Making Your Home Cozy for the Winter

cindy beyer revised

This is a sponsored column by Cindy Beyer, ASID,NCIDQ. Beyer is a Reston-based interior designer and Reston Now Best Reston Business Award winner. Find her online at

Now that we are heading into the coldest months of the year, it is time to make your home warm and toasty.

By now, most of us have heard about the benefits of keeping our home energy efficient. There are some simple things you can do, including sealing gaps in windows and doors or installing door sweeps on the bottom of exterior doors. You can also seal the gaps in your attic and basements to make a difference in  heat loss. Don’t forget to check your kitchen vent fan as this is also a source of energy leaks.

You can also try installing a programmable thermostat with numerous setting for various times of the day. That should help reduce the heating bill and get the room all toasty when you preset it.

If you use a wood burning fireplace, make sure you have a glass fireplace front and close the damper when not in use. If you have ceiling fans, switch them on the winter setting. This will reverse the airflow and send more warm air down into the room.

There are many other things you can do from a design point of view. For example, you can install insulated, lined draperies on the leaky windows. Not only are they attractive, they keep the warm air in and the cold air out. Also, when the sun is out, open up your drapes to let the sunlight heat your space. You can close them up at dusk.

You can also add area rugs to those chilly floors, especially the bathroom and bedroom floors. If you  happen to be thinking about bathroom renovations, investigate using a heated floor under your tile. You don’t have to cover much of the room, just enough to get the benefit and the warmth. However, always place a mat on the bathroom floor.

Furniture placement is also a consideration. Make sure you place furniture away from the vents. Also, make sure your vents are open. Clear furniture away from the radiators. You can put foil behind the radiator to reflect more heat into the room. And don’t forget to bring out a lot of nice, furry pillows and throws.

Finally, try firing up the oven and baking some bread and cookies to warm up the kitchen. After the baking, go for a long run on the treadmill to work off the cookie calories. That will surely warm you up.

Remember spring is fewer than 90 days away. If you are thinking about remodeling or simply need a room makeover, please contact me at [email protected].

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