We all want to create a cozy home. When someone tells me my home feels cozy, they could not pay me a better compliment. I don’t care about my home feeling perfect…perfect is boring. And too expensive.
I don’t need a huge house or a new house–just a cozy house where everybody feels welcome and safe and comfortable.
Cozy doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. Cozy means collected, lived-in, gathered over time. And that takes time.
Cozy takes patience.
You don’t need a huge budget or an interior design degree to create a cozy home–not at all. But I totally understand that everybody needs inspiration sometimes and this post is all about inspiring YOU to create the cozy home you’re desiring.
In this post, you’ll find ideas for cozying up your living space, your bedroom, the kitchen, books to inspire, and tons more.
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Create a cozy home starting in the living space
Starting in the place where your family probably spends the most time–the living room. Our house is on the smaller side and most evenings we find ourselves piled into the living room reading, watching TV, knitting, or with laptops. Here’s some easy ways you can get the homey feel you want in your living room.
- Add some comfy, pretty throws. The sports-themed fleece blankets can hang out in a ottoman or basket till you need them, but keep some pretty throws resting on armchairs. Here’s a few of my favorites:
- The same goes for pillows. The tiny throw pillows your couch came with are no good. Look for different sizes and different textures. I love these:
- Group collections together. Collections are so cool, but they don’t pack as much punch if they’re spread all over the house. Choose a shelf and group your vintage cameras, etc. together.
- Add a rug. Even if you have carpet, a rug ties a room together.
My “rule” for rugs is that it has to be big enough for the front legs of the furniture to be ON the rug. If it can’t reach to the front legs, it’s too small. With rugs, bigger is usually better. These are a few we have in our house:
- We have THIS RUG in our basement family room and it is SO cozy!
- This is the rug we have in our upstairs library space. It’s my kids’ favorite because it’s super thick.
- This is our living room rug.
- Paint your room a soothing color. To make it easier on yourself and decision fatigue, I like the idea of having one or two colors throughout the whole house. It’s easier on the eyes then having a different color in each room.
- My all-time favorite wall color is Benjamin Moore’s Ashwood.
- Add some black somewhere to your room. It adds depth. A chalkboard, black pillows to a cream couch–add some black somewhere.
- Add in some warm wood tones too.
- Choose large pieces of art to hang on your walls opposed to lots of small things. It’s easier on the eyes and the flow of the room.
- Add window treatments like warm bamboo blinds and curtains. They complete the room.
- Pull furniture away from the walls where you can. Create a seating arrangement to inspire conversation.
- The best living spaces evolve over time. Know what you’re looking for and keep your eyes out for it–it takes time.
Books that inspire cozy homes
I don’t like to have a ton of books like this because too many makes my head spin. But having a few favorite inspiring home books really do help me when I want to change our home a bit, but don’t know where to start.
12. Homebody by Joanna Gaines // This book is brand new and she is one of my favorite home inspirers!
13. The Inspired Home by Melissa Micheals // This one is packed with good ideas.
14. The Simple Series by Melissa Micheals // I LOVE this little series. There’s on on Organizing, Decorating and Gatherings. They’re all so good!
15. The Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith // Brand new book and full of really practical tips.
16. The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking // This book is the best guide I’ve seen to living with hygge.
17. Simply Clean by Becky Rapinchuk // A terrific guide book on getting your home clean, neat, and tidy.
18. CHAOS to Clean in 31 Easy Baby Steps by Marla Cilley (The FlyLady) // An oldie but a goodie if you need some inspiration to getting your house in order.
More books on keeping it cozy…
19. Simple Abundance by Sarah ban Breathnach // This is a daily readings book, not about home decor, but about finding your own gratitude in the everyday. There’s many readings about creating sacred places within your home and it’s helped me see the beauty in the everyday.
23. “Be grateful for the home you have. Knowing that, at this moment, all you have is all you need.” -Sarah ban Breathnach
Cozy doesn’t mean messy
I love my home to feel cozy, but I also cannot stand clutter and mess. Some creative messes are fine, but I can’t relax if my house is out of order. Science even shows that we are more relaxed and calm in a clutter-free atmosphere, and that’s my goal.
So here’s some ways you can easily remove the clutter and chaos in your home and move on to cozy.
24. Organize your front door space–it’s the first thing you see when you enter your home. Read about how I organize this space HERE.
25. Need help getting your home cleaned? [READ THIS]
26. My best tip for keeping your home neat and tidy is getting your kids to help. [Read my ideas for kids and chores HERE]
27. Remove clutter off surfaces and floors for instant relief. Too much visual stimulation is not cozy.
28. It’s hard to let your home feel cozy when your cabinets and drawers are bursting at the seams. Clear out and make some free space.
29. Read the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up for inspiration in clearing the clutter.
30. Pair like-items together so they’re easier to find and it creates less stress in searching for things too.
31. Do a quick “House Blessing” for instant gratification.
32. Set up a system for “Zone Clean” so every area of your home gets attention regularly. [Read about our Zone Cleaning HERE.]
33. Do a couple of “daily tidies.” We stop and tidy after school and at the end of the day.
34. “A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.” – Benjamin Franklin
Lighting is everything
Maybe I’m just highly sensitive, but to me…lighting is everything in a good, cozy home. Too bright, too harsh, too blue are the worst. Here’s my tips for getting the best cozy lighting in your home.
35. Add lamps. Floor lamps, accent lamps, or other. I like to look for lamps with chunky bases…not too delicate or breakable.
36. Most overhead lighting is too bright and not great for setting a comfortable mood. Skip it and go for the lamps.
37. For light bulbs, go for “soft white.”
38. You can put most any light switch on a dimmer for little cost. Do it–dimmers are so great at setting the mood!
39. Try the “magic light trick.”
40. Add candles and burn them daily.
41. Use your fireplace.
42. Add some battery-operated lights as accent lights in your bookshelves. THESE are my favorite and a great deal. We just added them to our living room bookcases and it’s such a warming accent light!
43. Add fairy twinkle lights to glass jars. THESE are my favorites.
44. “Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.” -Mother Teresa
The goal is: TOGETHERNESS
The reason why we care about our homes is that we want our people to feel safe and comfortable. We want them to miss their spaces when they’re away and feel good when they get home. And we want this for ourselves too!
The goal is togetherness. Here’s some ways to promote that feeling all over your home.
45. Pull out your favorite board games and stack a few in the living room. Seeing them with remind your family to grab one and play. [HERE’S a list of our favorite card games.]
46. If you have space, set up a small table and a big puzzle you can all work on together over a few days/weeks. If you don’t have space for a table, there are really cool puzzle boards that will hold a large puzzle and you can slide it under a couch or bed when you’re not working on it.
47. Declare one night a week to be Family Night. For us, it’s Friday night. We have a tradition of ordering pizza (I’m usually beat from the long week and don’t feel like cooking!) and watch a movie together. [Some of our favorite books turned movies!]
48. Put the phones away. It always bothers me when we’re all sitting together in the living room, but everyone is staring at a different screen. Make a family rule of “no phones during dinner,” or “no phones after a certain time of day,” or whatever works for your family. Eliminating the screens creates more opportunity to have good conversations.
49. Put a few of your family photo albums in a spot where people will grab them and page through. I love to make a yearly album through Shutterfly. [Read about our family albums HERE.]
50. Pile favorite books in your main spaces and make sure there’s cozy blankets to snuggle up with too.
51. Leave white space on your calendar–margin is where togetherness happens.
52. Plan a dinner party with neighbors or friends and family. Nothing like a homey dinner to create some togetherness.
53. When you’re arranging your living room furniture, the TV doesn’t necessarily have to be the center of attention. Arrange your room to encourage conversation too.
54. He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Cozy Kid Spaces
Kid spaces are so fun to cozy up. Kids gravitate towards small, cozy places–so we can totally do this in their bedrooms and play spaces.
55. Set up a fun tent in a corner. String some twinkle lights inside for extra coziness.
56. Create a reading nook for your kids.
57. Make sure they have warm slippers and socks for the winter months.
59. Buy a few floor pillows for their spaces.
60. Encourage more reading and snuggling by adding a cozy chair to their rooms.
61. Is your child’s mattress and bedding comfortable? I just realized how UNcomfortable a few of my kids’ mattresses are! Adding those to the list! Add a warm blanket or some nice sheets and make sure your kids’ beds are warm and comfortable too.
62. String some twinkle lights around their spaces.
63. For wall colors, stay away from the bright, crazy colors. Keep the walls a soothing color and experiment with brighter accessories.
64. Use your kids’ closets for storing things, not leaving all the toys out in the open. Keeping the visual stimulation put away creates instant calm!
65. “Cozy spaces near those you love don’t just show up. But you can create them. Find paces in your home to do what you do while your kids do what they do–close to one another. Then let the conversation flow and notice the rich sharing that results.” -Julie Bogart, A Gracious Space: Fall
Yep, a kitchen should be cozy too.
With cooking, baking, projects, spills, and more kitchens certainly take a beating. They’re often messy, but there’s nothing better than a clean kitchen at the end of the day. Here’s a few tricks to make your kitchen feel super cozy.
66. Always have a tea kettle out, ready for tea or cocoa. [I really like THIS ONE for the copper color! Adding it to my wishlist.]
67. Bake bread.
68. Add a rug to your kitchen floor. It feels good under your feet and warms up the space.
69. Hang kid art.
70. Make soup–so cozy!
71. Keep the colors simple and soothing.
72. If you can, create a nook in your kitchen with a small table and chairs so kids can join you while you’re cooking.
73. Hang a family calendar with all the activities displayed so everyone feels like they’re in the know.
74. Set up a hot chocolate station with cups, marshmallows, and peppermint sticks. A tea station works too.
75. Add wood cutting boards. Warm woods really help a space feel cozy.
76. Set some potted fresh herbs by your sink. They smell good and are the best to cook with!
77. “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” -The Nester
Create the most cozy bedroom oasis
The last place you lay your head at the end of the day should be an oasis! When you drift off, you should feel ultimate comfort. Do you? Here’s some ways to achieve that oasis.
78. Lighting is everything! Make sure you have some great lamps to read by.
80. Again, the color of your room’s walls really do create more calm if it’s a soothing color. It’s not that hard to paint a space, paint your bedroom this weekend if you’re not happy with your colors!
81. Use a small dresser for a night stand if you don’t have space for both. A dresser with legs (open at the bottom) creates an airier feel too.
82. Wash your sheets often. Nothing better than fresh sheets!
83. Make your bed in the morning. It feels so much better than crawling into an unmade bed at night.
84. Tuck dryer sheets or wool dryer balls with essential oils between linens in the linen closet.
85. Clear your bedroom space of clutter.
86. Charge your phone in another room at night to resist more mindless scrolling and promote more reading.
87. “My favorite homes are the ones I can tell are lived in and loved. Don’t lose too much sleep over keeping every space pristine all the time.” -Joanna Gaines
What nature has to do with cozy
There’s something about bringing a little of the outdoors in that adds an instant homey feel. Nature is said to be a major part in achieving a home with hygge and here’s what you can do.
88. Take a walk outside everyday. (Speaking to myself here!)
89. Even in the winter, you can still enjoy nature with your kids. [Click here to read about Nature Kids Winter resource.]
90. Add plants to your spaces. This one is one of my favorites! A little bit of green adds so much warmth to a room.
91. Set up a nature table somewhere in your house.
92. Bring clippings from bushes or plants inside.
93. Look for unique containers for your clippings.
94. Make sure you have good outdoor clothing for yourself and your kids. It’s so much more fun to be outside in the colder months when you’re properly dressed.
A few nature-inspired books you might enjoy:
98. “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Why ‘cozy’ even matters.
I know some reading this might wonder why I wrote a big, long post like this about creating a cozy home, right?
Does it even matter?
I think it absolutely does. Here’s why.
99. When a place is comfortable, you want to stay longer. That’s how I want my home to feel.
100. Your home should be a safe haven.
101. A cozy home promotes togetherness.
102. Having a cozy home isn’t about checking off a box on the “cozy list.” It’s more about a feeling and those feelings stay with you.
103. I want my home to stop time a little bit–make the people inside it feel more present with each other.
104. Creating a cozy home promotes a little bit of indulgence, too–curling up with the book and blanket, enjoying the bread with the hot soup–pulling out of the rat race outside to just enjoy life a bit more.
105. Like I said, cozy is a feeling and those feelings often go to gratitude when time slows down.
106. When my children leave home, I want their home to stay with them. Creating a cozy home is creating a memorable home too.
107. “There’s nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” -Jane Austen
I hope this article gave you a big shot of inspiration to go on and get your spaces a little more cozy. You’re gonna be great!
Here’s a few other links you’ll want to check out:
- My podcast about keeping it cozy.
- How I create our family scrapbooks
- My course for nature projects and activities in winter.
Want to read more 100 things posts like this? CLICK HERE!