Americans discovered new ways to keep warm in cooler homes this winter -- ideas that might come in handy next winter.

Heavy fabric in two layers (one an insulated lining cloth) and shutters with movable louvers are good insulators when opened during sunny hours and closed at dusk.

Wall-to-wall carpeting is another sensible answer, especially if there is a concrete slab under foot or a wood or vinyl floor installed over it. Concrete retains moisture, of course, and uncarpeted concrete floors will feel cold to the touch.

Carpet can provide additional insulation when it is continued up the wall a few inches to provide a baseboard. Even the tiniest gap between the carpet's edge and the vertical wall can permit precious heat to escape. Making a base of carpet, instead of the more traditional wood or vinyl, also makes for easier maintenance. The vacuum attachment is all you need.

Decorative smaller rugs, laid over the carpet, make for double insulation, and can often establish the color scheme and provide a decorative pattern for an entire room.

In a small but cold parlor, I used this dynamic duo to warm up the floor. The room, only 12-by-15, was a natural for carpet, because the single taupe color could be matched to the painted walls, creating visual spaciousness.

At right angles to the rust chaise, and neatly fitting under the window, is a Parsons table, lacquered in the same off-white color as the chaise. A white-lacquered, antique wicker chair and a good reading lamp and plants complete the furnishings in this sitting space dominated by the strong pattern and deep rich rust and blue of the Oriental rug.

Once warm weather returns, roll up the rug for storage, and use the smaller Oriental rug against the cool parquet, a perfect answer to your need for seasonal change.