Has the chilly weather got you rethinking how you heat up your house?

During the winter months it's always nice to enter a room without feeling as though you are on an arctic adventure, but with the price of energy on the increase, keeping warm (or cool) without breaking the bank is becoming more and more challenging.

Our family recently moved from a well insulated timber framed home into a double brick non-insulated home and we're finding moderating the temperature without constantly running heating or cooling appliances quite challenging. 

So while there are many factors that play a role in maintaining warmth, we truly believe the installation of high-quality insulation during the build process is crucial. It's so important that we always include insulation to all the internal and external walls, as well as ceilings and second storey floors, as standard items in our builds.

If you are building or renovating, some clever design principles can also help play a huge part in keeping the temperature under control in your home. The placement of windows to optimise sunshine, eave overhangs for shading, thermal mass elements and even colour selection all contribute to the overall efficiency and performance of the home. It is a good idea to discuss these elements with your designer during the initial stages of the design process, as they will save you on energy bills in the future.

Then there are ways you can warm up the look of a room with soft furnishings and decor. Concrete floors are a current trend that often require some added "warmth". While concrete floors look striking and double as an excellent thermal mass, they can mean you are starting with a "cold" sometimes industrial looking base.

Installing a cozy looking gas fireplace is a great start - one you will relish sitting around with a glass of red wine and a good book. For stylish fireplaces, both contemporary and traditional, we always head to Subiaco Restoration. Rugs made from natural fibers in neutral tones or rugs with a tribal inspired feel will warm up the floor instantly, and the juxtaposition against concrete looks particularly striking. 

Adding touches of timber where you can, also creates a nice contrast against concrete, while a good quality armchair and a plush sofa that looks like you could just fall into it will tie everything together. We love the on-trend pieces and great range of rugs at Sitting Pretty Furniture. Cushions, knick knacks, vases, decorative pieces and photo frames inspired by nature and in natural hues will add further warmth, but our favourite final touch for softening a room would have to be a spattering of indoor plants. The team at Little Leaf Co offer great advice on what will flourish (and what won't) in your room.