The official start of astrological winter, marked by the winter solstice, is only weeks away. We’re all spending more time indoors and it’s at times like these we think about how we can bring that warmth and cosiness into our homes.

Our household energy bills tend to increase during winter and whilst there might be a slight drop in prices, the rise in the cost of living is still biting.

Here interiors’ expert Kate Conrad, founder of Madison and Mayfair, has come up with her top tips on how interior design can help bring warmth to your property, without breaking the bank.

Use colour tones that occur naturally in nature

Warm golds, greens, and the deep reds of autumn leaves can make a room a soothing space. This doesn’t just mean a new coat of paint for the walls: furniture made from real wood brings that natural, comforting warmth into the home.

You can compliment a neutral or dark toned sofa with cushions of different hues and embracing a variety of textures.

Lighting can make a room

Harsh, bright light bulbs with a bluish tone make us feel upbeat but something with a yellow tone is more gentle and calming – like the glow from a real log fire. You can also brighten up dark corners with lamps, continuing the warm colour palette with silk lampshades – perhaps brightened up with a ribbon in a contrasting, but warm, hue.

Play with different textures

Whether it’s a thick pile rug, a cosy faux-fur blanket or cushions, piled up in threes or fives and a mixture of deep piles and crisp silks. You can always use faux silk to cut the cost. But accessories aren’t just about fabrics: adding baskets, wall art and even plants brings variety and warmth.

Warmth and cosiness doesn’t have to focus on a sitting room: the bedroom is a perfect place to stay extra toasty whilst creating a chic, inviting personal space.

Traditionally people go for crisp, white sheets on beds but using the colours of nature in a bedroom brings warmth into the bedroom. Extra cosiness can be added with a textured woollen blanket, cushions and how about a rug by your bed to keep your toes toasty on winter mornings?

Everyone’s been given a candle as a gift at some point, particularly if you’ve been forced into an office secret Santa. But candles, particularly creamy pillar candles, are a wonderful way to bring warmth into your home.

They don’t have to be kept for when it’s dark outside: Both a beeswax candle or the scented variety can be used at any time of the day for those comforting scents and the beautiful, flattering light they throw.

Combine home-comforts with practicalities by making a feature out of winter accessories like logs for the fire or that must have for winter walks – a pair of wellies!

A wicker basket or hamper not only provides a convenient place to store these cold-weather essentials but nothing beats the smell of fresh logs as you walk into a home.