Warming up your nights

Warming up your nights


Bedroom Renovation

If your bedroom is less than cosy, here are some tips to keep you warm during the winter months. 

“If you are cold at night, let the promise of my love cover you like a warm blanket.” – Matthew White

The bedroom is a great place to retreat to when the winter chills seep into our homes. After all, a night curled up in bed with a good book can be one of winter’s great rejuvenators, but it takes more than just adding an extra blanket to our beds to add warmth. 

Of course, there are the obvious paths to follow — like changing to comfy, warm, flannelette sheets, and adding extra blankets, doonas or throws to your bed. A warm under blanket or sheepskin could be an alternative to the traditional electric blanket, and while these are great starting points, there is more you can do.

Things like keeping a hot-water bottle or wheat pack handy is a good strategy, and taking a nice hot cup of warm milk or hot chocolate to bed is another way to achieve instant warmth. Warmer nightwear is another easy fix and bed socks will warm up your toes on even the coldest of nights.

It’s worth looking at long-term solutions as well, things like making sure your room is as well insulated as possible, with all doors and windows well sealed against drafts and winter winds. Double-glazing is the ultimate tool in the arsenal against winter chills, and although it involves a fairly hefty outlay of cash, you will reap the benefits for years to come. In fact, any money spent on these options is sure to come back to you in savings over the years, as you watch your heating bills go down instead of up. They are also helpful in lowering your carbon footprint.

Nice thick carpets or rugs on the floor will also add layers of warmth to your bedrooms, and if you opt for rugs, you can roll them up and store them elsewhere when winter gives way to warmer weather. You might like to add a layer of thicker curtaining to keep chills at bay, especially if you have thin net curtains at your windows.

Youngsters might appreciate the addition of a snugly teddy bear or other “friend” to cuddle up to over winter months, and pyjamas with feet are a great idea so that littlies stay warm even when they kick off the blankets.

If you can, why not treat yourself to some stylish new winter slippers and an extra-warm robe so that you don’t get cold when nature calls in the night, or you need to get up to check on the kids, the fireplace or the dog.

While all these things should have the actual temperature of your room rising, there are also things you can do to warm the soul. Dashes of red punctuated around the room will give a cosy appearance to your bedroom. Red cushions, flowers, rugs, even artwork can have your room looking warmer in moments. Teamed with rich chocolate hues and warm beiges, red accents can also add a romantic feel to your bedroom, which is sure to get temperatures rising.

Red is not the only winter shade that can add warmth to the bedroom. Any rich, opulent colour will do the trick. Deep purples, burgundies, browns and even oranges can impart warmth to a room, especially when teamed with luxurious textures such as mohair, boucle and the like. And there is no need to shy away from sleek textures like silks and satins; just layer them up with other bed linens for a toasty feel.

Just as some shades help warm a room, others can impart a distinct chill; play down blues and whites, silvers etc during the winter months. In my predominantly blue and white bedroom I try to counter the cooling effect of my chosen colour palette with some brown cushions and a throw, and a big vase of red flowers or berries when I can. Brown and red candles and a few red accents give warming points for us to focus on during the coldest of nights.

It goes without saying that you may wish to light the fire if you are lucky enough to have one in the boudoir. This will add to the physical temperature of the room as well as the ambience. If you have electric or other heating, you might like to turn it on for an hour or so before you go to bed and then turn it off when you actually settle down for the night. However, these should be a last resort as they will significantly impact your carbon footprint.

In fact, paying particular attention to your bedtime routine can affect the temperature of your room. Closing curtains before the chilled night air approaches and placing draft stoppers in doorways will help keep cold air out and whatever warmth you have in.

Look on the winter months as an excuse to cuddle with a loved one, or to wrap yourself in your best throw rug, to indulge in a luxurious wrap or a small serve of fine cognac. And if all else fails, a hot shower just before bed is another great option.