Isn't winter fabulous? We don't just mean because it brings us Christmas (though that is a bonus) but because it gives us an excuse to really sort out our homes, blow out the cobwebs and get some much needed home maintenance done.
Naturally, winter advice will always focus on keeping warm and making your house more energy efficient and we are keen to advocate those things too, but with some extra fun and style alongside. Take a look at our tricks for creating a super snug winter home and see if we have you feeling inspired!
It is all too easy to forget about your fireplace during the languid, warm summer months, but all of a sudden, the colder weather comes around and you are ready to throw in a log and get toasty. However, if you haven't made sure that your fire is up to scratch, you could be wasting precious fuel and putting your home at risk.
This picture, from Diligence International is the winter dream isn't it? A cosy woodburner, warming the whole room and bringing a lovely ambience and you can have that too, with peace of mind, if you have your chimney swept and your liner checked before lighting the the first fire of the season.
Is this a glamorous task? No, but it is an essential one for ensuring your home is as warm and energy efficient as possible. There is an added bonus in the fact that much of the UK is eligible for free insulation installation, so it won't even break the bank to keep the heat in this winter.
Winter advice always includes talk of insulation, for good reason, so don't think of adding an extra layer in your attic space as a chore, think of it as a money-saving innovation that you and your family cannot do without and no longer will all your heating shoot straight out of the top of the house!
Now for something practical, with an aesthetic edge as well. Winter textiles are a great way to not only cosy up your home, but also ensure that you are always warm and comfortable.
We think there is nothing nicer than some well placed seasonal cushions and throws, such as the ones pictured here and they can effortlessly transform a room into a winter wonderland. For a more festive touch, choose blankets that will coordinate with your Christmas colour scheme and enjoy some cosy sofa times, safe in the knowledge that your toes will never get nipped at by Jack Frost!
Now then, we know this piece of winter advice may not be as popular as some of our other suggestions, but regardless, we think you should embrace the idea of a winter clean. Spring shouldn't be the only season that is treated to a good tidy up, after all!
In the living room, have a really good hoover, give your rugs an airing and even get a steam cleaner in to give your furniture a freshen up and you will soon find that you feel ready to hunker down and hibernate for a few months, with nothing but spicy pot pourri and scented candles to distract you!
We are big advocates of seasonal bed linen, especially when brushed cotton and flannel are so warm and snug for the winter months, but don't only treat yourself to a new duvet cover, get a warm fitted sheet too. By investing in a brushed cotton sheet, you can avoid the shockingly cold slide into bed that standard thin cotton brings and get straight off to sleep without waiting to warm up.
A little bit more winter advice for your bedding is to get an electric blanket! Click it on a few minutes before you plan to go to bed and all of a sudden, what was a relaxing space has been turned into a toasty dream that you'll never want to get out of!
Don't worry, this isn't as drastic as you might think! When we say that you should have a wardrobe clear-out, all we mean is that you should get all your summer clothes and pop them into storage until next year, that way you will have lots more space for cosy woollens and snug fleeces that will keep you warm. You didn't really think we expected you to get rid of all your clothes did you?
Winter advice such as this allows you to make the most of your space without feeling too cluttered and claustrophobic, which is important during the colder months that will see you staying in a lot more.
It's not a glamorous job by any means, but cleaning out your gutters sure is a necessary one! Once the snow falls or the bad weather starts, you will be less likely to find a good moment to remove any leaves or blockages from your guttering, which could result in problems later in the year, so grab a step ladder and a willing helper and get it done now! When your friends are complaining about having to do theirs on Christmas Eve, you will be feeling warm and smug sat indoors!
For more seasonal inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: Guide To Storing Your Winter Clothes.