The Dominion Post

Stay stylish and snuggly

- Joanne Butcher

I’m the kind of DIYer who is keen to tackle any job around the home, until I’m halfway through. Case in point: I’ve spent the past few weekends turning an empty cupboard behind my woodburner into a log store.

There was the fun bit of ripping down the old GIB and framing with a hammer. Then there were the long hours filled with sandpaper and masking tape and regret at not paying a profession­al to do it for me.

Still, I’m pleased with the finished result, now it’s painted in a smoky grey-blue and filled with neatly-stacked rounds trimmed from a felled tree in my garden.

The dark shade and the natural textures make the room feel extra snug as the wintry nights draw in, and it’s hard to beat a real flame for the ultimate cosy factor.

If you’re in need of some warming inspiratio­n for your place, turn to pages 4 and 5. Reporter Joanna Davis has been hunting out homes where the owners have nailed that balance of stylish and snuggly.

Think fireplaces, throws and mood lighting, all perfect to curl up in with a glass of red wine.

But of course, there’s no point in your home looking warm and inviting, if it’s actually an icebox once you get inside.

So we asked the experts what works best to keep your home warm and dry – and what doesn’t.

Turn to page 8 to bust some home-heating myths, and find out what it’s worth spending on before the winter cold really bites.

Get it right, and you might not need anywhere near as much wood for your burner.

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