Make Your Home Cozy

Recently, I keep hearing the word "cozy" when clients describe what they want for their home. That's a common goal for many people when decorating. While working with these individuals, it got me thinking about what makes a space cozy? This feeling is evoked in different ways for different people. What I think is cozy may not be what you think is cozy. That being said, is there a general formula people can use for achieving coziness? I think so.

When looking to make your space cozy, include the following elements. These decisions are sure to add up to your own unique coziness.

1.  Color - In general, warm colors create a cozy feel. Colors such as browns, reds and golds are warmer. However, you shouldn't limit yourself to just these colors. Truthfully, every color has a warm version when you look at a paint deck. Choose a color that feels like it is bathed in sunlight. This applies to even grays and blues. Some just feel cooler and some warmer. The warmer tones tend to feel more inviting and comfy.

For some people, darker colors create a cozy feel. Don't be afraid to try a dark color. This choice can go a long way in creating that cozy atmosphere. Darkness can deliver a room that is wrapped in warmth and quite snug.

2. Rugs - Cold and barren floors create the opposite of cozy. Putting something soft underfoot is a must for a cozy space. The choices are numerous. Consider the color and texture when selecting your rug. Again, choose a color that conveys warmth. Texture alone is associated with coziness. Soft shags or plush piles offer a feel that is inviting and makes you want to stay. Consider layering as well. You can add a rug on top of carpet or another rug to further define your space and add extra interest.

3. Textiles - Much like the texture of a rug, the touch and feel of textiles is essential for cozy spaces. Soft knits, velvets, furs (or faux furs) or Egyptian cotton are luxurious and beg to be touched. Snuggling up to these fabrics is the epitome of coziness. Use these fabrics for upholstery, pillows, bed linens and even draperies. Layer these fabrics to achieve a stronger welcoming feel.

4. Personal items - Nothing makes a space cozy like making it feel like home. This is achieved best through the use of personal items. Surround yourself with photographs of family and friends or keepsakes from your travels. Include an heirloom piece of furniture or a bowl that was a wedding gift. All of these items are uniquely yours and creates a personal space that is both familiar and comfortable.

5. Lighting - The feel of a room can be drastically changed by lighting. Including task and accent lighting is an important part of making a room feel cozy. Lamps are often the easiest way to achieve a lighting plan that creates an inviting environment. Remember to choose three way bulbs whenever possible too. Sometimes less light is more cozy. Another way to accomplish a flexible lighting option is to install a dimmer on your main light source. This is a simple and inexpensive project that provides tremendous results. Just turn the light up or down to set the mood and reach your ultimate coziness!

6. Fire - For extra warmth, include an element of fire in your space. Obviously, this includes a fireplace. Be sure to use your fireplace whenever possible. Results are far better when there are actually flames. The fire provides both physical and visual warmth for your space. Unfortunately, not everyone has a fireplace and they usually can't be used year-round. So, utilize the next best thing....candles. The soft glow and atmosphere created by candles is unmistakably cozy. Use them as decor and light them often. Don't want to worry about the actual fire? Purchase flameless candles instead. There are many options available for battery operated candles that look very realistic.

7. Books / Reading Nook - Many people associate relaxation with coziness. Reading is often people's activity of choice for relaxation at home. So why not create a space conducive to reading. Be sure to have a comfortable chair, proper lighting, a small table to place a drink or book upon and a throw blanket in case you need to snuggle up while reading. This reading nook can be a special little get-away within your space. Place books around the room as well for decor. Not only do they look nice, but if reading is a past-time of yours, placing your favorite books in the room is just adding personal items like mentioned in number 4. 

This formula is a simple way to approach a room when decorating. Including your own version of these elements will certainly create a cozy space for you.