As the winter approaches, days get shorter, and darkness falls early. This can leave your home looking and feeling gloomy and dark, making the ambiance depressing and dreary. This atmosphere will only make the winter seem to drag on and make it harder to get through.

Approach the winter with a few changes around your home to make it cozier and a sanctuary from any frigid conditions outdoors. This does not require a significant financial outlay, just a little creative out-the-box thinking, and a positive mindset. Here are some ideas:

Create warm spots

Your heating system will run for most winter months, keeping the house at a tolerable temperature. Few people can afford to turn their thermostats up too high as it causes a spike in energy costs. However, solve this problem by getting oil-filled electric radiators from BestElectricRadiators, Technotherm, or Ecostrad iQ. BestElectricRadiators has a range of stunning oil-filled radiators that come in free-standing or wall-mounted models. A variety of sizes allows you to choose one that offers optimal heating coverage in your home. Oil-filled radiators retain heat far longer than their dry counterparts and distribute it more evenly.

A free-standing unit in your living room will add some extra warmth to this communal area where householders spend much of their time watching TV, playing games, or reading. It is an ideal way to get teenagers out of their rooms to spend quality time with the family.

Use your fireplace

If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, use it to create a welcoming, pleasant atmosphere that will draw everyone to its warmth. There is nothing quite like the crackling of a wood fire and the warmth emanating from it to create a cozy winter ambiance.

Exercise caution before lighting a fire by ensuring that your fireplace and chimney are thoroughly cleaned and unclogged before the winter starts. Install a brazier or guard in front of the fireplace to prevent stray sparks from causing a fire. Have a constant supply of chopped wood stored in dry conditions, so you never run out. Most homeowners with fireplaces are installing carbon monoxide detectors. Known as the ‘silent killer’, this gas is undetectable and could have fatal results when inhaled in large quantities. A carbon monoxide buildup is caused by poor ventilation that allows fire smoke to escape through the chimney.

Draw those drapes

You might prefer to leave your drapes open during the summer months to allow cool air into the house. However, draw them as darkness falls during the winter to escape the gloom outdoors. As an added benefit, closed drapes act as insulators, preventing hot air from escaping via window glass, thereby retaining it indoors.

Some homeowners change their drapes during the winter, replacing lighter fabrics with much heavier ones. Décor experts advise choosing winter drapes in warm colors, such as orange and red, to add to the perceived warmth of a room. Ensure that drapes are open in daylight hours to allow sunshine to penetrate the windows and warm your home.

Provide extra blankets

There are few things more comforting than curling up on the couch under a warm blanket or quilt on a chilly winter’s evening. Unpack extra blankets as the winter looms and keep them accessible to householders. Use some as throws on your couches and armchairs, so someone can grab one to wrap around themselves.

Put some extra blankets in common living areas and bedrooms by placing them in wicker baskets. Spend some time choosing blankets, throws, and quilts that match each room’s color scheme.

Lay down rugs

A tiled or bare wooden floor is wonderful in summer as it remains cool. However, it can contribute to frigid winter conditions by allowing the cold to seep in from underneath. If you cannot afford underfloor heating, place some rugs on the floor to insulate it. Even if your floors are carpeted, an extra rug can add extra warmth.

In addition to insulating a floor, rugs in warm colors also add to the cozy atmosphere of any room. Do not forget to put bath mats or rugs in your bathroom as it is often one of the coldest rooms in your home. Fortunately, you can roll rugs up and store them once the winter is over.