Natural gas is a game changer when it comes to having a cosy and welcoming home over the festive season, and while this year, Christmas may not be filled with as many social occasions as in the past, there’s really no reason why our homes shouldn’t form the cosy backdrop we need more than ever this Christmas.
The advantages of natural gas are abundant. Whether you want constant hot water for that tranquil bath after winter walks; instant heat; the flexibility of cooking with gas, to save energy using a high efficiency gas boiler and smart controls; relax in front of a living flame fire; do your bit for the environment (did you know that natural gas has 50% less carbon emissions than oil); or simply don’t want the hassle of remembering to order oil every few months, natural gas makes your home special whatever the occasion.
This month firmus energy has teamed up with lifestyle blogger and self-proclaimed ‘interiors addict’, Sinead Doyle who lives in Co. Antrim with her husband, Dominic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, she’s been on a DIY kick that has helped to turn their first house into a home. Here, she shares her top tips to creating a cosy atmosphere in your home this Christmas…
One thing’s for sure, 2020 has brought the importance of our homes and personal space into sharp focus. Amidst all the highs and lows of lockdowns, home schooling and working from home, we have never spent as much time between our own four walls.
On a personal level, I feel our home has been a safe haven during this crazy year and DIY projects have been a welcome distraction from the outside world. As Christmas approaches, here are some tips to help you get cosy this Christmas.
We live in one of the coldest places in Northern Ireland. No joke, this place has its own little microclimate. Two years on, it still surprises me come winter. I’m a particularly cold creature, so having instant heat at the press of a button is one of the most important functions of our home.
As the festive season approaches, we’ve turned up the dial on the cosy vibes even further by carving out little cosy corners and nooks that have helped us feel like we’re somewhere new.
The mantlepiece in the living room has been decked out with a fairy light lit garland and the fireplace is packed full of candles, which will set the scene for cosy Christmas movie marathons. Meanwhile, a cosy reading nook will provide another space for a little time out over the holidays. Christmas PJs, fluffy socks and cosy slippers are the mandatory dress code for both spots.
Tranquil Bath Time
There’s nothing quite like a long, hot bath to hit the reset button. Setting the scene by lighting some candles, sprinkling some battery-operated fairy lights, baubles and Christmas decorations on the fringes of your bath will add to the relaxing ambience. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oils to some bath salts for a spa like vibe - lavender, chamomile and eucalyptus are my current go-to oils.
And with instant hot water, you can take a dip anytime you want. Who says baths are just for night time?
Set the scene
It might not seem worth the hassle, but creating a festive table setting really does help to create a sense of occasion. Last year, my husband and I spent our first ever Christmas Day alone in eight years. We could have had our Christmas dinner on the sofa but I insisted on setting and sitting at the table. Even though it was just the two of us, it made the day special. Whether we’re hosting anyone or not this year, I think we’ll still go all out.
I start with a table runner; a sequin chevron beauty from our wedding day that gets rolled out for special occasions. I then add a long faux festive garland and build this out with additional foliage. This year I’m going for a mix of eucalyptus and foraged holly and pine, along with a few pine cones and candles. Linen napkins bought by my mum as a housewarming gift will be folded to create a little pouch for the cutlery, tied up with string and pinecones.
Festive Cooking and Baking
At Christmas, the kitchen is my domain. I’m told it’s taking the glory lap as I’m seldom seen in here on the other 364 days of the year. I make a mean roast though, even if I do say so myself.
Before I spent all my free time on DIY, I also used to enjoy baking in my downtime. Over the holidays, I plan to dust off the baking books and whip up some decadent desserts and creamy hot chocolates. If ever there was a year for a little festive indulgence, this is it. And there’s just something about the smell of freshly baked treats that says ‘Christmas.’
As first-time buyers on a budget, ‘shopping our home’ is a pretty common occurrence. Reusing, repurposing and moving things from room to room can really help to mix things up and trick your brain into feeling like you’ve created a brand-new space without breaking the bank. Most of our home makeover projects have been done on a serious shoestring budget – from our panted kitchen and revamped utility room to DIY art and gallery walls.
Another area that we keep a keen eye on is our expenditure on utilities. Getting the right supplier and installing smart controls that give you full control of energy usage is a no brainer. All those saved pennies mean there’s more money to put towards the next DIY project.
Follow Sinead on Instagram @SineadDoyle. Check out her blog at www.eyeheartthis.com
To date, over 100,000 customers have connected to natural gas with firmus energy and are enjoying the benefits that natural gas brings - from constant hot water, to more space in the home and garden, the flexibility of cooking with gas, more efficient boilers, the convenience of a gas fire at the touch of a button or simply being a better choice for the environment. Homes and businesses interested in making the switch to firmus energy natural gas can find out more by calling 0330 024 9000 or visiting www.firmusenergy.co.uk
For more stories from influencer Sinead just head to www.eyeheartthis.com
For the full article visit: www.localwomenmagazine.com/five-steps-to-a-cosy-christmas/