Make a house your home. This Ikea advertising slogan is making the right point. Anyone can live anywhere, but having a home where you just feel comfortable is something special. That’s why I’ve put together some tips and tricks for making your home so cozy that you’ll never want to leave it again.
Find yourself a fireplace
Yes, I’m serious! Get a fireplace or at least something like that. If you don’t have a fireplace yet, it’s really about time you did. I know, fireplaces are expensive, take a lot of effort, and you probably don’t even have room for one. You’re right! But what if I told you that there is an inexpensive and easier solution that creates a great fireplace atmosphere?
When I came back to Germany from America, I moved into a small but nice 45 sqm apartment. This one was beautiful because, first, it was my first apartment of my own and, second, it had floor-to-ceiling windows. The light was great, but the view of downtown rather less so. So I needed something that would draw focus to the inside of my apartment. At first, I had no idea what I was even looking for. However, when I came across an awful green wooden rack for €50 in a decor store, I knew it was the one. No one even noticed the fireplace mantel, but I saw its potential immediately and just had to take it home.
The green was, after some sanding and two coats of white paint, quite quickly history and the fireplace frame finally found a place, in my home. Due to its narrow shelf, it does not stand too deep in the room and without a real fireplace, I can move itanywhere I want.
There’s a funny story about this. When my boyfriend and I moved into a new apartment three years ago, his best friend helped us move. While we were moving furniture around the new apartment, I asked him if he could move the fireplace from one wall to the other. He looked at me as if I were completely out of my mind and said, “You can’t just move a fireplace!” While I was exploding with laughter on the inside, I put down the cardboard box in my arm, went to the fireplace and demonstratively lifted it up with two fingers. I will never forget that look on his face, it was just too funny.
So if you have a fireplace or mantel, you can decorate it, where the fire is normally in, with electric candles. Yes, I know nothing beats real candles, but it would be a shame if the wood turns black or worse catches fire. For that you can hang some nice pictures over it, decorate the stockings at Christmas and the rest of the fireplace with lights and a few plants. Tadaa, do you already feel how cozy it suddenly becomes?
The right Courtains
Curtains are a lot more exciting than you think, and most importantly, they are crucial to creating a homey atmosphere. Windows usually look pretty bare. In dressing them up with fabric, the straight lines of windows soften and it becomes cozy.
QUICK TIP: If your ceilings are not particularly high, it helps to let the curtains hang from the very top to the floor. This will visually raise the ceiling. If your room is rather narrow, it will make your windows appear larger and wider if you hang the curtains twice as wide as the windows are.
In my home, I have high ceilings and yet my curtains hang the entire height. This gives my living room and bedroom a classically elegant look. Since I didn’t want to mix too many different colors, I only painted the wall across from the windows a warm, light gray. To break up the sunlight in a warm tone, I went for cream linen curtains. These give the room privacy, yet a light and airy feel.
Carpet & Runners
There is nothing better than taking off your shoes after a long day and dipping your feet into a soft carpet. The same is just as true in the morning, by the way. Get up on the right foot every day by stepping on a soft runner next to your bed instead of the cold wooden floor. If you don’t own a rug yet, it’s definitely time for it. In addition to short and long hair rugs, there are many other options like faux sheepskins and knitted foot runners.
QUICK TIP: Instead of placing a small rug in the middle of your sofa table, get a rug as big as or slightly larger than your sitting area. This will visually connect the individual elements and create a harmonious overall look. By the way, you can also use this tip in the bedroom.
Candles and Lights
I love light. Especially small lights remind me of the fairy houses we built as kids. Make yourself cozy by hanging a string of lights over your bed, draping another one around your coffee table, and have a light tucked away in a decorative vase. Also, scatter a few scented candles, for a pleasant smell.
Turn off your ceiling lamp and enjoy the warm lights. The flickering glow of candles and twinkling fairy lights are probably the easiest and quickest way to make your home cozy.
Plants, Throws and Pillows
Load it up! You simply can not have enough decorative pillows and blankets. Especially with textures it can be great to play with, but with colors you should be a little more careful. Small splashes of color are great eye-catchers, but too much color at once has a stressful effect on the brain. Let alone, at some point you just can’t and don’t want to look at too much color. To make it simple, why not pick two neutral tones and a splash of color and use them to design your space. This will make it friendly, inviting and most importantly, cozy. On the otherhand, if youre going for the whole Boho look, a mash of colors might just hit the spot.
Plants bring life to your home and spread a pleasant atmosphere. However, because of their rich color, you should not overdo it. Too many plants will give you the feeling of being in a jungle rather than in a feel-good oasis. It is also advisable to think about which plant belongs in which room, because they depend on different light and temperature conditions. I have written a separate blog post about this HERE.
Use soft colors
The colors in a room are a very crucial and extensive topic. You don’t want a boring room where everything is tone in tone, but you also don’t want it to be too busy and therefore uncomfortable.
QUICK TIP: Use colors like an appetizer. Distribute small elements, for example in different shades of turquoise, but do not turn the room into a complete turquoise colored room. You can also just do a beautiful accent wall instead of painting the entire room in one color. Give the viewer’s eye enough reason to explore the space without overwhelming them in the long run. Balance is the key to success.
Play with scents and music
So at this point, your home is now warm, soft and inviting. To sink into complete coziness, however, you should consider all of your senses. The smell of a home and the sounds are things we often don’t notice directly. You yourself get used to the smell of your own home very quickly and don’t think about how it might smell to others when they visit you. Your friends, however, will automatically identify you based on that smell. So you really don’t want your home to smell like cold smoke or dog! Here, it’s a case of less is more. Very heavy scents can feel almost suffocating, so I recommend a light and refreshing scent that is pleasantly diffused throughout the room. Here’s a little Guide for you to make your home smell amazing completely natural.
Good music is not the highest priority on our list, however, it sets the base of our state of mind and should not to be left out! Since the beginning of our time, people have expressed themselves and their feelings through music. A light background music helps to relax and also drowns out disturbing noises coming from outside.
Your home isn’t yours until you put your own personality into it. Pictures and photos are especially great for that personal touch. You can play with different images in frames and top it off with your favorite quote. Scatter vacation souvenirs and special items that have accumulated in your life around the room and fill it with great memories. Welcome Home!