Do you have that one neighbor with the perfect house? The style seems to ooze out of her, and as a baby, she always had a bottle in one hand and a perfect throw pillow in the other. A house is only a house until you make it cozy, and then it becomes a home. Regardless of the season, every home can benefit from adding a little cozy comfort.
So, here are ten simple ideas that will make your home cozy without breaking the bank. Read on:
1. Round out the edges
Nothing screams “formal” more than straight, elegant lines. One of the top ten things you can do to make your home cozier is to soften out the edges and give a rounded curve to your home. Rounded throw rugs and softly padded furniture are the keys to rounding out stark and unforgiving lines of your home.
2. Have a soft touch
Textiles make any space feel like a home. Throw blankets draped across recliners, and soft pillows on the couch are great ways to make your home feel cozy and welcoming. Stick with soft color palettes, like those found in nature, on walls or trim to make your space feel inviting. Soft greens and blues, rich earth tones and even greys or dark browns can have a cozier feel than stark white on the walls and trim. Hang pictures with soft lines and warm scenes for an added touch of comfort.
3. Wood you like to stay
Wooden furniture and trim give an instant sense of calm, cozy, country cottage charm. Avoid the heavily polished and starched feel of formal wood, and get furniture that looks gently worn without looking battered. Wooden coffee tables, wooden end tables, wooden bookshelves, and wooden picture frames all mesh together for a perfectly cozy home.
If you have wood floors, add some softly colored scatter rugs to pull the comfortable look together. You can even find cheap faux wood planking to create an accent wall, or place it halfway up the walls to give an elegantly cozy feel to your spaces. Modern furniture with its stark blacks, harsh lines, and faux finishes lacks the down-home feel of genuine wood.
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4. Group furniture together to create a space
An overstuffed recliner next to a bookshelf, end table, and lamp create a little reading nook or push an old twin bed against a wall or under a window to create a comfortable day bed, perfect for snuggling with a good book. Don’t forget to add your throw blanket across the recliner, or cover the daybed with plump, soft pillows.
You can create a cozy conversation space by grouping chairs together in the living room, or add a relaxing corner in the bedroom with a chair and bookcase.
5. Light up your life
Consider using string lights in place of lamp light for a glowing, cozy space. You can wrap a string of lights around an imitation potted tree, like a palm. You can string them across a mantle or wrap them with ivy and cover a column in a finished basement.
Replace your light bulbs with soft light and lower wattage bulbs, so your guests don’t feel like they are being grilled for robbing a bank. Avoid overhead lights and use lamps whenever possible, and always stay away from fluorescent if you want to keep your space cozy and inviting. Of the ten things you can do to make your home cozier, lighting is the easiest to change to instantly create the perfect mood.
6. Add a touch of copper or brass
Copper, bronze, and brass are warm metals, giving your home space a cozy country feel. Lighting fixtures can feature these metals, or look for these in accents to display on your walls, tables, and shelves. Consider an old-fashioned brass lantern to hang from your ceiling, or antique bronze accessories to bring a relaxed, comfortable feel.
Hang and display copper cookware or antiques in your kitchen to warm the space. If you don’t have any of these metals, a quick trip to the hardware store will let you find metallic paints that can transform your existing pieces, for display purposes only.
7. Start the fire
Light a fire in your fireplace if you have one. If not, there are display fireplaces with electric fire patterns that will add a cozy feel to your home. An added benefit to fireplaces are the mantles, which you can decorate in any number of attractive and simple ways. Lighting candles is another way to soften your room, but never leave candles unattended.
Be very careful using scented candles or fragrant oils as these can release toxins that can be harmful to pets and small children. There are many choices of battery operated candles, some that appear completely realistic with a flickering “flame.” These are safe choices for those who have pets or tiny tots and can be used in any room in the house, from the bathroom to hallway. Again, changing your lighting is the easiest of the ten things you can do to make your home cozier, and nothing is warmer than fire.
8. Controlled clutter can make a home cozy
A cozy house that is warm and inviting looks lived in, not sterile. While displaying your collection of pizza boxes and soda cans isn’t a good idea, having stacks of books on the bookshelf, strategic placement of magazines or magazine racks near comfortable furniture, and throw blankets that are draped across furniture rather than neatly folded along the back are some ways to make your space feel comfortable and well loved.
If you have collections of things, find a way to incorporate them into your living spaces and show them off. Hang or display family photos in groups to catch the eye. Remember, this is a warm home, not a cold doctor’s office.
9. Bring the great outdoors inside
Not the mud on the bottom of your shoes. Leave that outside. Plants, glorious plants will brighten any room in the house. Potted plants full of lush greenery, indoor trees or shrubs like potted palms, or flowers on the window sill will add a perfect homey touch to your home.
If you lack a green thumb, try your hand at arranged willow or other branches you can find at any craft shop. For an added plus, try a small fish tank with brightly colored fish to add interest, if that appeals to you. Aquariums can be decorated in a number of ways, using any color of rocks, and the lighting can be a beautifully soft accent light. Only commit to this, however, if you are willing to take the time to care for your finned friends. Otherwise, take the dry aquarium and turn it into a fun terrarium with cacti, sand, or other planted flowers; you are only limited by your imagination.
10. Mix and match
Go wild with styles and achieve eclectic sophistication with simple coziness. Mix textures and accents, make classic color combinations with a few brightly colored pieces thrown in and add a leather recliner next to a fabric and wood couch. Mix and match styles for a unique look and feel to any space. Why not have a little fun while experimenting with these ten things to do to make your home cozy?
A cozy home is a lived-in home, so keep your choices informal and comfortable. Little homey touches throughout the house will make guests feel welcome while flaunting your own personal flair. If you have collections or crafts, displaying them is a unique way to show off your interests and talents in addition to any of these other ten things you can do to make your home cozier.