We’ve come a long way since home was a damp cave with a fire. We crave a place that welcomes us and makes us feel secure and safe, especially when it is cold and dreary outside. Home. For most people, the word brings feelings of warmth and comfort. In the past couple of years, we have learned to appreciate our living space more as a personal refuge. And, in the winter, we spend much more time indoors. Here are some ways to make your refuge even more homey.
The Living Room
A comfy couch is essential, and it can make the whole room. Add texture with throws and a few plump pillows to elevate the comfort factor. Natural materials — wool, linen, cotton — enhance coziness.
If you have a fireplace mantel, decorate with some things that mean “home” to you. Candles, family pieces that spark memories, a small collection to display — just don’t make it too formulaic.
Books are an essential part of a cozy room, and, if you have a dedicated reading nook in your living room, that is the ultimate invitation to curl up and relax.
Kitchens are functional spaces, and we spend a lot of time there. So, make your kitchen as relaxing and welcoming as it can be. Be sure to add plants or flowers, and attractive rugs to personalize the room, as well as seasonal decorations. Adding a lamp in the kitchen can make a huge difference in the feel of the space because lamps are much warmer and more comforting than overhead lights.
Start at the front door, where you first welcome guests. Consider adding warm lighting and calming art, think blues, greens, grays. Create a place to sit and remove shoes, and a place to hang coats.
Throughout the Home
Spread some of these ideas into every room in the house. Natural textures such as wood, rattan and natural fibers enhance the homey feeling. Add family heirlooms — old quilts, doilies, photos — to contribute to the feeling of “home.”
A trendier item that adds warmth is fairy lights. Small, white twinkling lights are loved at Christmastime, and they can make any room more inviting all year. Mirrors reflect light and add dimension to a room, especially in interesting shapes and sizes. And area rugs feel wonderful underfoot and can function as a seasonal accent.
Candles capture the essence of warmth and comfort. Consider using artificial ones if you have children or pets. You probably have so many of these cozy components in your home, so pull them out, use them in different rooms, and warm up your space!
– Elisabeth Stubbs is one of the owners of Enhance Floors & More, one of Atlanta’s top-rated flooring dealers, located in Marietta.