Darren Palmer - Winter Warming Decorating Tips
Colours, heating and insulation
Warm Colour Schemes
There’s a lot to be said for the warming glow of a fire. Romance novels spring to mind with wood cabinets, bear skin rugs and deep glasses of red wine consumed but what do you do if you live in your everyday family home and not a Mills & Boon log cabin? There are plenty of ways to warm up your winter and here are but a few tried and true favourites.
Colour schemes can have a huge effect on how you relate to a space. Blues and greys will always make a room, no matter how constant the temperature, feel colder. Applying a warmer colour scheme to your space will do the exact opposite so look for colours that have a red, yellow or orange base. Whether you layer in soft furnishings, décor items, art or paint, simply warming up the hue of your space will give you the visual sensation that you’re in a warmer room.
Get the Heating Right
Open plan living creates all sorts of issues in terms of heating so either install a gas heater or a reverse cycle air conditioner so that you can swiftly raise the temperature of larger spaces. Column heaters are fine for enclosed rooms where you can switch them on and let them heat up over a period of time but when it comes to value for money and efficiency not much beats a good reverse cycle air conditioning unit.
Heaters and air conditioners are great and practical of course but fire is primal. We have any number of beautiful fireplace options available on the market, from timber burning or gas and the design options will compliment or improve all manner of living rooms. You can hang them from the ceiling, install them into joinery or build a central element around them but do consider your heating requirements and whether your aesthetic choice suits your functional constraints. Ethanol fires are nice to look at but they aren’t really made to heat a whole room so keep these strictly for the flickering flame. Those DVDs of fires are kind of your last resort, better as a gag than as a replacement for any of the options above and maybe best for that european christmas feeling on a hot aussie christmas day.
Under Floor Heating and Insulation
We’ve all had that startling moment where our cold feet have touched a cold floor. One of the best ways to heat a space is to heat the floor and let the heat radiate from the ground up. Electric underfloor heating is the cheapest to buy and install but is also the most expensive to run with the opposite being true for the hydronic version, a continuous and thermostated loop of circulating water than heats the ground under your feet, often directing heat up only, not down into the slab. They run on a gas hot water system of their own with the water only heating as much as it needs to allowing for a constant temperature and a smaller energy bill. As far as heating a space goes this is probably the most comfortable way to heat a space as there is nothing you need to keep your kids away from and no hot air blowing directly into you or the room.
Insulation is also key to having a nice warm space so make sure you fill any gaps, close your internal doors and cover windows with heavier drapes to stop windows radiating cold in and letting heat bleed out. If you’re building or renovating make sure you invest in insulating for your walls, roof and ceiling spaces, you’ll not only be toasty in winter but you’ll thank yourself again when summers warmth rolls around once more.