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Creating a cosy retreat for the winter months

Now that the cold weather is in full swing, you may well be wondering how to make your home into a snug and warm retreat. Here are some easy tweaks you can make to add the cosy factor to your living space.

As far as your soft furnishings are concerned, you need to make them nest-like by adding throws and cushions in wintry fabrics such as velvet, faux fur or even tweed. You should avoid shiny fabrics such as silk. Many people choose to change their curtains for the colder months, with heavier curtains not only feeling luxurious but also helping to keep the heat in the room and reducing your energy bills.

If you have wooden floors, you may want to consider bringing in a large, thick rug. A well-chosen rug can really pull a design scheme together and certainly helps to keep the chilblains at bay! A rug is also a far more practical choice if you have an open fireplace or wood burner.

You might be surprised to hear that simply changing the way in which your furniture is arranged can make a room feel much more snug and welcoming. Try to steer clear of rigid square and rectangular configurations; instead, introduce a relaxed and flowing feel with a hexagonal or circular layout. It makes sense to make your fireplace the focal point, if you have one, by turning sofas and chairs to face its warm, comforting glow.

Speaking about the fireplace, there is surely nothing more guaranteed to add warmth and winter charm to a room than an open fire or log burning stove. These are a lot easier to install than you may think when installed by a HETAS qualified engineer and come in a range of styles and price points to suit any interior style and budget.

If you don't have an existing fireplace, there is no need to despair - a 'hole in the wall' gas fireplace may  be installed quickly where there is a standard chimney &  may be easier to install than you think when installed by a gas safe registered engineer. This offers the charm of a flame without the upkeep.

If you opt for a wood burner, stacking your wood against a wall is a wonderful way to add some rustic charm to a space. If you can make room in your budget, it is safe to say that adding a feature fireplace will certainly add instant charm to any room. There are designs available to suit any scheme, from the traditional to the thoroughly contemporary.