Winter warmer – create a cosy ambience in your rental property

Winter warmer – create a cosy ambience in your rental property

18 June 2018

Waking up to snow-capped mountains and a chill in the alpine air is all part of the joy of living in Queenstown in winter. But after a day on the slopes there’s nothing better than returning to a house that feels cosy and snug, where you appreciate being home!

Here are our tips for making the most of your Queenstown property this winter.


If you’re lucky enough to live in a sun-soaked property, keep your curtains open during the day for maximum solar gains. In the evening draw the curtains or blinds to keep the heat in, and dim the lights for a cosy ambience and a better night’s sleep.


We all know that Queenstown property can vary significantly in the quality and quantity of heating and insulation, however by July 2019 insulation must be installed in all rental properties where practicable to install. For this winter, ensure any free-standing heaters have good airflow around them (don’t cover them in wet ski gear) and don’t place furniture in front of panel heaters or radiators, as then the heat has nowhere to go. Use timers or thermostats if available to ensure the property is warm when you want it to be, and not powering through electricity unnecessarily. Use dry wood in burners and keep it stored under cover – using green, unseasoned wood expends its energy in drying (not heating) when lit, smokes a lot, and creates more build-up. If possible buy well in advance for next season.


Some simple maintenance can make all the difference to a warm, safe home, so please contact your Property Manager if you have queries with carrying out/arranging this. Check your guttering/spouting for the build-up of autumn leaves, which can cause clogs and overflows of water and lead to damp within the property, as well as puddles of ice on the ground. Clean your heatpump filters and your range hood filter; these will then function more efficiently, and as a bonus could save you money on your electricity bill. Check that your hot water tank is properly lagged, the insulation will keep the water warmer for longer. And check your window seals and talk to your property manager about replacing if damaged – keep that heat in! Lastly, have your chimney swept every year to remove the build-up of combustible materials, to ensure that it draws well, and to check for damage to the lining of the burner.


Create a feeling of warmth with rich, dark colours around your home – think a dark brown throw, deep red cushions and colourful coasters. Warm metals also add to the vibe, stop into those little second hands shops when you’re driving around and have a rummage for copper or brass antiquities. Adding a rug to floorboards, especially in your bedroom, makes waking up to the cold much more tolerable, as do electric blankets and thermal bedding. Update your electric blanket if it’s a few years old, and be sure to follow the instructions to avoid the risk of overheating or arcing. Lastly, try a few mirrors out around the place, the reflection of light will brighten up the space.

Blankets and bottles

Stock up on chunky woolen blankets or fluffy, snuggly throws. Layering your furniture with knits and cushions of differing fabrics and textures creates a comforting feeling of nesting, of winter hibernation, and keeps you warm at the same time. Before cosying up in front of the TV, try making a cuppa and a hot water bottle, rather than reaching for the heating controls. Placing a hottie on your lower back warms your system quickly, then your blankets will keep the heat in.


Try starting your day with some exercise, or if you’ve been sitting for a while and cooled down, take five minutes to get your blood pumping again. Designate an area of your room that’s ‘your space’ (make it easy for yourself) and then give your limbs a light workout. Get up and get your blood circulating.


Lastly, invest in a crock-pot and pop a stew or soup on low before you go out, then come home to the familiar and comforting smells of home-cooked food. Warm yourself from the inside out! Or play it safe with your favourite cookie recipe – prepare the dough in the morning (or buy it from Cookie Time), pop it in the fridge, and bake when you get home. Leave the oven door open when they’re done so the delicious aroma can spread to the living areas.

If you have any queries about your rental property this winter, please do get in contact, we’re here to help.