The cold weather and winter season has arrived. Here are some tips that will help you ease into the winter with these ideas and projects that will keep your house feeling sunny and comfortable during the cold season:
Extend the life of outdoor spaces: do you have an outdoor room you love? Adding a fire pit or fireplace to your outdoor space not only gives your room a centerpiece but also lets you enjoy it before its gets too cold. Permanent fireplaces give you the most visual appeal, but fire pits typically give more heat.
Boost your lighting: you can’t change the dreary shorter days of winter—but you can change your interior lighting. Spread light throughout rooms for an overall glow. Add uplights for a little extra shine and task lighting for rooms where you’ve got work to do. Check the quality of the light in the bulbs you have. Bulbs with a high colour-rendering index give the truest light.
Warm rooms with colour: a bright pillow or a brilliant colour keeps a room cheerful, even when you’re stuck inside during the dreary winter weather. If colour makes you nervous, here are a few tips to consider:
- Keep trim the same colour throughout your home to unite spaces wearing different wall colours.
- Move colour throughout your home. The colour one room’s wall can be another room’s accent pillow or vase.
- Pick colours out of your closet for inspiration. If you wear them, you’ll probably enjoy living in them.
- Have an open floor plan? That limits your colour ability to transition from colour to colour. Instead pick one you love!
Add a mudroom: a mudroom is a first-line of defense against the winter muck, giving you a place to shake off the ice and snow off of your boots and rain. It also provides much needed storage for extra layer of warm winter clothes. If you’re adding or renovating your preexisting mudroom, consider including a bench, cubbies for shoes and racks or hooks for bags and coats.
Add light with windows: some homes don’t have enough natural light streaming in from the sun. If your home seems dim year-round, maybe it’s time to rethink the windows. Identify which rooms suffer from lack of light. Some opportunities for adding windows could include a new door with an inset window, or replace a standard sliding door with sliding French sliding doors.
Curtains on drafts: layer curtains and shades for insulation against window drafts. Look for curtains made of insulating material. Or bulk up a light fabric with a layer of cotton flannel on the backside. Layers mean you can quickly change the look of your windows. In summer, heavy can be pulled off for the simplicity of shades. Remember, opening your curtains can help reduce energy use.
Flip your fan switch: a few simple steps will keep all those cozy spaces comfortable and safe from the damage a harsh winter can inflict. And you can also save some money thanks to increased energy efficiency. Here’s how: one extra simple step to save cash is to use ceiling fans to reverse the airflow. In summer, you want air blowing downward for a cooling effect. Reverse the fan in winter so that it circulates the hot air around the room. This works especially in rooms with high ceilings. Hot air rises and collects near the ceiling, so bring it down where people gather.
Seal it up: whether it’s peeling siding, a leaky roof spot or drafty windows, now is the time to replace old elements that no longer keep air and moisture out.
Keep it flowing: one surefire way to cause problems in winter—especially during those random midwinter thaws—is to let drainage problems unchecked. Avoid that by cleaning gutters of fall debris before winter storms hit. Clogged gutters can lead to siding damage, basement floods and gutter corrosion.
Practice fireplace maintenance: if you have a fireplace you’re planning to use inside, prepare it for the cold weather by having a chimney sweep clean it if its not gas. This eliminates build up and helps prevent a chimney fire. If you have an old fireplace, you may want to look into a fireplace insert that improves heating efficiency.
Achieve perfect humidity: without a humidifier, heated indoor air can cause uncomfortable conditions. Humidifiers can add moisture to single rooms or to a whole house. Humidifiers need to be regularly cleaned and often need filter changes to guard against mold and mildew. If you’re adding a humidifier to a child’s room, consider a cool mist humidifier, which uses a fan rather than heat to distribute moisture.
Size up your garage’s stock of outdoor supplies: rather than waiting for the first snowstorm hits, go through your garage and stock up on supplies your short on such as salt, sand and other supplies such as a new shovel. Are your shovels free of cracks? Do you have ample supplies of salt and sand to manage any icy deposits on your sidewalk and driveway? There’s no need to fight the first-storm crowds when you can hit the store now while the weather’s nice.
CENTURY 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd.
Brokerage Independently Owned and Operated
#4 Office in Canada
By Production CENTURY 21 Canada 2013
467 Speers Road,
Oakville, ON L6K 3S4