Winter is a time when one turns on the central heating, gets out the duvet and wears comfy socks around the house. The days are shorter, the nights are longer and there’s nothing better than coming home at the end of a hard day and feeling cosy and warm inside your house. Here are five simple ways to enhance the warmth and take the bitterness out of the cold wind. Embrace winter – for if Allah had not alternated the weather, we would not appreciate it.
“There is no deity except Allah. How cold is this day! O Allah (SWT), protect me from the bitter cold section of Jahannum” (Hadith by Ibn As-Sunni)
Blankets are synonymous with winter. They come in two categories of fabric – natural and synthetic. Natural fibre blankets are made of cotton, wool, linen and down (bird feathers). Synthetic blankets are hypoallergenic, softer and less expensive, with many different brands, styles and designs to suit your home décor and personal style. That said, the number one choice in bedding to keep warm is a duvet. Nowadays, almost everyone sleeps under a duvet in winter as it provides abundant warmth and comfort. You can also interchange the covers to suit your style.
Electric blankets are also a good source of warmth and can be used on top of your bedding or over you when you are relaxing on a sofa. However, their use is on the decline due to efficient central heating and double glazing.
Scents and Incense
Have you ever walked into someone’s house to an aroma that beckons you to come in and have a seat? With a simple scented candle you too can achieve this result. Candles also create a warm glow, adding ambiance, setting and atmosphere to a room. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) loved fragrances and never refused an offer to put some on or burn incense in his dwelling.
“The Prophet (SAW) would not refuse perfume.” (Bukhari and Tirmidhi)
There are many variations of scents, from the aromas of the East, such as sandalwood or musk, to Western fragrances, such as seasonal roasted chestnut and vanilla.
There’s something warm and inviting about winter curtains. Choose deep, rich colours in a thicker fabric that will work double-duty to block out the draughts. Ensure they are full length with a lining for maximum insulation and that the material overlaps to seal the warmth in.
Adding extra lighting during winter is the easiest way to introduce warmth into your home. You can use candles, floor, table or wall lamps and even lanterns. Floor lamps provide a central light source, without having to use the harsh overhead ceiling light, and come in numerous styles from traditional to Tiffany style. Table lamps offer soft lighting in dark winter corners where there is no natural light. Nowadays there are even multifunctional LED adhaan lamps which add a modern touch and remind you when to pray!
Colour can influence your mood, behaviour and even appetite. It is a powerful tool when it comes to interior home decoration. Imagine you come in from the cold to a grey room with brown furniture and accessories – somehow, it still feels cold. Now, imagine coming in from the cold into a room full of deep red, emerald green, orange and yellow – it definitely feels brighter than outside. Use colour to create warmth inside of your house through cushions, tablecloths, curtains, towels, sheeting and other accessories. A sprinkling of eye-catching colour will turn the drab grey of winter into the warm ambiance of winter.
So, when the chill of winter begins, fragrance the inside of your house with a scented aroma that beckons you inside to a warm glow of colours, enhanced by well placed lamps. Simply pull the curtains shut and enjoy a perfect, cosy winter’s evening indoors.
Nadia Ali is a freelance writer born in London, UK and now living in the Caribbean. Her work has been published both online and in print. She is the author of “Alhamdulillah! For My Mommy,” a picture book for kids of all ages which is available from Creative Education and Publishing Company.