Decorating Tips for Warming Up a Cold Home

Bright and sunny home interior with green velvet sofa

FollowTheFlow / Getty Images

It's not always practical to add insulation to walls, floors, and ceilings in your home as a remedy against the cold. If you're a renter, it usually isn't possible to make such renovations. And if you're a homeowner, you might not have the budget or the time to take on an insulation project. But the right decorating can help to take the chill out of your rooms without cranking up the thermostat.

  • 01 of 04

    Use Rugs

    Several rugs placed underneath yellow couches

    Do you have cold, hard floors? Ceramic tile, laminate, and other types of hard flooring can feel especially chilly during the winter months. So adding a rug will provide some room-warming insulation. Even better, layering several rugs will create a cozy and stylish barrier that will keep toes toasty.

    Look for handmade rugs with a high knot count. The higher the number, the denser the material, which is better for insulation than a rug with a lower knot count. Affordable machine-made rugs can also take the chill off frigid floors. High-pile rugs typically feel warmer, but if you're looking for something that's easy to clean, go with a flat weave.

  • 02 of 04

    Hang Tapestries

    Wall tapestry with a moon hung next to a mauve couch
    Urban Outfitters / Tapestry by Magical Thinking

    If your walls feel cold to the touch when it's cold outside, you might be losing up to a third of the heat you pay for through conductive heat loss. Old buildings especially often don't have good insulation and it has likely deteriorated. Plus, it might not have been installed up to today's standards anyway, as builders didn't worry as much about insulation at a time when home heating costs were cheap.

    If you have inadequate wall insulation, wall tapestries are an easy decor fix that will help to warm up your rooms. The heavier the material, the better. A quilt will also work. You can even create a fabric feature wall by applying fabric like wallpaper to one or more walls in your space using liquid starch. Unlike traditional wallpaper, the starched fabric is a cinch to remove, so it's a good project for renters.

  • 03 of 04

    Put Up Window Treatments

    black thermal window shades

    If your windows feel drafty, an energy-saving window treatment, such as thermal window shades, is a quick decor fix that can seriously reduce your heating costs. Thermal shades are like quilts for your windows. They can block cold drafts from entering and hold heat within rooms. Plus, they are easy to install on most types of windows, and they nicely fold up and out of the way when you want to see out the window.

    Thick curtains can work just as well. Wool is an ideal material for curtains, as it's a highly efficient insulating material. But there are many other options besides wool for store-bought curtains at various price points that are good insulators. Look for packages that are marked with the word thermal or something similar.

  • 04 of 04

    Add Cozy Accessories

    Cozy room with a gray couch, coffee table, gray rug, and artwork

    Cozy accessories in a space can do wonders to give it a warm vibe. For instance, creating a snuggle-worthy sofa for the wintertime is a must. Add several fluffy pillows and plush throws, so everyone in the household has a spot they can burrow into and stay warm. Likewise, do the same with your bedding. Consider switching to flannel sheets during the colder months, and add extra blankets to ensure you stay warm all night long.

    One room accessory, in particular, can be an unexpected help when it comes to warmth: the ceiling fan. Warm air rises in a space. So if you have a ceiling fan, switch it to the reverse direction from what you normally use for cooling the room. This will push the warm air back down toward you, making the whole room feel toastier.