Heather Nette King is a Melbourne-based interiors stylist and writer for many leading interior titles and newspapers. The hallmarks of her styling are colour and vibrancy, and she writes passionately about peoples’ homes and how they live in them.

Feeling a crisp chill in the air can be such a lovely reprieve after a summer of scorching sun and hot north winds, but there comes a point in time when we want to keep the cool winds out, and the warm air in. Beautiful window treatments can be the finishing touch for every room, and when cleverly done, they can also provide myriad other benefits too.

What types of window treatments are most effective in insulating a room and preventing heat loss during the colder months?

Covering up your windows on a cool night can feel like giving your room a warm hug. Instantly, you’ve formed a protective barrier alongside your windows and doors that will insulate your home. The best forms of insulation are thick blinds, curtains and plantation shutters – and even better than that is a combination of these three. We tend to think about thick block-out blinds in terms of how they keep light out – but they also do a wonderful job of keeping heat inside, so they’re great for rooms with loads of windows or French doors. My favourite range is the Contemporary Block Out which has a colour range that spans from crisp white to only greys and blacks. If you really want to cosy things up, block-out curtains used in conjunction with blinds will give you a double-action guard against the winter chill. Plantation shutters are also incredibly effective at keeping heat inside as they are custom-made to fit snugly into your window frames and the thick PVC material is heat and moisture-resistant

How can properly installed curtains contribute to maintaining a warm and cosy atmosphere inside your home during winter?

When measured and installed correctly, curtains will go a long way to act as a barrier against heat loss. They can reduce drafts, and prevent warm air from escaping and cold air from entering. I like curtains to hang from well above the actual window frame, and to gently ‘puddle’ on the floor. This abundance of fabric will make your ceilings look taller (trust me) and also make it trickier for the heat to escape from indoors.

Are there specific materials for blinds or shades that offer better insulation and help to keep the cold air out?

Should they be looking at motorised blinds too, how would that impact the materials? Window furnishings constructed from thicker fabrics will of course provide more protection than say sheer curtain or blind fabrics. I adore the Sardinia range of curtains – it’s a semi-sheer fabric that is self-weighted to create a structural look and is perfect when combined with a block-out blind. And whilst we are talking about blinds, another great heat control hack is to install motorised blinds. Did you know that you can pair your blinds to your home tech? So now you can even open or close the blinds from your smartphone.

Can you share tips on layering window treatments to enhance their ability to lock in warmth and create a comfortable living space during winter?

Layering window treatments might sound a little bit cluttered and old-fashioned, but even the most sleek and minimal home can benefit from layering, without sacrificing style. The key here is selecting the materials and fabrics to suit your window style as well as the rest of your home. If there is an incredible view that you don’t want to block, then maybe eschew blinds and try a double-blind system that provides both a sheer layer as well a block-out bind layer.

Are there specific textures of fabrics that are currently popular in interior design that also have insulating properties to create a cosy winter ambience?

Across all popular trends, the look of linen is incredibly strong. From Brutalist through to Modern Coastal, Modern Country, Boho and Urban Contemporary, the textural look and feel of linen brings elegance and refinement to a space. A semi-sheer range such as the Sicily will work best when used in conjunction with a block-out blind. The Austere range of blinds in either Block-Out or Light Filtering also has a lovely textural linen look and they come in a glorious range of on-trend colours.

Using window treatments to lock in the winter warmth will also save you money on your energy bills, and help the planet by reducing our reliance on gas and electricity – so it’s a win-win for winter warmth.