Create a cozy and inviting home all year long with designer tips and trends you can replicate!
Comfort & Joy Isn’t Just For Christmas!
Over the years I have noticed a very interesting phenomenon: Every client, regardless of style preference, states that he/she wants his/her home to feel inviting and cozy at the end of the project, and they want to feel happy when they walk through the door. Those are the common descriptive words I hear over and over. Basically, everyone wants “comfort & joy!”
We all want to FEEL happy and welcomed as we enter our homes, and we want that for our families and guests as well. What happiness and beauty means for each person is different, but to create that coziness factor, I have discovered a few tips I’d like to share with you. To learn more, keep reading and watch my video at the end in which I was interviewed by WSMV’s Today in Nashville on this very subject!
At Christmastime, we decorate to the max, pulling out multiple storage containers full of trees, ornaments, lights, old photos, and special dishes, to name a few. While we certainly can’t keep our tree up or have a fire going once winter is through, there are design elements to guide our decorating, no matter the season.
IDENTIFY WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL COZY AND BRINGS YOU JOY
Usually at Christmastime, what we love are the lights, the nostalgic ornaments, warm fuzzy blankets and jammies, being curled up on the sofa with our families, sharing memories – all the things. We can continue with these elements throughout the year, just in a different way!
Creating a cozy home often includes four design elements that can enhance your living: Lighting, Texture, Natural Elements and a “Nod to Nostalgia.”
We love the lights at Christmas – and what we love about them is the soft, warm, ambient glow they emit. After the holidays, it is important to select lights not only for function, but also to enhance the aesthetic and mood of your space. More than just overhead lighting, you need layers of lights – accent lighting such as table lamps, floor lamps, reading lights, wall sconces, pendants, or even candles are options to help you layer in light. Windows count, too! Natural light is always appealing. At night, the diffused light from a lamp with a shade gives a warm glow and sets the tone for relaxing. I even have a small lamp in my kitchen for this very reason, to bring a little cozy to the kitchen! If you love candles, there are battery powered candles that are safe and easy to use throughout the home. Both candles and lamps can be programmed to turn off and on automatically for you, at your designated times, so you come home to a warm, inviting space!
When that Christmas tree is gone – put a lamp in its place! You will feel so much cozier in your home!
Home by Hattan pro tip: Candles can be placed in your fireplace to produce light and add interest without the heat from a fire after the winter season!
Faux fur and plushy pillows and throw blankets are so cozy! And the good news is that these can be changed out seasonally. In the summer months, simply swap out your fur throw blankets and pillows to a lighter textile like linen or cotton – I love the pretty Turkish throw blankets in the summer months! By using a variety of shapes and sizes of pillows, along with blankets of various colors and textures, you will create inviting spots in your rooms. Such an easy and inexpensive way to add coziness and depth to your space.
Adding more textiles with soft, inviting textures will add to the luxurious and welcoming feeling in your home. Rugs not only define your space, but also add coziness. A fuzzy, plush rug really amps up the cozy factor! I use white and gray plush rugs quite often! And I am totally obsessed with the rugs from theloomandco. The colors, patterns, and even the shoes draw you in!
Photo from Instagram @s.u.s.a.p
Organic elements with texture such as wicker, rattan, rope and jute are really on-trend right now, and can be found on furniture and accessories, as well as lighting. This is a great way to incorporate both texture and the use of wood!
Houseplants and greenery are natural elements that are a must when warming up a space. Whether you purchase seasonal flowers or fruit to display, or use faux greenery, it instantly adds interest and makes any room more inviting. Some of the faux flowers are so realistic, it is hard to believe they are not real! When you remove your Christmas tree, replace it with a houseplant or more greenery!
Nod to Nostalgia: Incorporating Meaningful Pieces
This final element of design is so wonderful and it’s on trend to incorporate antique and vintage pieces, according to Southern Living, but it can also be a stumbling block to many folks when designing their own homes. “Nod to Nostalgia” is what I call using pieces in your design that evoke feelings of “home” or have special meaning. This is different for every person and could be inherited pieces, mementos from travel, photos or decorative items that create warm, happy memories. I believe it’s very important to incorporate these treasured items, furniture and pieces that are saved from the past or make you feel happy, to give personality and meaning to your space.
It’s easy to enjoy nostalgic moments during the holidays! The key is to incorporate these nostalgic pieces into your home WITHOUT overdoing it! You want guests to feel welcome and have a place to sit, after all!
So many of my clients asked for my help in combining styles mixing in the old with the new or giving a fresh look. I love painting a piece of furniture or reupholstering a beloved chair to make it work beautifully in your own home, with your own style. I have a two-part blog, What To Do With Inherited Furniture, that goes into more detail about this topic.
Example: This is a project I worked on where it was extremely important to the client to incorporate some beloved antiques, as she is an adult living with Autism who recently moved out on her own and had just lost her beloved Paw-Paw. We painted her Paw-Paw’s sideboard and dining furniture, reupholstered the chairs for a more modern look, and styled the shelves with handmade pottery the client’s grandmother had made. Her Paw-Paw’s rug was our “inspiration piece” to direct our color palette.
The only items that are new in this room are the sofa and pillows! All other items were the homeowner’s family’s items, holding special meaning for my Client.
BUT WHERE DO I START?
Starting off a new year, you may have your design goals in mind, but find that you really don’t have the time to pull it all together. Or you may feel overwhelmed and need a Designer’s Advice.
For those who are busy and don’t have the time to devote to an ongoing project, I offer Design in a Day. This is a one-day, focused, power session for those who know what they want to achieve and are ready to make decisions. If you’re ready to update or redecorate, we select furnishings, paint colors and decor to buy, and I direct where to place your new items! If you’re renovating, we can select your finishes (tile, plumbing fixtures, lighting, etc.) – all in one day’s time!
Whatever your next home project – renovation, color selection, or redecorating – I can help develop a plan and empower you to make wise design decisions, so you LOVE your home and love coming home!
Watch my interview featured on WSMV’s Today in Nashville, all about creating that cozy home!