Fall is here which means we're all nesting and getting ready for the long months spent indoors. Here are five easy ways to make your home cozy in preparation.
1. Layer your lighting and put dimmers on your lights.
We're spending more time indoors and with it getting dark so early, lighting is key to making your home feel cozy. Overhead lights cast major shadows on our pale and tired faces so use them sparingly. You can balance overhead lighting with table and floor lamps. The key is layers here - general lighting, task lighting and mood lighting.
I can't say enough good things about dimmers. They are the KEY to making your home feel cozy and welcoming, and they make us all look ten years younger. You can have them installed on your switches for most overhead lights or you can plug them into your table and floor lamps. Click to the right for a source to buy.
I also like to use spotlights in corners to highlight a large plant or something sculptural. Living by the beach, I've accumulated some amazing driftwood that I've put into a decorative pot. With an uplight at the base of the pot, it casts the coolest shadows on the wall.
2. Bring your garden indoors.
I say this a lot, but plants in a home really make a huge difference and always add life to a space. There are lots of outdoor plants that you can bring inside like begonias, geraniums, ferns and coleus. Just be careful with ferns because they can shed.
Or you can get plants that are meant to go inside like palms, split-leaf philodendrons or the ever so lovely fiddle leaf fig tree. Here's a great guide on how to buy houseplants from Architectural Digest.
Pictured to the left is a split-leaf philodendron.
3. Make your home smell amazingly good.
Don't certain scents transport you and take you far, far away? My favorite scent is from a hotel in Paris and I think I've almost replicated it in my home. I found a great spicy potpourri and paired it with a lemon scented reed diffuser and some seeded eucalyptus and it smells like heaven. It all kind of happened by accident but I'll take it! I only hope I can replicate it.
Some people like candles but I don't like how they only give off a scent if they're lit and I'm a little paranoid about forgetting to blow it out and starting a house fire. I prefer reed diffusers. They last forever and come in so many amazing scents. It's hard for me to recommend my favorites - it's all so personal. I do tend to gravitate toward ones that have a lemon base though.
As I mentioned above, seeded eucalyptus gives off a lovely scent. It lasts forever and is a nice way to fill a vase. You can usually find it this time of year - I just found it at Whole Foods today for $5 a bunch!
4. Add texture through pillows, throws and rugs.
It's time to bring out the throws and refresh your pillows. They go a long way in making your home feel welcome and comfortable. My go-to sources are Target, Pottery Barn and West Elm. When it comes to throws, pay attention to texture and how it feels. There's nothing worse than a scratchy wool throw. Of course, pillows are a fun way to add color and pattern to your room.
I have to say that one of my favorite ways to make your room feel cozy is to add a flokati rug - either on the floor (like next to your bed) or on even a chair. I have one on a vintage chair in my living room and it gives it such warmth and interest. I also have one on my office floor. My assistant (okay he's really just my dog), Boomer, is a huge fan too - it's where he does his best brainstorming. My sister in law, Jacquelyn, gave me one of these game changer rugs for Christmas and I've been hooked ever since. Here's a great source for flokati rugs...
5. Display your favorite books and games.
This is the easiest and least expensive thing you can do. Books just ooze with comfort and coziness and bring color and interest into your room. You can add a stack of books with a little object on top to almost any surface and it'll look great.
Games are a super fun way to add more pizazz to a room. I like to put out classic games like Clue, Pictionary, Monopoly, Life, Battleship and Trivial Pursuit. Another favorite game that you can set up ready to play is Backgammon. Oh and what about starting a puzzle on a table, just waiting for someone to sit down and tackle it. Puzzles are so addicting!
Bonus Tip - Edit!
It's easy to accumulate junk over the summer so now's the time to clear it OUT. An organized home feels friendly and will make you relax. Who wants to look around at piles of stuff? Just tackle it, get it over with and then you can RELAX!!!
How do you make your home feel cozy? Please share!
I'm all about sharing ideas in home design, gardening and living so we can love our homes. I'm joined by my dog, Boomer, who is always by my side.