While we love a good renovation or Insta-worthy room makeover, we most certainly appreciate simple home upgrades, too, and are always eager to ask designers how to make a space feel nice and fresh without taking on too much work. This time around, we spoke with the pros about how we can make our homes feel cozier than ever—an ultra key task if there ever was one.
Read on to hear what they had to say.
Incorporate Warmer Tones
For designer Rebecca Rollins, warming up a space is the key to making it feel like home, beginning with the inclusion of wood tones. “Wood accent walls, wood beams, wood cabinets, wood mantels—you get the picture now, right?”
But that’s not all: Rollins is a proponent of using paint to achieve warmth, too. “Painting your walls a warm greige color like Sherwin Williams Drift of Mist is a great option,” she explains. “And layering lots of textures like linen and the raw and organic materials are a must.”
Layer, Layer, Layer
“To cozy up your space, add layers,” designer Michelle Gage says. All types are fair game. “In these spaces, we included layers of pillows, blankets, and even plants,” she shares.
Utilize the Three L’s
Designer Elizabeth Burch encompasses many of the suggestions highlighted above into a simple catchphrase. She says, “I follow the three Ls when making a home cozy for my clients: lighting, layers, and love.”
When it comes to ‘love,’ Burch emphasizes the importance of sentimentality once again. “Always surround yourself with things you love—a piece of art from your travels or your grandmother’s chest of drawers. Let your home tell a story!”
I follow the three Ls when making a home cozy for my clients: lighting, layers, and love.
Designer Catasha Singleton finds that sticking with just one hue is key when creating a cozy space.
“Whether or not the all-neutral room trend stays or goes, nothing says cozy like using a color consistently across the room,” she comments. “My favorite monochromatic look is ivory boucle on a natural jute rug, with hints of light brown accents.”
Add Some Fire
No, really—designer Ashley Roi Jenkins is serious here! “Candles and fireplaces are essential in my homes,” she says. “I even have a plug-in fireplace which I purchased online and assembled. It plugs in, lights up, and throws heat all with a remote.”
As a bonus, Jenkins doesn’t need to worry about the fixture getting too hot for little ones to play near.
It’ll be worth it in the end, designer Elle Jupiter promises. “This is not the most glamorous step to take, but it has such a profound impact on how we interact with our spaces,” she notes.
Say bye to anything that doesn’t spark joy, Jupiter suggests. “When you have piles of junk mail and toys everywhere, it can make it exceptionally challenging to genuinely relax," she says. "I highly recommend engaging in the KonMari method in addition to delegating specific landing spots for clutter that piles up.”
Set Out Throw Pillows and Blankets
Yes, you can consider this an excuse to purchase more. “Sherpa, waffle knit, and woven throw pillows are a quick and easy way to make any sofa extremely cozy,” designer Nicole Martel comments. “And who doesn't love a chunky knit throw? With a purpose that is both functional and stylish, it's a win-win.”
Designer Maria Palantino agrees, suggesting. “Layer variations of texture with pillows and plush blankets.”
Include Personal Touches
A cozy home is one that’s nice and personalized. “Add photos of family and friends onto side tables, consoles, walls,” designer Audrey Sterk suggests. “Something to make you smile when you walk by.”
Jupiter agrees. “Highlighting sentimental pieces that spark positive memories can really impact your level of comfort and joy.”
Think About Those Lightbulbs
Lighting can play such a key role in creating a cozy atmosphere, according to many of the designers we consulted.
“Make sure you are using the right color temperature for your light bulbs to foster a cozy space,” designer Samantha Williams suggests. “I recommend warm white which equates to about 3,000 Kelvin. Anything called ‘daylight’ or above 3,500 Kelvin is going to feel very cold and blue at night.”
Designer Alex Yeske agrees. “Don’t underestimate your lighting when trying to create a cozy space,” she urges. And that means the more types, the merrier.
“It makes such a big difference when you have multiple light sources in a room that you can use during different parts of the day,” Yeske adds.
Add a Dose of Life
“Bring life into the space by adding fresh flowers or greenery,” Palantino advises. Whether you drop by your local corner store in the city or clip branches from your backyard is up to you.