26/09/2010 14:10 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Dwell Time: Prepare Your Home For The Winter Season

One of the best things about longer nights and chillier weather is that it inspires us to do some serious hibernating. Is there a more comforting feeling than being snuggled under a blanket with a good book while the rain lashes down outside?

At home, there's plenty you can do to usher in this new season of cosiness. After all, you'd put away your summer skirts and flip-flops in favour of coats and boots – why not do the same with your décor? Various practical household chores lend themselves naturally to autumn, like bleeding your radiators to remove any trapped air before they crank into life again, or getting the chimney swept, if you have one. Cosy décor can mean lower heating bills too: switching to heavier curtains (and drawing them in the evening, even in the rooms you aren't using, such as bedrooms), laying down a rug and using a draught excluder at the front door can make a surprising difference.

Think about texture when it comes to creating the perfect winter home – there's no shortage of tactile products around at the moment, and velvets, felt, wool and quilting intrinsically make you want to sink in to them. Lighting's important too, whether it's a more-is-more grouping of church candles in the fireplace or a new floor lamp to illuminate your favourite armchair. Add a cup of tea and your comfiest pyjamas and you're ready to hibernate. Now, where's that book?,feedConfig,localizationConfig,entry&id=935573&pid=935572&uts=1285221153

Decorating for winter

Sheepskin is having a major catwalk/interiors crossover moment this autumn and winter, so be fashion-forward at home with The White Company's new range.

Large cushion, £120; small cushion, £60; rug, £220, all

Decorating for winter

Beat the rainy-day blues by sinking into a sumptuous chaise longue with the latest blockbuster.

Louise duck-egg chaise longue, £1,339; Sophie floor lamp; £155; pink cushion, £30, all Pied a Terre at

Decorating for winter

Throw a vintage-style quilt on the bed and get ready for some serious snuggling.

Viola flower quilts, £119 each,

Decorating for winter

Updating your cushions is the quickest fix there is: make them a zingy citrus colour, and made from touch-me textured felt, and you'll be ticking all the right boxes.

Osaka felted cushion, £18,

Decorating for winter

A felt rug will banish cold toes – and the hot pink hue of this one will add a much-needed pop of colour to darker days.

Botanica rug by Selina Rose, £450 from

Decorating for winter

If you're redecorating and want a cosy country feel, large-scale plaid in a softly textured fabric will warm things up.

Extra Large Teddington sofa in Atalante Brown fabric, £2,185; Rutland chair in Moon Skye Stage fabric, £919; Large Square Universal Footstool with Metro leg in Moon Skye Stage fabric, £389, all

Decorating for winter

Cable & Cotton's lights make a sophisticated alternative to fairy lights: they're available in endless colours, but there's something particularly warming about this chocolate, tan and off-white combination.

Lights, £30 for a string of 35,

Decorating for winter

EcoSmart's funky, retro-style fires are flueless, go-anywhere products, because they're powered by denatured ethanol – put them away in summer, and bring them back out in winter.

Retro fire, £5,992,

Decorating for winter

If anyone knows how to do cold-weather décor, it's the Scandinavians: check out Nordic House for great accessories, especially candles and candle-holders, for cosy nights in.

Whitewashed wooden candle logs, from £27.95,

Decorating for winter

Even if it's just for show, a log basket by the fireside adds texture and an instant feeling of warmth.

Log basket, £35.99,

Decorating for winter