BY Natalie Crawford, Remax
LET THERE BE LIGHT
Winter afternoons and evenings can get dark pretty early, which means you often arrive home when it’s a little gloomy outside. This is a great opportunity to show off the warm and welcoming home on your property. Walking into a warmly-lit home instantly creates a feeling of happiness, comfort and safety. Leaving curtains and blinds open to allow indoor lights to become inviting, and choose warm-white lightbulbs rather than cool or daylight colours to create a cozier glow.
WARM IT UP A NOTCH
Warmth is just as important in temperature as it is in atmosphere. Lighting a fire or putting a discreet heater on in your house takes the edge off the winter chill. You don’t actually need to heat a home all that much for it to feel toasty when stepping in from the cold. Just a couple of degrees warmer than the outdoors makes a world of difference. It’s important to balance heat with ventilation so the air stays fresh and clean – particularly if you have an open fireplace or a very small home.
KEEP THE AIR FRESH
In the colder months, we often cook heavier, spicier meals, have steamier baths and showers, and keep our pets indoors more often. All of these things can leave lasting odours that are difficult to notice when you live in a space every day. Crisp, winter air is a very effective natural deodorant. Use a more intensive action (like steam-cleaning carpets and upholstery, for tougher odours like pets and cigarette smoke.
ADD A SUBTLE FRAGRANCE
Speaking of smells, winter may seem like the ideal time to fill your home with scents like baking bread or cinnamon cookies, but less is definitely more. Clean fragrances like cedar, citrus, or vanilla create a warm yet fresh atmosphere. A scented candle in one or two rooms is generally plenty – and as a bonus, the flickering flame will add to the comforting ambiance.
DON’T FORGET THE OUTDOORS
Winter can be hard on gardens, but attractive outdoor areas are an essential for a welcoming house all year round. Trimming trees and shrubs to maximize sunlight is a good idea, as is clearing any fallen leaves from paths, lawns and pools. Adding a few winter-blooming flowers can also go a long way towards helping you stand out, and brightening the first impression of your home.