll be surprised at the dramatic change it can make in less than a day.
3) Update your window dressings
Do you know that almost 20% of the heat generated within your home escapes through your glass windows? I’m a big fan of plantation shutters and slim line venetians 99% of the year however, in colder climates there is a time and a place you might want to put some extra layers on both you, and your windows.
Hanging some thicker curtains during the depth of winter is easy and will ensure your house stays as snug as a bug. They can also be easily removed when the weather starts to heat up again and neatly folded away for the next year. Since you’ll only be using them for a short time, don’t splash out on custom items. Stores like IKEA have an amazing selection of
patterns and weights to choose from, they even come with iron on hemming tape so you can adjust them to the perfect length.
4) Build a fire
If budget and space allows go on, indulge your fantasies of lying on a sheep skin rug, drinking champagne staring into the soft flickering flames of your own, real working fireplace. Crazy you’re thinking? Too expensive? Dirty? Ah, not so! Yes, traditional fireplaces are an actual structural feature of a property, maintaining them is costly and time consuming and most people who have them don’t actually use them.
Thankfully these days, there are methane and gas options available which are not only quick and easy to install, but they’re also much better for the environment. If you’re concerned about safety around children and pets, an electric fireplace will be most suited to you.
5) Install underfloor heating
Now I’ll admit, this upgrade is really not a budget conscious one, or something that can be installed over the course of a weekend. However, in the long run if you have the option to install under floor heating, do it. It will save you thousands in heating costs during the winter. Not only that, if you sell your property you’ll see a massive return on investment as buyers will pay an absolute premium price for this feature alone.
If you can’t afford to have the entire house fitted out with under floor heating, my advice would be to think about the areas where your family spends the most time. Just think, how nice would it be to have the bathroom tiles set on a timer so they’re all cosy before you get out of bed in the morning.
Now that’s a winter warmer.