Gingerbread house

As winter sets in, our thoughts turn to knitwear, crunching through frozen grass and inevitably, Christmas! For little ones, it’s a time for excitement, anticipation and presents, but for us grown ups, it can feel like there’s a long list of things to consider - from presents and food to hosting family and friends. Well don’t worry, here are some simple interior changes that you can easily implement in your home to create a cosy retreat for you and your guests.

1. Create cosiness

With the winter’s short days and long, dark evenings, the time for spilling out into the garden is long over – so make sure your home becomes your haven. With a few simple touches, you can create an inviting and cosy home your guests will love to lounge in. Texture is a really effective way to bring physical and visual warmth to your home. Deep textures allow you to sink into your surroundings, and gentle fabrics will help to sooth your skin - which has a tough time during this cold season. A thick rug will not only provide a squishy layer between your feet and a cool floor, it will also add a look of soft, cosiness. Cushions allow your sofa to hug you, and with a clever colour choice, such as dusty creams or rich, earthy browns, you can give a loving nod to woodland walks and country retreats. To really add that soothing light and warmth, don’t forget plenty of candles.

2. Keep the outdoors out

With your Great Aunt’s dog trotting in mud, and those winter winds howling at the windows, keeping rooms warm and clear of muddy foot-prints may sound like a lot of work, but by using a few clever items, it’s easy. Door mats have moved on from the scratchy, patches of straw they used to be. A Muddle Mat has a brilliant design which features super absorbent nylon firers, absorbing water and mud as soon as shoes touch it - helping to reduce those drips and drops before they get inside. A draught excluder is a simple solution to stop cold air forcing its way though your front door, or to simply keep in all that lovely living room warmth - helping to save on the heating bill. Invest in a good set of curtains so that you can mentally, and physically, shut the dark evenings out. Choose a pair with a thick lining, this will help to form a layer of protection between you and the cold glass of your windows.

3. Thaw out

As a good host, there is no better feeling than calm and relaxed guests. So whether they’ve had country walk, or dashed back from the pub, a deluxe bathroom will let them thawing frozen toes and warm chilled bones. Baths with additional acrylic layers will stay warmer for longer as it works to stop all the heat warming the bath, keeping the water hot. It also gives it a great hardwearing layer long after guests have departed. A heated towel rail will help to warm the room and give even the messiest of family members somewhere to hang their towel. There's no better feeling then stepping out of the bath into a warm and fluffy towel.  Heavyweight, Egyptian cotton towels are super soft, and luxuriously thick and come in a range of colours.

4. Hibernate

With Christmas comes vast quantities of food, mulled wine and long, late night chats. With all this merriment, your guests may want to retreat to their room and hibernate for a while – so make sure your guest room is the best it can be. Of course it will need to be great all year round, so choose soft colours which will feel soothing in winter and fresh in the summer. When it comes to beds, look for a padded headboard which will add style and comfort, and an ottoman style bed will ensure plenty of storage all year round. There is so much choice when it comes to mattresses, it is a place we spend over 50 hours a week in (maybe more in the winter), so support and comfort is key. There are some really smart mattresses which feature unique winter/summer side designs. This means that each side is purposefully designed for the season - cool for the summer and warm for the winter. So you can offer the perfect bed all year round.