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The secrets to warming up your home (without touching the thermostat)

The secrets to warming up your home (without touching the thermostat)

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You can make every room look and feel instantly warmer.

If your interior design style includes an abundance of clean lines or a cool palette with lots of white, black and gray, you might end up with a room that feels a little on the chilly side. Don’t worry, you don’t need to crank up the thermostat!

Instead, these easy decorating tricks can make your home look and feel warmer. From introducing soft rugs to hanging curtains that double as insulation, here are some simple ways to make every room feel instantly cozier.

1. Incorporate texture. Sure, you can paint a space in warm shades of pink, red or yellow, but if you favor neutral hues, texture is your best friend. Basically, texture equals warmth. Try adding a plush blanket to your sofa or bed.

Other easy ways to add texture: Introduce a woven ottoman or a few embroidered pillows to add dimension to your space. Bonus: Pillows are easy and inexpensive to swap out as your tastes in color and trends change.

2. Light some candles. Not only do they cast the most flattering light and smell fantastic, candles also add a warm glow and a little heat to your space. To avoid indoor air-quality issues, make sure you’re using clean-burning, soy wax options instead of paraffin, when possible.

3. Add a rug. To add that cozy sink-your-toes-in feeling to a room and lend a hit of color and pattern, add a rug. Rugs also help muffle noise, so placing one or two in a living or dining room will keep the sound of chatter from traveling. For a bit of extra texture, look for rugs that feature nubby details or both a high and low pile. This creates movement within the room and feels amazing underfoot.

4. Hang curtains. The beauty of curtains? They block out drafts and look good, too. A space without window treatments can feel cold and unlived-in. Well-chosen curtains, blinds or window panels can make all the difference.

5. Include personal touches. If you favor a minimal design style, you don’t have to go wild stuffing your space full of belongings. Be selective and carefully curate your items. Artwork, favorite photographs and a handful of your most treasured books can help to personalize and warm up a room.

6. Opt for warm neutrals. Even with a neutral color palette you can change the temperature of a room by looking at the base hue. Does that white paint have a cool blue undertone, or is it a warm yellow or pink? The same question goes for grays and even blues. Choose warmer neutrals to instantly “heat up” your room.

(Real Simple magazine provides smart, realistic solutions to everyday challenges. Online at


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