4 Easy Steps to a Cozy Home

Design Help: Cozy up. What you could/should put above your bed.
*that’s me as a baby learning how to layer, it’s related I promise 😉

This week, I bring you 4 easy peasy steps to make your home more cozy.  Ready?  Here we go!

While there are many many ways to help improve your home’s cozyiness level, these four give you the most impact and can be implemented quickly.  You may even have some of the items in storage already.  Let’s begin at the bottom and work our way to the top.

Number 1:  Rugs!  Take a look at your floor.  Maybe you see wood, imitation wood, tile, carpet, linoleum, cement, etc, but, do you see a rug?  If no, then we have discovered your first coziness crusher!  Rugs add a layer of texture and dimension to your space. They also help to visually ground your furnishings.  Take a minute to visualize ‘cozy.’ What does this word mean to you?  Perhaps you think of thick socks 😉 blankets, scarves, and/or arms wrapped around you…these are all layers put upon/added to yourself.  In order to feel cozy, your home needs to ‘layer up’ too. Depending on room and rug size, you may wish to actually layer more than one rug; just so they overlap each other a bit (not stacked directly on top of one another).  In general, it’s a good idea to stick to neutral tones without a lot of pattern. This way, the rug is more likely to match your decor even if you change color palettes every so often.  No worries about it looking boring though, rugs come in a variety of textures and materials! I guarantee it is still possible to feel overwhelmed by all the choices.  I recommend choosing your rug in person so you can feel the texture and see if it would be comfortable under your feet or for sitting.  You will also be able to see if, and how much, the rug in consideration sheds (this can be a deal breaker, even for the most beautiful of rugs).  Lastly, make sure to buy your rug in a large enough size to fit the space properly.  I will do a future post on this to help demystify the ratio of rug size to furnishings and link it here later.

Number 2:  Pillows and throws!  As our eyes move up the room, we come to seat level.  Beds, couches, chairs, benches, nooks, on and on….these are all places that looooove  pillows and throws!  I think the magic number for most of your larger furnishings (ie sofas, beds, built-in dining tables, etc) is 4 to 5 pillows, depending on whether or not you are a fan of symmetry, and 1 throw (= the extra blanket that goes at the foot of the bed or casually tossed over the couch). Less than this and your coziness factor suffers.  More than this and you run the risk of needing to store the pillows somewhere else when you want to sit down/sleep (I’m looking at you Along Came Polly pillow scene). Smaller furnishings (ie chairs, benches, a futon folded into couch position-this counts as a small furnishing as the seat depth tends to be smaller than a regular couch, etc) can hold 1, maybe 2 pillows, or in the case of dining chairs, just a seat cushion/cover.  Unless it’s a futon, over-sized chair, or very large ottoman, I wouldn’t include a throw.  Cozy does not mean busy/over-decorated 😉

Number 3:  Lighting!  If you only have money/time for one of these steps, this is where you should spend it all. Lighting is so ridiculously important in achieving almost any design look, I think I will go ahead and write another post just for this as well. However, for right now, in relation to the cozy vibe we are aiming for, here is what you need (and again, the key word is layering):  1. Ceiling lights; either hanging or recessed, 2. Standing lamps, table lamps, and/or sconces, 3. Candles, floor or table lanterns, and/or miscellaneous lights (string lights, fairy lights, etc etc). You need at least two out of the three, but for optimum coziness levels go for all three. I would recommend installing a dimmer to any lights in numbers one or two.  Dimmed light is instantly more romantic and cozy; dimmers also save energy and the life of the bulb.  Win-win!

Number 4:  Curtains! We have now come to the top of the room and the fourth way to make your space cozier. Add curtains. It’s that simple 🙂 Most of the time, floor-length is the ticket, but there are some spaces that cozy up very nicely with ‘to the windowsill’ or ‘just below the windowsill’ lengths.  This is a matter of personal taste. Keep fabric in mind when curtain shopping. Ask yourself this: Do I want a thick, heavy curtain (equates with luxury, warmth, and depth) or a lighter version that lets in some light (adds a different type of warmth)?  Hanging curtains is a whole different topic so I will save that for another post.  Although they can be quite beautiful, blinds are in most cases not enough to achieve the cozy look; adding curtains gives you a fuller, more complete design.

Do you have cozy decorating tips/ideas?  I would love to hear them!

x Claire


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