The ultimate guide to staying cosy at home this winter

The ultimate guide to staying cosy at home this winter

A lot of us cringe at the thought of winter rolling in – bored little ones kept in during the day, ice on the windscreen and the never-ending quest for heat. It’s easy to forget the good stuff, yet flannel pyjama sets, open fires and Christmas crafts are just a few other things that only winter can bring. With their help, there are tons of ways to fend the chill off this winter and keep us cosy and warm all the way through to spring.

If you’re one of those people that has yet to fall in love with winter, here are a few tips on staying cosy during this year’s chilly season.


Cosy up with crafts

When temperatures drop outside it’s only natural to want to stay in, but that doesn’t mean all activity should stop. Little brains especially need some stimulation if you want to avoid a serious case of cabin fever – that’s where Christmas crafts come in. Decorating ornaments, baking biscuits or even just knitting or working on watercolours by yourself will keep your hands moving and the boredom at bay.

Roaring fire

Gather round an open fire

There’s nothing that says cosy winter nights quite like an open fire. They’re warm, they smell gorgeous and best of all, they’re dazzling to look at. If you don’t have a hearth or a log-burner, not to worry – cranking up the heat and turning your TV to a fireplace channel works pretty well too.

Reading a book with a hot chocolate

Crack open a winter read

With little ones running around, there often isn’t a lot of time leftover to read. But once they head off to bed, take a few minutes to snuggle up on the sofa before you doze off yourself and dive into a good book. If you can’t be somewhere warm this winter, you can at least read about somewhere that is.

Ladies nightwear from Tu

Spring for some cute PJ sets

If we’re going to be doing cosy activities, we should be wearing cosy clothes. Flannel, faux fur-trimmed and covered in a cute print are the only ways to go as far as women’s nightwear this winter is concerned. The nightwear from Tu at Sainsbury’s ticks all the right boxes – just make sure you don’t forget the slippers.

Hot black coffee

Always have a hot drink nearby

By ‘hot drink’ we preferably mean those that are spiced, drenched in chocolate and come with a little alcohol splashed in for good measure – at least once the kids have gone to sleep. While open fires keep our houses heated this winter, hot drinks promise to keep our hearts nice and warm.

Water-filled bath

Indulge in a bath when you can

Again, we know this one isn’t always easy with kids running around – especially little ones that wouldn’t mind climbing into the bath with you. But if you can take a few moments every other week or so to run a hot bath and just relax, preferably with one of Lush’s sweet-smelling Christmas bath bombs or oils, your winter nerves will thank you for it. You might even get to squeeze in some time for that winter read, too.

Roast chicken dinner

Embrace the roast dinner

Roast dinners are incredible all year-round – they’re the ultimate comfort food, in our opinion – but there’s something about having one in the winter that just feels right. We’re not saying to indulge in gravy puddles, cranberry sauce and hearty meat every Sunday – though every once in a while isn’t bad, right? If you’re looking for something a little less strenuous, a healthy roast or home-made soup will keep you warm all winter long.

There you have it – bring on the frost. How will you keep cosy this winter?


Get their look: Christmas fireside

Christmas firesidecredit

Have you put up your tree and hung your decorations yet? What’s your colour scheme? We usually go for traditional red on the ground floor and copper on the top floor. We really like the look & feel of this Christmas fireside; simple rustic with minimalist white tree ornaments and wrapping paper.

The addition of a vintage wooden child’s sled adds a sense of fun. The unusual, half-moon wood-burning stove is the focal point of the room (well, it is when the Christmas tree isn’t there!). All its accessories are close at hand – logs, newspapers, companion set… there’s even a vintage metal fire bucket to add a flash of colour.

  1. Vintage chalkboard
  2. John Lewis Croft Collection Stanley rattan large easy-to-fit ceiling light
  3. Scan 85 Series High Top fire
  4. Vintage wooden wine box
  5. Vintage fire bucket
  6. ALSEDA banana fibre stool
  7. Vintage wooden sled
  8. Black fireside companion set
  9. Personalised wooden storage box

Get their look: Christmas fireside | H is for Home

Winter Wisdom – 8 warming ways to prepare your household for winter

Winter Wisdom - 8 warming ways to prepare your household for winter

Winter is a wonderful time of year for those of us not so keen on extreme heat and having bugs everywhere. In fact, many good things happen in winter. It’s the perfect season for hot food, woolly socks and crackling fires. The key to a good winter is to make sure your home is ready for it. For suggestions on how to get your house in good order for the cold months, read this list of 8 warming ways to prepare your household for winter.

Bathroom shower

Household maintenance

Your house maintenance should be taken care of before winter gets its icy grip on your house, because when things suddenly or catastrophically go wrong it can take much longer to fix. It’s essential that your house is completely watertight – and pipes, drains and gutters are clear and free flowing. The endless torrential rain that often falls in winter and early spring can set back work on neglected pipes or other work that needs excavation…and bad weather can also prevent work being done on roofs or outdoor electrical appliances like water heaters. Imagine not having hot showers for a week in winter. No thank you!

Many companies clear blocked drains in Melbourne, for instance, and getting that done prior to winter’s arrival is a good idea, as some nights can get downright frosty. The last thing you need in the middle of a freezing night is a burst drainpipe.

Slippered feet up with a hot drink in front of an open fire

Light a fire

First and foremost, if your house has a real fire, then it’s time to break out the firewood! Make sure coal stores or log piles are well stocked during late summer and autumn. Organise deliveries early or get some wood chopped in readiness! Fires are a great, economical way to warm a house, and they can provide hours of entertainment. They give a room a real sense of drama and atmosphere. The additional burst of heat will also cut out any need for appliances such fan heaters.

Woollen blanket and patterned pottery mug

Scatter some blankets

Winter is a great time for snuggling up with some blankets. The best thing about blankets is that they not only keep you warm, but they can be dotted around your house and over the backs of sofas as decoration, then easily grabbed if you feel the chill. Distributing blankets around rooms in your home will mean you’re never far from a warm, cosy blanket in the dead of winter.

Bowl of meat stew

Roast away!

Arguably one of the best things about winter is the food that you begin to crave. When it’s 4ºC and raining outside, nothing satisfies hunger like a good roast dinner. Warming food like roasts, stews and hearty soups are perfect for not only warming you and dinner guests, but also make the whole house smell amazing.

Pair of thick, pale-coloured curtains

Heavy curtains

One thing that many people forget when winter-proofing their houses is how much heat is lost through the windows, even when the curtains or blinds are closed. If your house is freezing cold at night and you have large windows, consider buying thicker or lined curtains or blinds for them. This will keep more of the heat in and save you money through lowering electricity and gas bills.

Over the knee winter socks

Dress for the occasion

What will keep you warm in winter, no matter where you go? Woollens and waterproofs are the obvious choice for the cold season, but even within the protected environment of your own home there are things you can wear to keep the chill at bay. Thick socks on your feet will keep cold, tiled floors from freezing your toes off – and a quilted robe can mean the perfect combination of comfort and warmth.

Blue fleece electric blanketcredit

Warm the bed

Your bed will likely be too cold at night before you hop in, and even with pyjamas on this can cool you down before your body heat manages to warm up the bed and duvet. An electric blanket is the perfect addition to a winter bedding ensemble, and all you need to do is switch it on an hour or so before you hop into bed to ensure a nice, toasty night’s sleep.

Radiator thermostat

Radiate heat

Finally, there are ways of keeping heat in the less used rooms, like your bedroom.

While most of the evening might be spent in the common areas of your house, your bedroom will be where you retire to and unless you have put something in place to heat that room, it will likely be freezing cold. A radiator heater can be a great option for this, as it uses very little electricity and stays warm for long periods of time. Turn in on when you get home from work and your room will be toasty by the time you get to bed that night. Or perhaps fit timer switches that can activate heating systems precisely in specific areas.

With these tips in mind, the cold of winter doesn’t stand a chance at infiltrating your abode – so get out there and start winter-proofing your house today.







Updating your home style for the winter months

Winter exterior

A new season is upon us and with it comes the challenge of transforming the home. For a season with a reputation for being boring, winter is often viewed as a tricky month to bring into the home. The blues & greys usually associated with winter are cold and uninviting, but it is possible to emulate the warmth and cosiness and sparkle and glamour of winter. Here are two easy to do themes that are guaranteed to bring a touch of winter beauty and character into your home this Christmas without leaving you shivering.

Living room mantlepiece decorated for wintercredit

Winter wonderland

This winter theme is for those looking to inject a touch of class, sophistication and glamour into your home. It’s all about silver colours and sparkle, emulating the sparkle of the frost and the snow and capturing the sparkling beauty of the frosty winter months (not the cold, though!).

  1. The living room

Turn your living room into a winter wonderland by swapping your centre light for a beautiful chandelier. Get some gorgeous sparkly candle holders, light some scented candles and watch the light dance off the crystals. Silver scatter cushions with plenty of sparkles are great for creating a cosy, winter-themed sofa. Instead of bright lights this winter, use candles and lamps to create warmth.

  1. The bedroom

Snuggle into your very own winter wonderland. Swap drab boring furniture for beautiful mirrored furniture. There’s plenty of different styles to choose from – plain glass, or smoky coloured, depending on your style. Swap your bedspread for something glittering and beautiful. You don’t have to stick silvers and greys either; rich purples and royal reds also ooze winter sophistication. There are plenty of places to find bedspreads, including JD Williams.

Winter log cabin

Rustic log cabin

If you’d prefer a more home-made, cosy winter feel, the log-cabin theme is the one for you. It’s all about rustic colours, mismatched furniture, dim lights and rustic fashion.

  1. The living room

Swap heavy lights for lamps and candles to create a cosy, warm, rustic hue this winter. Snuggle up on a sofa that’s covered in comfy scatter cushions. There are plenty available this season in reds, greens and oranges – all with beautiful patchwork patterns or reindeer images. Nature themes are great for this time of year. The more handmade, the better. Drape a patchwork blanket over the sofa, ready to grab and snuggle underneath on those cold nights. Drape some multi-coloured lights across door frames and windowsills to capture the festivities of the season and add some much-needed colour and warmth to what would otherwise be a drab and cold winter.

  1. The bedroom

Carry on the theme of mismatched and rustic style into the bedroom by investing in a patchwork quilt, knitted throw and heavy curtains to block out the cold air. The best colours for the bedroom to instil warmth this season are reds and oranges. Candles and lamps create a beautifully warm and inviting glow. Christmas decorations are usually reserved for downstairs, but a couple of carefully draped strings of fairy lights will set off any bedroom. Swap modern furniture for antique pine to really create the feeling of a log cabin.


Price Points: Black thermal leggings

Black thermal leggings

I took my first Christmas shopping trip into Manchester city centre yesterday. I was mainly looking for warm winter clothes for Justin, but I managed to have a little browse at a few things for me as well. Before the weather begins to get too cold, I want to make sure I get myself a new pair of black thermal leggings to wear under my waterproof trousers while I’m out walking.

I popped into Marks & Spencer and made a beeline for the escalator up to the ladies’ underwear department. They had a very good selection of thermal socks, tops and bottoms. I had a feel of their cashmere blend leggings… so soft and warm! Cashmere is a brilliant material for thermals, it’s very soft – softer than sheep’s wool (which makes me itch if it comes into direct contact with my skin for too long), it provides excellent insulation, it’s lightweight and it’s a natural material. Everything you need for a winter base-layer – it’s the choice that I’ve gone with!

Thermal leggings have had a 21st century high tech treatment. They’re all about Heatgen™, Thermolactyl and Isotherms and their ‘heat retention technology’. It reminds me of the kind of terms used by laundry detergent and cosmetics companies in their TV and magazine ads!

  1. Isotherm women’s brushed leggings – black: £4.99, Mountain Warehouse
  2. AUTOGRAPH Heatgen™ thermal leggings with cashmere: £25, Marks & Spencer
  3. Thermolactyl grade 4 long pant: £32, Damart

Price Points: Winter slippers

Selection of winter slippers

When we finished photographing items for our recent George at Asda collaboration, Justin snaffled the slippers in lightning quick time. I pointed out that they were a bit big, but he pointed out back that come mid winter, they’ll be combined with thick woollen socks, so no problem. There was just no getting them back!

I wear surf slippers during the summer, but when the weather turns cold, I need a proper pair of winter slippers – I suffer with bad circulation!

I’ve had two pairs of the North Face tent mules (#1) in the past and I absolutely love them. When you wear them, it feels like your feet have their own personal duvets!

Number 2 from The White Company, look super cosy too with their faux fur, but appear most suitable for a world of soft carpets, beds and other clean furnishings. Number 3 – classic Ugg slippers, also look very comfortable, but more robust. Their waterproof, rubber soles will allow for trips out into the garden or bin emptying duties!

  1. The North Face Nuptse Tent Mule: £32.50, Surf Mountain
  2. Faux fur cosy slippers – mink: £ 35.00, The White Company
  3. Women’s Tasman: £85, Ugg