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Keeping your home warm during the freezing season

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Warm and cozy.[Getty Images]

With temperatures dropping to almost freezing point during this cold season, it is evident that even your own home that is warm in other days has lost its cosiness.

Some places such as Nairobi and Nyeri, for instance, are reporting temperatures as low as 11 degrees Celsius, according to the Kenya Meteorological Department.

The months of June, July and August are usually too cold for our liking, but this year seems colder than the norm.

As a result, people have resorted to buying hot water bottles or heaters to keep their homes warm.

For the well-heeled, Mombasa County is an option to move to as its minimum temperatures are above 20 degrees Celsius.

However, as much as they help to keep you comfortable, accessories such as heaters can not only be an eye sore to the aesthetic appearance of the house, but will also dent your pocket with more power bills.

Lina Odero, an interior designer from Aposh Decor, has better suggestions. Warm rugs is one of the options. If your house does not have rugs, then it might be time to get some. If you had one or two, Ms Odero says, it is time to get more and cover the naked floor spaces.

“The warmest material will be wool. It retains more heat,” she says.

You can also invest in curtains with thick fabrics. Odero notes that many households use more than one set of curtains – light and thick.

In the cold season, curtains with thicker fabrics would be of good help. During the day, when it is a bit warmer, the curtains would retain some heat which will help keep the house warm during the night when temperatures drop.

She says one can use a heater but they should be wary of the accompanying costs on the electricity bills.

“You can use it if it is worth the trouble,” she says.

Sometimes, she says, warmth is just a feeling and can be manipulated psychologically. In this case, one can light candles in the house, or use warm colours to decorate such as yellow, orange or red.

“Candles give you a cosy warm feeling,” says the interior designer. “Colours such as orange, red and yellow (also) give you a feeling of warmth. It is all in the mind.”

When it comes to furniture, she says, it might be time to think twice about acquiring a leather sofa.

Leather materials lose heat as fast as they absorb it, which means at night, even when it is not as cold as the current season, the seats would still be colder than other materials.

“If it is extremely cold, you can cover them with warm covers,” says Odero.

On the sofas or seats, you can add throw blankets and cushions, preferably of wool, to help retain heat.

Furniture in the house can also be arranged in a way that allows even distribution of heat earlier absorbed by the seats.

If you have a sofa too close to the fireplace, it is advisable to move it further to allow the heat to spread more evenly in the house, she says.

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