Make a room feel / become warmer?
December 18, 2017 9:01 PM   Subscribe

There's a very cold room in my house that I'd like to "warm up", both literally and psychologically. Can I do this without adding lots of textiles that will cause allergies?

I love the look of rugs and drapes, but I have pets, and I find that textiles- especially rugs- get too furry and allergic. What kind of floor covering and other items can I use to create a cozy, soft, warm feeling in the room?
posted by pseudostrabismus to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Warm lighting! Think Salt Lamp, candles, fairy lights, or even just warmer light bulbs.

Cork flooring feels warm without attracting allergens.
posted by The Toad at 9:07 PM on December 18, 2017 [5 favorites]

Use literal warm colors--browns, golds, reds--and sprinkle some cozy clutter around. Books, tablescapes, fake or real houseplants and/or succulents, lots of warm lighting, leather (or faux leather) furniture or accents, framed photos of friends, family, and travels, and add texture by mixing up cleaner lines with naturalistic elements made of things like knobby wood, cork, etc.
posted by xyzzy at 9:11 PM on December 18, 2017 [3 favorites]

Warm light, including uplighting and even fairy/string lights.

I have a practical need for rugs (slippery floors) and dogs, so I buy quite cheap low-pile rugs (example) that vacuum pretty well. I also use a lot of very fuzzy throw blankets (Costco has the very best ones, this time of year) because they're easy to wash.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:40 PM on December 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

You could try going for the gentleman's library look, with bookshelves, dark wood and leather, and a few metal accents to reflect warm lighting. Have lamps with rich, old-fashioned lampshades, eg pleated silk ones rather than the more austere barrel types. You could also consider wallpaper on one or more walls. Flat woven rugs pick up less hair and can sometimes be put into the washing machine (small machine washable ones are available at Ikea), though you might still have to brush them first.
posted by tavegyl at 10:27 PM on December 18, 2017 [3 favorites]

Thermal blinds. Small space heater to use intermittently.
posted by kadia_a at 11:30 PM on December 18, 2017 [3 favorites]

Get the oil filled radiator style space heater. They’re quieter, and they stay warm for a while after they turn off so it doesn’t suddenly get cold like the blowing air ones do once they’re not blowing on you anymore.
posted by Weeping_angel at 11:47 PM on December 18, 2017 [6 favorites]

I don't know if this would be possible for you, but underfloor heating! When your feet are warm it helps the rest of you feel warm too.

There are electric units to go under blankets if you would rather not permanently install something.

You can also buy electric fireplaces that have decent looking "flames" and some of them act as room heaters as well.

A tray with an electric kettle, mugs, hot cider and cocoa mix.
posted by yohko at 12:42 AM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Warm air rises, so is there any way to make a microclimate closer to the ceiling?
Put some thermometers in the room and see if one corner is warmer (closer to the heater vent, direct sunlight during part of the day). Build a "cozy corner" with a raised floor (storage?), overstuffed pillows and cushions, even a tented or draped effect that can be swept in front of it to hold in the warmth. Bring in the warm colors, heat-producing lighting, textured woodwork and surfaces, and enjoy.

A DIY platform bed; a more permanent solution with a DIY loft bed, which gives microclimates above and below; concept designs from standard bunk beds to multilevel living; space-saving designs (lofts aren't just for beds).
And when you just can't stand the cold anymore, how about a kotatsu? ("It's now basically the center of everything in the winter!") Your pets may take up permanent residence, if the photos are any indication.
posted by TrishaU at 2:19 AM on December 19, 2017

Fairy lights are great, particularly the trendy new copper wire ones. I recently started using nostalgic bulbs (sometimes called 'Edison bulbs' or 'radio bulbs') in my office lamp; they're literally warmer (because incandescent) but many are very warm in tone, as well. You can sometimes find neat open-fixture brass or wooden lamps designed to take these nostalgic bulbs and really show them off. My office looks totally different and feels way cozier and all I did was add a lamp.
posted by halation at 5:19 AM on December 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Make sure your light bulbs are warm white not cool white light. Incandescent bulbs really use lots of electricity, but you can get warm white LEDs - fairy lights and light bulbs. I find lamps feel cozier than overhead lights. What color is the room? A creamy warm color feels warmer than blues, greens or stark white. Even a slightly warmed up off white makes a difference. If you can't paint, use light and art to add warm colors, even a bit of fabric or a scarf at the top of a window will warm the light. There are heaters that look like a wood stove. They aren't efficient, but they're cozy.
posted by theora55 at 6:45 AM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

One warning about pleated lamp shades: they are dust magnets, and that's why we got rid of ours, in favor of regular ones.
About repainting the walls: I recommend a rich apricot; especially if you have natural (unpainted) woodwork in that room. Instant glow-y warmth.

must investigate that intriguing salt lamp...
posted by BostonTerrier at 7:05 AM on December 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Check the windows for poor insulation around the frames, and recaulk or apply weatherstripping if there's any issue.

(If you're in a glass-box condo, it's worth getting thick curtains, they do help stop drafts. Just get them dry-cleaned or wash them now and then.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:58 AM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Would interlocking foam tiles help insulate you from the cold floor while not picking up allergens?
posted by foxfirefey at 12:02 PM on December 19, 2017

A "gallery wall," a nicely curated thing with pretty/interesting antique prints, is a nice cozy thing to look at. A quick Google suggests that "professional" advice is largely best ignored on this. Don't try too hard; you want cozy, not "perfectly spaced with matching frames and a theme..." A few weekends rummaging around thrifts and cheap antiques/junktiques shops should net you some stuff you like to start out with. In the latter, don't be afraid to ask if they have more in the back -- they may have stuff they bought in a lot and considered "beneath" their store, and it might have just the genuinely-old-and-cozy look you'd want.

Is wicker too textile-like? Baskets of magazines, say?

(I have two rooms that are a little like this. In re. apricot paint: I have finally removed most of it. Dear god! A lovely shade if very carefully selected. The previous owner had appalling taste and we had a dreadful "old bandage" shade for a while...!)
posted by kmennie at 3:46 PM on December 19, 2017

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