7 Secrets To Creating a Cozy Home
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Wondering how to make a cozy home for yourself this winter? Keep reading!
Let’s take a look at some simple decorating tips that will help you achieve a really cozy feeling in your home!
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The biggest compliment I can receive from someone is when they say “Your home is so cozy”! It makes me think that my guests feel comfortable in my house.
A lot of times I get asked how I make my home cozy, so I decided to write this post. I will be talking about the things I try to do when I am decorating, and hopefully you can also try some of these things out to make your home more inviting, too!
Having a cozy home you know you can retreat to is one of the most important elements of well being.
Everyone wants to feel good in their space
The need for a place to feel safe in dates back to prehistoric days when we lived in caves: at first it was just a small space lit by a warm fire.
Whether it’s a cave, a studio apartment or a 15 bedroom mansion, the principle remains the same.
It’s part of being a human and is essential in order to feel calm and relaxed.
- Maybe you just bought a new house and it’s filled with builder-grade colors and finishes and it feels sterile and lacking in personality.
- Maybe you’re a student living in a college dorm and you want to make your room more inviting.
- Or maybe you have never decorated before in your life but you just feel like something isn’t quite “right” about the vibe of your home.
When it comes to giving your home a certain “feeling”, a lot of us just don’t know where to start.
Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint what’s wrong and it’s difficult to figure out exactly what changes we need to make.
So we scour the internet for inspiration, save countless photos on Pinterest and search for hours but get nowhere.
Why does it feel that way?
Because when you take a step back and look at all the photos you’ve saved, you realize none of those inviting and inspirational pictures actually look like your own bedroom or living room.
So the million-dollar question is: how do you make your house cozy?
The good news is, it’s not as hard as you may think!
It doesn’t take much to create a cozy and comfortable home for the winter or any other season.
You may even already have what you need lying around!
There are a few key elements that we’ll look at together below, that will help you achieve the feeling of coziness within your house.
Most of these elements can be repeated in whichever room you feel needs the most “cozy-ing” up. They apply to any room in the house.
So friends, let’s do this.
Read on to find out how to how to make your home warm and inviting when you need it most!
7 Interior Design Tips for a Cozy Home
1. CREATE WARMTH THROUGH LIGHTING
The importance of good lighting
There is a reason why lighting is the first tip to making your home cozy! There is perhaps nothing more important than good lighting to create a cozy atmosphere.
If you’re not sure how to design a warm room, start by assessing your lighting situation.
- How many light sources are there in your room?
- What is the design of each light? Do you like it?
- Are the bulbs you are using warm or cool?
Any harsh, single overhead lighting should be avoided.
Instead, make sure you have an abundance of task lighting, table and floor lamps, candles (preferably scented!), and ambiance lighting.
When the sun goes down, create clusters of illumination where you want focal and conversation points to be.
If introducing additional lights and re-jigging your lighting situation is out of the question for financial reasons, at least make sure you are only using warm bulbs throughout the rooms that you want to cozy up.
What is cold lighting versus warm lighting? The temperature of your light bulb tells you how yellow (warm) or how blue (cold) your bulb is.
Warm white is around 3000k and cool white is around 5000k. So the higher the K (kelvin), the colder the light.
This is why candlelight is so cozy – the color temperature of a candle is about 1850k – a very warm light!
If you have cold temperature lights in your home, BANISH THEM! They are doing you NO favors!
Seriously friends, this is so important.
I remember spending a lot of time in kitchens lit with overhead neon tubes and feeling so incredibly ill at ease, I just wanted to run away. I felt like I was sitting in an interrogation room rather than at a nice family dinner!
Swap those cold bulbs out for warm bulbs and I promise you that change alone will make a huge difference.
If the world of lighting temperature and light bulbs fascinates you, then go check out this article where it explains it a lot better than I do.
String lights add a wonderful bohemian vibe to any room. You can pretty much put them anywhere and not go wrong if that is the look you are after.
In the photo above, you can see how I have some draped over a painting which hangs above my bed’s headboard.
If fairy lights are a little too whimsical, you could try sophisticated string of globe lights instead.
Cozy bathroom lighting
What about in the bathroom?
Well, you can even cozy up your bathroom by plugging in a cute nightlight with low wattage and leave it on most of the day.
This is especially great for dark, windowless condo bathrooms like mine. 🌚
Lately I’ve been using this Scandinavian style wax burner which doubles as a super cozy dim lamp in my bathroom.
You could also install a motion sensor light strip under you vanity so that every time you walk in during the night it creates a nice glow at your feet! Very inexpensive yet effective way to create a cozy bathroom!
Here are a couple of the most highly rated light bars on Amazon – click on either image to check them out!
I have also slowly begun filling my home with Philips Hue light bulbs; I adore the fact that you can change the color of each light bulb to whatever your mood dictates.
In the evenings I love dimming all the lights to a soft warm orange. Or sometimes I’ll use HueSynch when I’m watching a movie, for a full immersion experience!
Hue bulbs are also dimmable and work with Google Home and Alexa, so you can control color, dimming and turn them off and on with your voice!
Hue bulbs don’t come cheap, but they last for years and are well worth the investment if you are a lighting and smart home freak like I am.
If you’re interested in learning more about smart lighting, check out this guide.
You can buy starter kits on Amazon. You will not regret it!
2. ADD LIFE WITH PLANTS & FLOWERS
If you don’t have plants, you should seriously consider adding some right now!
Any living element in the home will help contribute to the cozy sensation (unless it’s a spider). 🕷️
Plants are cozy because they are living things.
|If you travel frequently and you’re afraid your plants will die, you can ask a friend or a neighbor you trust to come over and water your greenery.|
Be warned though: at some point or another some of your plants will die. It happens even to the most seasoned gardeners so don’t despair! It’s part of the learning process.
Plants can get expensive but there are lots of ways to save money and still have a home full of lush greenery:
- learn to propagate your existing plants
- ask for cuttings from your friends and family
- pick up fallen succulent leaves from garden centers and propagate them (just ask the store manager for permission – they always say yes since they’d be thrown out anyways!)
The other wonderful thing about having lots of plants means you get to accessorize with just as many glorious vessels!
Plants housed in pots, planters and baskets are in and of themselves very cozy and have the benefit of adding textural pops of interest to any room.
→ Choose pots and planters in warm tones like terracotta or in warm metallics like brass.
→ Choose baskets in seagrass or other natural woven materials.
- These 9 indoor hanging plants are incredibly easy to care for and look GREAT!
- And these 9 low light plants are great for those who have darker homes!
- You can even grow plants directly in water – these plants are fantastic for doing that!
Of course, fresh flowers are always a beautiful touch – any interior designer or decorator will tell you that.
It may seem like a splurge, but fresh flowers can actually last quite a long time if you’re diligent about changing the water and trimming the stems.
You can also divide one bouquet and spread it around several vases in the house.
Here is a great tip I read awhile ago on Brightside:
The random placing of flowers at home will give you the feeling that they’re always present in your home — not just around celebrations.
Using faux greenery
Intimidated by living plants? Use faux greenery instead.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong if you prefer to decorate with fake plants and flowers. Don’t feel bad about it!
I would however try to stay away from anything too obviously fake (think 90s fake ivy draped on the tops of kitchen cabinets)…
Stretch your budget a little more and go for realistic faux greenery.
For example, I am in LOVE with the faux flowers and greenery from Fox Flowers – it’s honestly impossible to tell that their flowers are not real!
I discovered Fox Flowers on Instagram and fell in love instantly – follow their account for daily floral inspiration!
*UPDATE 2022 – Fox Flowers has rebranded and become “We are Fox” – unfortunately they no longer carry faux flowers and instead now specialize in dried floral arrangements.*
There are some options that are really beautiful and don’t look cheap at all – from a distance you wouldn’t be able to tell they are fake!
Check out my absolute favorite faux fiddle leaf fig trees right here!
3. WARM UP YOUR SPACE WITH RUGS & TEXTILES
Rugs are A HUGE cozy addition to the home!
Why are rugs cozy?
Hardwood and laminate flooring are great, but can get chilly under your feet in the cooler seasons. The same goes for tile.
By placing layers between yourself and the floor, you will be guaranteed to feel instantly warmer and more cozy.
|TIP → If you can’t buy a big area rug, you can layer multiple smaller ones, which can create an even more inviting effect!|
There is not a single place in the house that does not benefit from having a beautiful rug.
In the bathroom and kitchen, you can also use rugs – lots of people are decorating with beautiful Persian rugs in their bathrooms and kitchens nowadays!
But if that’s not for you, in the bathroom don’t forget a plush bathmat!
There is literally nothing worse than stepping onto a cold and damp bathroom floor after a shower. NOT cozy! (And dangerous.)
Treat yourself to a plush bathmat if you don’t have one, you deserve it!
Personally I like to buy my bathmats white, so that I know when it’s time to wash them (it’s always sooner than you think).
Then I just use bleach when needed to make them look like new again.
USING RUGS MAKES YOUR ROOMS COZY!
Remember: rugs are like artwork for the floor!
If you have a jute or natural fibre rug, try layering a Moroccan or Persian style rug on top – it looks stunning. Coziness to the max!
When the warmer seasons approach, you can always strip back the layers and store the warmer rugs until fall/winter the following year. It’s also fun to switch up the decor that way.
Do you have carpets? Well then you’re already a step ahead in the coziness department. Carpets insulate, soften and warm up rooms.
However, don’t discount adding rugs to your home if you have carpets. You can ABSOLUTELY use rugs on top of carpet if you want to.
Just try to make sure you choose a rug with a color scheme that works with your existing carpet.
Best places to shop for reasonably priced rugs
Rugs can be expensive but they don’t have to be.
There are definitely some perfectly acceptable mass-produced machine-made rugs that are very affordable.
For reasonably priced vintage rugs, check here:
Etsy (you have to shop around to find deals)
Loom & Kiln
The Southern Loom
Rebecca & Genevieve
4. ADD TEXTURE
How do I add texture to my home?
Easy! Place textural objects in your home that you love to touch, or would feel compelled to touch.
Think about when you go shopping: do you touch the things you feel drawn to? I do it all the time! Often, “touchable” items will have interesting textures.
Encourage this behavior in your own home too!
Texture is the surface quality of a material. Texture adds depth and helps add coziness to a space.
Here are some ways to instantly add texture which will cozy up your rooms:
- Place woven baskets containing extra pillows and throw blankets.
- Use textiles in inviting fabrics such as chunky knit, velvet, faux fur and linen.
- Pile on the pillows!
- Mixing accessories in materials like leather, ceramic and wood will also create appealing tactile experiences and sensations.
- A simple but well-styled shelf of books is a cheap and effective way of adding texture to a room.
- If you don’t have a shelf, stack your books. Stacks are satisfying to look at if they’re neat!
If your book covers aren’t attractive or cohesive, flip them around so that you see the side with the pages instead of the spines.
Some people are against doing this because you can’t see what book it is at a glance anymore.
But guess what, it’s your house, so you get to do whatever the hell you want!
You can also group your books by color to create a quick cohesive look.
Check out these 17 ways to display and organize your books if you need more ideas!
|There are lots of different terms besides cozy (or “cosy”, depending on where you’re from!) to define the feeling of well-being within the home. |
COUSINS OF COZY: “hygge”, “warm and inviting”, “haven”, “retreat”, “nest”, “sanctuary” – they are all variations on the same theme!
5. COZY UP WITH CURTAINS
Do you use sheers or blinds? For an extra layer of coziness in the winter, try swapping out your lighter weight curtains for some luxurious heavy drapes with thermal lining.
They will not only help keep the heat in, but will add extra softness and – you guessed it! – coziness to the room.
The tasseled, macrame style curtains pictured above from Anthropologie aren’t lined but they sure are pretty!
Make sure to check out this post for some easy but SUPER EFFECTIVE tips for hanging your curtains like a pro!
6. HANG ARTWORK & MIRRORS
Nothing screams 📢 UNCOZY like blank walls.
Avoid completely empty walls
If you don’t have anything AT ALL hanging on your walls and you’re wondering why your place feels so stark, then get hanging!
(Check these 17 awesome ideas for decorating large walls!)
It can absolutely be an incredibly striking design choice to keep a wall entirely bare and feature just one piece of art. But if you are taking that route with your art, make sure that it’s intentional and not just because your wall art was an afterthought.
If you aren’t in a place where you can invest in original artwork, prints are always a good and (usually) economic way to go.
TRY THESE SITES FOR BEAUTIFUL ARTWORK AT AFFORDABLE PRICE POINTS:
Etsy– you can buy printables of beautiful artwork in any style for little more than the price of a coffee. The catch? You need to get it printed yourself. But you save a lot of money. You can also buy printed pieces directly but they will cost a little more. And as always Etsy offers original art if you have a little more wiggle room in your budget.
Redbubble – on-demand art printed on a huge number of different items. Your purchases support independent artists by shopping at Redbubble as they get a small commission if you buy their work.
Society6 – exactly like Redbubble, but they have a more interesting variety of items that you can get art printed on. There are hundreds of thousands of different artists on both platforms so it’s work checking them both out.
Desenio – go check Desenio for a more curated selection of on-trend artwork.
Minted – sooo much good art from independent artists!! If you’re on a budget, buy unframed.
Besides painting and prints, you can also hang:
- fiber art
- textile wall hangings
- beautiful quilts
- your own personal photographs
- your children’s artwork
If you’re renting and aren’t allowed to use nails, then opt for adhesive command strips or hooks that won’t leave holes in your walls.
|TIP → You can also try leaning larger scale framed art and mirrors directly against the wall.|
7. DON’T FORGET FRAGRANCE & SCENT
The power of scent
What you see is important, but what you smell is just as important! Never underestimate the power of scent.
If your home looks amazing but still smells like the cod you fried up last night … you are doing your home and the hard work you put into it a disservice!
There are a lot of different ways to scent your home, all you need to do is pick which way is your favorite, and obviously pick a scent you love.
Try wax melts, scented candles, incense, DIY stovetop potpourri, fresh fragrant flowers … whatever makes your nose happy!
If you make a point of having a home that smells amazing, trust me, you’ll never want it any other way.
When the Amazon delivery guy asks what smells so good, you know you’re on the right track! 👃✔️
Every home can benefit from adding a little cozy comfort! What changes can you make right now to up your cozy game?
Great and creative article post on how to make a cozy home.
I have always wondered why some home feels cozy, but I can never pinpoint the reason. So, I appreciate that this post shared that the sense of comfort, warmth, and coziness comes from lighting.
You’ve written it so well, and you have some really good ideas. This post is outstanding!