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8 ways to keep the winter chill out of your home — without turning up the heat

Banish those drafts by choosing the right curtains, windows, and more

Weather stripping and door snakes? Check and check. If your house is drafty and cold in the winter, you've likely already been looking at ways to batten down the hatches. From adding an interior vestibule, planting wind-blocking hedges, and reviving the lost art of portieres to using windows with the tightest seal, these eight ideas can help.

1. Add a vestibule. If your front door opens directly into your living space, consider building a small vestibule. A petite glassed-in version, like the one shown here, won't take up too much space and will still allow light to pass through. A vestibule will protect the interior from wind blowing in each time you open the door; it will also stop smaller drafts from seeping through day and night.

Image removed.Traditional Entry by Toronto Interior Designers & Decorators Douglas Design Studio

2. Hang portieres in open doorways. Floor-length drapes hung between rooms, called portieres, are an old tradition wel-worth reviving. They keep drafts in wide halls or unused rooms from making their way into warm spaces.

Image removed.Traditional Hall

(More from Houzz: Prepare for winter weather with new blankets and throws)

3. Enclose your porch. Just like adding a vestibule, enclosing a front porch is a great way to keep wind and drafts from entering a home. A covered porch has the added benefit of providing shelter to visitors as they wait for you to answer the door.

Image removed.Traditional Exterior by Chicago Photographers Cynthia Lynn Photography

4. Plant wind-blocking hedges. If winds are an issue around your home, planting tall hedges or installing another wind-blocking feature (a fence, trees) on the north side of your home can help keep those strong winds at bay.

Image removed.Traditional Landscape by Ann Arbor Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Land Architects, Inc.

(More from Houzz: December checklist for a smooth-running home)

5. Hang superthick drapes. Nice, thick fabrics, like velvet, especially when lined for extra warmth, do a good job of stopping drafts from seeping through windows into your rooms. Want even more warmth? Start with blinds or shades and layer heavy drapes on top.

6. Add functional shutters. Well-designed shutters, like the awning-style Bermuda shutters shown here, can be opened in summer to provide shade and shed rain, and shut in winter to block drafts and protect windows from strong (even hurricane-force) winds.

7. Choose awning or casement windows. There is a lot of talk about choosing insulated windows (which definitely helps!), but did you know that the style of your windows can affect how drafty they are? Some of the most common window types, including single- and double-hung and sliding windows, tend to leak a bit of air. Awning, casement, and fixed windows provide the tightest seal.

Image removed.Traditional Exterior by Minneapolis Architects & Building Designers TEA2 Architects

(More from Houzz: 15 smart design choices for cold climates)

8. Let the sun shine in. Be sure to open any curtains on south-facing windows during the day to let the sun warm your rooms.

Houzz helps you renovate and design your home from start to finish, whether you're decorating a small room or building a custom home and everything in between. Get started!

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