It is that time of the year when we face the wrath of July’s cold weather. It is during the ‘Kenyan winter’ that the old jiko is remembered – and brought out of the cobwebby store – with murmurs of how expensive charcoal has become.
But you need not fill your home with rusty contraptions and smoke. There are clever, stylish and cost effective ways to warm your home.
Windows and curtains: Keep your windows airtight. You may begin by hanging some heavy curtains. Open them when the sun is shining to let the warmth in, and close them when it’s cold outside to keep the warmth from escaping.
If you have overgrown plants that might hinder the sun from hitting your windows, this is the time to prune them.
You may also opt for cellular blinds, which pull up almost out of sight to let in maximum sunlight. At night and on cold days, they block the windows very effectively. However, if you feel that they make your home look a bit like an office, layer them behind a sheer curtain.
On a relatively sunny day, open the curtains and blinds before leaving for work. You will come back to a much warmer house in the evening.
Doors: Put a rug by the door near the bottom. Similarly, you could make a draft-dodger there or choose to get a door sweep. Extend a carpet from the door to the rest of the room. Go for a quality one that your feet can sink into.
Bedroom: Most homes have bedrooms that are smaller than the living room. This season, turn your smaller bedroom into a bed-sitting room.
In addition, shut the unused rooms, such as the guest-room, and keep other rooms closed when not in use. Essentially, this will stop the cold air from circulating to your warmer rooms and therefore reduce heat loss.
Candles: Lighting a candle works wonders in a cold house. Candles produce a lot of heat yet they are cheap and readily available. Think of creative ways to use them.
For instance, you may opt to have candle-lit dinners in your home. These will not only be cosy and romantic but also warm. However, you should be careful about where you place them to avoid causing accidents.
Clothes: Bear in mind that before warming your home, you have to warm yourself first. In July, a woolly hat should be your first choice of head gear. Nowadays there are many fashionable options to choose from.
Similarly, get yourself some nice sweaters, scarves and several pairs of wooly socks and slippers. Wrap a kikoi around yourself while reading, watching TV or just relaxing indoors.