When cold weather arrives, we seem to have this intrinsic expectation that our homes should be warm and comforting. But for many of us, we’re struck by the realization that our houses feel cold and uninviting. Is this something that can be changed?
How to Cozy Up Your Home
Cozy is a subjective word. But for most of us, a cozy house is one that’s warm, inviting, familiar, comfortable, and peaceful. If you want your house to embody these traits, you need to step up and take some action. Here are a few suggestions:
- Upgrade Your Bedding
Your furniture is one of the primary ingredients in your home’s “cozy factor.” In particular, you should pay attention to bedding. An upholstered headboard, high thread-count sheets, supportive pillows, and thick comforters all work together to make people feel comfortable and cozy.
- Improve Your Lighting
Lighting is something few homeowners give enough thought, but it’s one of the more integral elements in a home’s overall look and feel. It sets the mood in every room and should be optimized accordingly.
“Overhead lighting, recessed can lights, wall sconces at eye level, table lamps, they all contribute,” lighting specialist Patty Donnelly says. “And when you put the light sources on a dimmer, you can create exactly the mood you want.”
It also matters what type of light bulbs you use. Many of the bulbs you’ll find on shelves today are energy efficient, yet harsh. They give off blue/white light that puts people on edge. By switching to lower-watt bulbs – like 60-watt – with a yellow, natural light, you can quickly warm up dark spaces.
- Add Warmth Underfoot
Did you know that carpet and rugs were originally designed to block the flow of cold air into the home through gaps in hardwood floors? And while we tend to think of rugs more in terms of aesthetics today, they still serve this functional purpose.
If you’re tired of walking on cold hardwood, tile, or vinyl flooring, some strategically placed rugs can make things a bit cozier.
- Install a Fireplace
Nothing gives off cozy vibes quite like a fireplace. It’s warm, inviting, and provide s a nice decorative aesthetic to any room. If you don’t already have a fireplace, consider installing one. And while you have multiple options – including gas, wood burning, and electric – the latter choice is the easiest to integrate into an existing space.
“As more and more people move to a greener lifestyle, electric fireplaces are becoming a go-to choice,” eFireplaceStore explains. “Electric fireplaces are a more sustainable option when compared to gas and wood burning fireplaces. Electric fireplaces are eco-friendly, give off no fumes, you can recycle them, and many plug into a standard electrical outlet.”
- Make it Smell Good
Smell is one of the most powerful scents we have. A house that smells good instantly feels more inviting. Use this to your advantage by leveraging essential oils, candles, potpourri, herbs, and spices. (You should also be cognizant of where bad smells come from. Keep your house clean, avoid excess moisture, and deal with problem areas like trash cans, refrigerators, and dirty laundry.)
- Personalize Spaces
You want your house to feel like it’s lived in. Not in the sense that it’s dirty and disheveled, but in a way that people sense memories are made here. This can be done by integrating family photos and heirlooms into your interior design.
- Mix and Match
While there’s something to be said for shopping at Ikea and buying a “room in a box,” too much of this can make your house feel like a sterile copy of a magazine advertisement. Feel free to loosen the reins and switch things up.
“Mix and match,” designer Julie Blanner suggests. “Your furniture doesn’t have to come in a set, and maybe shouldn’t! It feels so much more interesting to mix and match color, style or both.”
Bring Your House to Life
Every house is unique, but there’s something to be said for having cozy spaces that make people feel warm, comfortable, and at ease. As you redesign and upgrade your living spaces, consider some of the ways you can make your house more inviting to friends, loved ones, neighbors, and guests. It’s just as much an exercise in hospitality as it is design.