At the end of a long day, our homes are where we escape to. When we close the door, we are (in theory) supposed to be shutting out the stress of the outside world and being welcomed into a space that envelopes us with calm and peace.
Unfortunately, we’re not all so lucky to live in our dream homes or in space cleared of chaos and clutter, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t make where we live a warm and welcoming space.
Work with what you have
The key to creating a beautiful home lies in being able to work with the space you have. While we all might have ideas of what makes the perfect space to live in, very few of us are lucky enough to live in—or be able to build—that space. Instead, we have to learn to work with what’s available to us. Whether that’s a studio apartment tucked in the corner of a city, or a rambling farmhouse in the country, or a bland, suburban bungalow, with a little creativity and a willingness to explore new ideas, you can create a dream space—no matter what area you’re actually in.
The psychology of your home
For many people, your home is part of your self-definition. We recognize the importance of our homes, even as we strive to try to get into bigger and better ones. Your home cues memories, it gives you a specific feeling, and it can trigger emotions like happiness, calm, or stress, depending on what experiences you’ve had in your home and how it’s decorated, and even how clean it is. We add layers of significance to our homes in art, paint, furniture, and mementos. The creation of this space helps us build a sense of security, independence, autonomy and control. What all this means is that striving to make your home a place you really want to be isn’t vain or based only in consumerism, it’s essential to your mental wellbeing.
The merit of a cozy home
While the concept of coziness might be something we attribute to the colder months, having a comfortable home year-round is actually a great way to make your home more welcoming overall. Coziness is defined as “giving a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation.” Who wouldn’t want that 365 days a year?
But when the winter is coming, and you want to create a cozy space, focus on small details, like these:
- Change up your bedding
Nothing says: “come in and curl up” like a clean, fluffy bed. When the chilly weather starts to hit, swap out your silky sheets for something that will hold warmth like flannel or jersey. These sheets will be much more welcoming when the snow is swirling outside. Also, using different textures and weights like knit throws and textured pillows can make your bed much comfier and more versatile a place to laze away.
- Add rugs
Rugs help define a space and set a tone for your decor, but they also provide great warmth underfoot! If you want to up your home’s hygge, invest in a variety of rugs to help make larger spaces seem cozier and to make your floors a bit warmer on your bare feet. Also, don’t shy away from rugs if you have carpeting, you can easily layer a rug on neutral carpeting without it looking strange in the least.
- Get cozy seating options
Finding the perfect place to curl up with a good book is invaluable, which is why we recommend creating cozy seating options to do just that. Don’t be shy to try out chairs or sofas when you’re out shopping for them. Stretch out and really see if you would enjoy hanging out there. There’s nothing worse than buying something for looks alone and realizing you don’t actually want to sink down into it like you would with a Comfy Sack or other cushy option.
- Make use of soft lighting
Lighting is key to how your home makes you feel. Spend time experimenting with different light sources to make your home as appealing as possible. Use lower wattage bulbs or dimmers to give your home a warmer, softer glow. Not only is this more welcoming, it only helps with your electric bill!
- Layer your window coverings
To make the most of the natural light in your home without it being too harsh, consider using a double-hung curtain rod that allows you to layer the curtains for your room. Similar to a hotel, this option will let you go from blackout to light-filtering, to sheer and let you set the mood for the space instead of having to choose from wide open to the street or totally closed off. Also, consider the material your curtains use. Dark, heavy curtains can make a room look dark and heavy as well. Even if you require blackout curtains, look for them in white to make your space seem more approachable.
- Make use of candles
Nothing beats the gentle flicker of candlelight! When you want to make a space look like the ultimate cozy hideout, go to candles. A variety of candles can add a warm glow to your area that is cheap and easy to acquire. If you are blessed with a false or closed up fireplace, you can stack different sized candles in it to give the illusion of real fire.
Concerned about pets or kids around open flames? LED candles are now surprisingly realistic and often use actual wax on the outside.
- Keep things light
Dark colors can close off a room and make it seem heavy and airless. Just because you want a cozy space doesn’t mean you should lean towards dark colors. Instead, focus on neutrals and natural fibres to give a room a warm, bright feeling.
- Add pillows to everything
Pillows will always up a space’s coziness factor. Add them to couches, chairs, and—of course—beds! Different sizes, shapes, and patterns of pillows can immediately make a piece of furniture look more complete and make it more comfortable as well.