In this post, I give a full breakdown of how to make your home feel and look cosy. By the end of this post you will learn how to strategically use lighting, colour and textures to make a space feel cosy. You will also learn how to make larger spaces feel intimate and inviting
As you walk into your house, you want the first feeling you get to be – yes, I am home, I can finally relax and forget all the crazy things that happened during the day. Therefore, a fitting welcome is a cute doormat that matches your interior style. If you are more relaxed and easygoing, a stencilled doormat will work but if you like a more put-together look, which is sophisticated, then you can layer the rugs to create an interesting combination. Whatever you end up going for must be unique to you and remember it sets the tone for what is to come inside the home.
Once you are inside your home, you might want to come up with a dedicated space where you can remove your shoes and hang your jacket, store your keys and so on. This is also a great way to make a guest feel at home by offering them some home shoes if it is customary where you live to remove shoes indoors. This is the custom here in Germany to remove shoes when entering someone’s home and I always appreciate it if the hosts offer some house shoes so my feet don’t get cold walking barefoot inside their home. I should be taking my advice though because this note reminds me to buy my guests some house shoes. The shoes you offer guests do not have to be expensive or extra special but some simple slides or slippers will do the trick.
The choice of colour you make for your home is very important. Colours are known to have an impact on our mood and hence the optimal use of colours at home is very essential. Before you choose the colour palette for a particular room, think about its purpose. This is because different colours evoke different emotions and feelings like excitement, peace, passion, serenity and tranquillity and so on. Colours can also make a space feel larger, warmer or cosy and be used to illuminate dark spaces or be used to inject energy into rather static areas.
So first understand the functionality of your space :
– What is the function and purpose of the space?
– What mood do I want to create in this space?
– In addition, which colours will help me achieve that mood?
As you must have realized by now, great interior design is about creating and evoking emotions and sensations in the people who are using that particular space. you can achieve this by making use of these three senses: sight through the visual stimuli, touch through the tactile stimuli and sense of smell by olfactory stimuli. Scents and smells are some of the biggest stimuli to humans and yet they are often overlooked when people design spaces. Scientifically it has been proven that scents trigger and reinforce memories more in humans. Scents also affect people’s moods so be sure to use the correct scent in the right room.
What do you want your guests to experience when they walk through the door? A smell can equally make a big first impression just like the visual aspect of your entryway. Something warm and welcoming is ideal but nothing too strong that it repels the person entering for the first time. Sandalwood, vanilla and cinnamon are good choices. After a long day of working or being out and about, all you want is a private sanctuary to feel calm down and relax. Your bedroom can provide you with that, the scents you use in your bedroom should therefore not be too sweet or energizing. Chamomile Lavender is naturally soothing, contains calming elements, and will work best in the bedroom. Scents can also be used according to the season, for summer you want something fresh and light perhaps with citrusy elements. While in winter, you might prefer something musky and comforting like cinnamon, vanilla and caramel.
Mix old and new
I love new things and enjoy that occasional run to IKEA to pick up a few things. You can read a review I did of the IKEA Soderhamn sofa on my blog. However, an important element to creating a cosy home is making your home look like it is lived in. This is usually tricky to achieve if everything is new, perfect and sparkly and looks like it is straight from a furniture shop showroom. To break down that perfect look that new furniture gives and make the space look personal, you can mix and match new things with old things. This can be anything from small family heirlooms to thrifted finds, the key here is to mix new with the old to create a comfortable, lived and cosy look. I like to add cultural elements like binga baskets and stone sculptures to break up some rigidity.
I am a big fan of playfully using lights within our home. at this point, I know I sound like a broken record but honestly, lighting should always be layered in a room to make it feel cosy and inviting. Lighting can change the way a room looks and feels and it can even change the perception of colour. Before you pick a new light bulb, I want you to keep two things in mind. 1. Lumens – this is the measure of how much light you are getting from a bulb. Even more simply put, how bright or dull a light bulb is. The more lumens you have from a light bulb the brighter the light. I like around 750 – 800 lumens to be good for a light bulb especially if it is covered or recesses. However, for an exposed bulb like in the kitchen, I prefer an even lower value within the range of 210 to 250 lumens.
Kelvins – which is the temperature of the light emitted. You will probably recall that some light bulbs look a lot warmer and even go to the orangey yellowish range like the typical Edison bulb but some also look bluish and cooler think some fluorescent lights. That is what Kelvins are and the good thing is you have power over that. Kelvins range from 1000 to 10 000 although for home use the range is between 2000 to 5000 Kelvins. As mentioned earlier the colour of your bulb can affect everything in the space even how paint and colour look in a room so you want to get it right. I usually stick to anything between 2700 and 3000 Kelvins to get a clean light, which is still inviting without being either too warm or sterile like an operating room.
Adding in textures
Like colours can affect moods and how warm or cool the space feels, textures can also influence in the same way. Textures are used to enhance the overall appearance of the room, dictating how a room will feel. Textures like colours can be divided into warm
and cold. Raw, natural, and rough textures are more likely to make a space feel cosy and intimate, as they reflect less light; it makes the surfaces feel more rustic and with
more visual weight. Those kinds of textures are on the warm side. On the other hand, cold, smooth, or shiny textures such as glass or mirrors make a space feel cooler but sophisticated. Some textured materials are a big commitment – like wallpaper, tile or even some faux finishes. However, if you want to add texture without making a big commitment, here are ways to add depth and interest. Throws, pillows, area rugs, baskets, candles and even plants.
Creating comfort zones like reading nooks
In large spaces or rooms, you can make them feel more intimate by breaking them down into smaller dedicated zones with different uses. For example, If you have a large living room you can break it down into the TV area where watching tv is the purpose and then have another section dedicated to talking or even reading. For a perfect reading nook, here are the elements you need – a comfortable armchair or even a comfortable window seat on a bay window. To protect your eyes remember to incorporate a good lamp, then you can have a basket nearby to store some blankets and pillows. You can even have a side table to hold your drinks or extend your legs onto.
To summarize today’s post to make your home feel cosy remember to use visual, tactile and olfactory stimuli to create a great design experience. Color, light, textures and scents are among things that can affect your mood and impact how you feel within your space so be aware of how you can use these factors to your advantage. Lastly, if you have a large space always remember to break it up into different zones with dedicated functions