How to make a cozy home this winter
Having a cozy home you know you can retreat to is one of the most important elements of wellbeing.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
There are a few key elements 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.
1. CREATE WARMTH THROUGH 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.
- 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.
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!
Swap those cold bulbs out for warm bulbs and I promise you that change alone will make a huge difference.
String lights add a wonderful bohemian vibe to any room. You can pretty much put them anywhere.
If fairy lights are a little too whimsical, you could try sophisticated string of globe lights instead.
COZY BATHROOM LIGHTING
Well, you can even cozy up your bathroom by plugging in a nightlight with low wattage and leave it on most of the day.
This is especially great for dark, windowless condo bathrooms like mine.
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.
2. ADD LIFE WITH PLANTS & FLOWERS
Any living element in the home will help contribute to the cozy sensation
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 manager)
Choose pots and planters in warm tones like terracotta or in warm metallics like brass.
Choose baskets in seagrass or other natural woven materials.
Of course, fresh flowers are always a beautiful touch.
You can also divide one bouquet and spread it around several vases in the house.
USING FAUX GREENERY
There’s absolutely nothing wrong if you prefer to decorate with fake plants and flowers.
Stretch your budget a little more and go for realistic faux greenery.
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!
3. WARM UP YOUR SPACE WITH RUGS & TEXTILES
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.
There is not a single place in the house that does not benefit from having a beautiful rug.
There is literally nothing worse than stepping onto a cold and damp bathroom floor after a shower. NOT cozy! (And dangerous.)
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.
When the warmer seasons approach, you can always strip back the layers and store the warmer rugs until the following year.
4. ADD TEXTURE
HOW DO I ADD TEXTURE TO MY HOME?
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.
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.
6. HANG ARTWORK & MIRRORS
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!
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.
Besides painting and prints, you can also hang:
- fiber art
- textile wall hangings
- beautiful quilts
- your own personal photographs
- your children’s artwork
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.
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.
If you make a point of having a home that smells amazing, trust me, you’ll never want it any other way.
Every home can benefit from adding a little cozy comfort! What changes can you make right now to up your cozy game?