Amor Fati London

If your home feels like a freezer these days, you're not alone. There are several reasons why your home might be colder than usual, including the UK's efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, rising fuel costs, and more extreme weather due to climate change. But there's also a more fundamental issue: UK homes just aren't designed for warmth. In this article, we'll explore the history of UK housing and why it's not doing such a hot job (pun intended) at keeping us warm, as well as some ways to stay warm and embrace the cosy lifestyle.

The history of the UK house

UK home has remained relatively unchanged since Victorian times, with most being brick-built, two stories, and featuring large windows and pitched roofs. These houses work well in the country's temperate climate, but they're not as effective at retaining heat in the face of rising fuel costs and extreme weather. In the past, fireplaces were common in every room, but these have mostly been replaced with less effective radiators. The two-story design of many homes means that heat rises to the upper floors, leaving the ground floor feeling like an icebox. Large windows, while great for letting in natural light, also allow heat to escape. All of these factors contribute to the need for heated clothing to keep us warm in our own homes.

Climate purposed housing

And there’s a good reason why UK houses are so similar: they work. Quick to build, robust (people are still living in houses hundreds of years old), and practical for our temperate climate. There was no need for heated clothing. The brick house did a decent job of keeping a comfortable temperature, and carbon-based fuel was cheap and plentiful when needed.

But anyone who has travelled to places like Scandinavia or Southern Europe know that climate affects local architecture. The two regions developed styles to match their predominant weather. Reflecting that, our architecture sat in the middle ground between the two. But with the pincers of increasing costs and more extreme weather, we are finding the disadvantages of our housing.

Why brick houses are bad at keeping you warm

One of the main issues with UK housing is the lack of insulation. Older houses would always feature fireplaces, which provided not just heat but also a cosy atmosphere. However, these have mostly been replaced with metal radiators, which are less effective at warming the entire house. Additionally, the two-story design of many homes means that heat rises to the upper floors, leaving the ground floor feeling colder. The large windows, which are great for creating light and airy rooms, are also terrible for insulation. They allow heat to escape, and on very cold days, you may even feel a draft near the windows. All of these factors contribute to the overall chilliness of UK homes.

The cool Britannia lifestyles

Our lifestyles also play a significant role in how we feel the cold of our homes. And these aren't always as logical as you might think.

Working from home has a bigger impact than you might imagine. Heating costs increase because it’s used all day. But it also affects how we feel the temperature. Humans don't feel temperature accurately but do notice changes. Someone spending all day in a home at 18º may feel chilly because they don't experience anything colder. Someone coming in after a cold commute will, however, love the warmth when they get home.

Why offices are warmer

But as well as living our lives on the cooler, ground floor areas of our homes, we also live more solitary lifestyles. There has been a growing trend of smaller households, and even without heated clothing, that means less body heat in a room. People may think that offices are warm because of heating, but a lot of the heat is from so many people (and the gentle warmth of technology) in a small area. But even pulling on your warmest jumper might not be enough to compete with other changing tastes.

Recent trends have made living areas cooler in both senses:

  • Solid floors do not have the insulating effect of wall-to-wall carpeting. You’re not protected from the effect of cold concrete or an underfloor void. 
  • Shutters are replacing curtains. These lack the fabric layers of curtains that could trap air and add to the insulation.
  • Minimalist fashions result in starker rooms. This means there are fewer objects, like soft furnishings, that can absorb heat.

The dream of hygge

The concept of hygge is all about creating a comfortable and cosy atmosphere, often through the use of warm blankets, candles, and soft lighting. It's a way to embrace the feeling of being warm and content, even if the temperature outside is freezing. In the UK, we can adopt a similar approach by incorporating elements like warm beverages, cosy blankets, and comfortable clothing into our daily routines. Heated clothing can be a great way to embrace the cosy hygge lifestyle while also staying warm. A heated jacket or pair of gloves can provide heat directly to your body, keeping you warm even in a cold house or office.

The English version of hygge

Hygge, in the UK, tends to conjure images of a plush sofa, maybe a hot chocolate and a warm blanket (and perhaps it’s time to add heated clothing to that list). It’s about snuggling in and feeling toasty. In fact, those images have long been around and used in everything from advertising to drama to signal feelings of security, comfort, and luxury.

It conjures up heat that is close and tactile. It isn't just warmth, it’s the warmth that envelops you. Has anyone ever imagined a cosy scene of warming their hands by an ugly radiator bolted to the wall? Heat, it seems, is something we want to be soft, gentle, and close to.

The UK market has reflected this. Although once seen as the domain of old people’s beds and legs, blankets have seen a resurgence in popularity. Blankets with sleeves were even a must-have a few years ago. But while these have their attractions, they also have disadvantages. They aren't clothing and impede mobility. It might be nice to be under a warm blanket while you work, but when you remove it to get up, you just feel cold. And while sleeves on a blanket are cosy, they aren’t terribly practical for working.

Why the heated jumper is the cosy solution

Heated clothing is a practical solution to the problem of cold homes, and it allows you to focus on feeling warm and comfortable. Plus, with so many stylish options available, you can stay warm in style while wearing heated clothing. Whether it's a heated jacket, gloves, or socks, there's a heated clothing option to suit everyone's needs. And with the added bonus of being able to reduce your reliance on central heating and potentially save money on energy costs, heated clothing is a win-win situation.

In conclusion, if you're finding that your home is colder than usual, there are several reasons why this might be the case. From the UK's push to reduce its carbon footprint to rising fuel costs and more extreme weather due to climate change, there are plenty of factors at play. However, one of the most fundamental issues is that UK homes just aren't designed for warmth. Rather than trying to heat your entire home, consider investing in some heated clothing to keep your body warm and comfortable


Don't forget to check out our Heated Jumper here!

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