THINGS THAT MAKE A HOUSE COZY
I have worked in the home industry for 5 years, but have had a passion for interiors my entire life, learning what my home essentials are along the way. My interest in interiors undoubtedly stemmed for my mom’s tendency to move the furniture around or paint the kitchen a new color on the weekends when I was growing up.
In this post, you’ll find key elements that make even the most modern of homes their coziest, along with some of my choices. Also included are some of my favorite Pins from Pinterest and pictures from Instagram to give you all the #homeinspo you could need to get your home in tip top cozy shape!
Home fragrance doesn’t have its own section in this blog post, because I wrote a post dedicated to that topic already! You can read that here.
Before we dive in, I did want to mention that almost every product linked in this post comes from stores found nationwide. Don’t forget about your local shops! Some of my favorite purchases, home or otherwise, hail from small boutiques. You’re supporting a small business, while often getting a one-of-a-kind treasure!
COMFY SEATING with plenty of soft goods
Imagine donning your favorite pajamas and sinking into the corner of a comfy chair at the end of a long day – is there any better feeling (aside from having wine and a book in hand, of course)? Doing a little research, whether you’re shopping in person or online, is very important before you commit to seating. You’ll find that you can uncover some incredible pieces at even better prices.
QUALITY & COMFORT
Chances are, the sales consultant helping you, or the website you’re browsing, will have information on frame and cushion construction. Take this chair Jason Wu designed for Interior Define for example – every detail you could need to make an informed purchase is listed. There’s even a video!
LUXURY, BUT MAKE IT AFFORDABLE
In 2018, Wayfair did just that. They released Greyleigh, a collection featuring of some of the most iconic interiors silhouettes – including furnishings, lighting, bedding, rugs and décor for the home, teens and children – at a fraction of showroom prices. This is just one example of a company you can shop with to achieve a luxe look without sacrificing quality!
When it comes to pillows and throws, there is no shortage of places to shop at absolutely any price point, so you have one simple goal: go for what you love. Soft goods are a great segue into incorporating accent colors in your room, so have fun choosing pillows and throws in pops of color, unique patterns and funky textures (or just stick to neutral, like I often do). You can even change them out depending on the season! Target and McGee & Co. have great choices.
Just always keep in mind, you CAN have too many pillows, but you CANNOT have too many throws. I have an oversized seagrass basket in our family room stuffed full of throws, which may seem excessive at first, but when you have a bunch of people piled onto your section for movie night and there’s not a spare throw in sight, you know you made the right decision buying 20.
Drapery serves 2 purposes – controls privacy, and completes a room. There is a whole world of drapery for you to discover where you’ll learn terminology like sheer, blackout, grommet, rod pocket, pinch pleat, stacking and puddling, but the most important takeaway is how necessary it is. You might not even realize how much of a welcome addition drapery can be, until it’s installed in your room, and this sense of ‘ah, now I get it’ comes over you.
If this world of drapery I mentioned seems to overwhelming, keep it simple with a minimalist hardware and few rod pocket or grommet panels in a neutral color that just graze the floor. This is a safe and attractive way to spruce up any room.
FRESH FLOWERS AND/ OR PLANTS
One thing I didn’t get from my mom is her green thumb, so I don’t keep the latter in my home, simply because house plants don’t last around me. Good Housekeeping details 30 Gorgeous Indoor Plants That Are Almost Impossible to Kill here – I won’t even attempt to advise anyone on maintaining house plants, but I can tell you that they significantly improve air quality in the home. AND I can tell you where to get fun planters. Check out these fun black and white pieces from West Elm!
Since I have resigned to only buying fresh cut flower arrangements, I ransack Trader Joe’s because they have a huge selection of bunches, with which you can create your own arrangements. They also have the most darling mini bunches pre-arranged, that are a sweet touch in guest rooms when you have company coming! If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby, Whole Foods has a stunning fresh flower section, as do most grocery stores. Have fun picking out your blooms and greenery, cut stems at a 45 degree angle, and arrange to your preference in your favorite vase filled with cold water. You can find a million flower arrangement pictures on Pinterest if you need some inspiration.
Lighting is such a critical element in the home, whether it’s natural or artificial. You can’t control the amount of windows your home has, or the weather, but you can control the fixtures! Enter floor lamps, table lamps, sconces and chandeliers (bonus points if they’re dimmable)! You can come up with any amount of lighting combinations, but at least 1 floor lamp, table lamp or sconce in addition to normal overhead lighting (ie. recessed, fan or chandelier) makes a huge difference in a room.
Also remember, you can have fun with bulbs too!
ARTWORK & DÈCOR
Artwork and décor are a great opportunity to add a personal touch to your home. I particularly like getting artwork or decorative objects when I’m traveling, acting as a mini home refresh as well as a meaningful souvenir, rather than some trinket you won’t know what to do with once you get home (not to say I don’t also get those sometimes).
I also turn to these 2 categories because they have become go-to’s for gifting! I don’t suggest gifting art or décor to just anyone – you have to know the person and their style exceedingly well, because as mentioned, it’s a personal topic. But once you open your mind to giving art or décor as a gift, pieces will stand out to you as ‘perfect for (____)’! For an exceptionally personalized touch, pet portraits like the ones found at Crown & Paw or on Etsy promise to please the pet owners in your life!
Photo on left: Reclaimed Wood Tapas Board | Wooden Serving Platter Pinned by Nordic House. Photo on right: Instagram picture posted by @theinspiredhome_com.
Side note: the picture on the left from Nordic House on Pinterest makes me want to build a charcuterie board and invite friends over, and it’s only morning!
There are basics anyone should have on hand when it comes to entertaining: a set of dishes, serving utensils, cloth napkins, glassware, and so on. Here are some additional tools to add to your arsenal that will add a bit of sophistication to the ambiance when you’re hosting!
Dinner parties can be stressful at times – make ‘dinner’ a fully loaded charcuterie* board! Some classic elements** of a a meat and cheese board include meats & cheeses (duh), bread and/ or crackers, spreads and condiments, fruits and veg, olives and nuts. The important part of serving a charcuterie board as the pièce de résistance is not just the food itself, but the presentation. Having plenty of boards/ trays/ platters, bowls, knives, spoons, etc. makes assembling and, in turn, eating the charcuterie simple and gorgeous.
*Charcuterie is defined as ‘cold cooked meats’, but now typically refers to meats, cheeses and other picky bits.
** I went VERY basic on listing these elements because I’m going to write a post dedicated to the art of charcuterie boards.
In my opinion, a bar cart, or cabinet, is usually the focal point in a room, so make it a statement piece! Layer it up with fun bottles, glassware, bar tools and accessories, cocktail books, decanters, signs, the works!
Having a coffee station set up has seriously decluttered my kitchen counters, and I’m here for it. Similar to a bar cart, it’s nice to have your coffee machine(s) and accessories in a designated area, and I have found a coffee station is most convenient when located near your dining room for after-dinner coffee.
Photo on left: 10 Rooms That Prove This Vintage Accessory Can Feel Thoroughly Modern Pinned by Apartment Therapy. Photo on right: Instagram picture posted by @frowhome.
Speaking of ambiance, nothing sets the mood of a night like music! Build your own playlist with your favorite songs and artists, or sign up for a music service like Spotify that can take care of the DJ responsibilities for you! These are some of my favorite Spotify playlists:
- Lush + Atmospheric
- Your Favorite Coffeehouse
- Chill Vibes
- Feel Good Dinner
- Evening Acoustic
Here are alllllll the items linked above for you to flip through!
Everyone has their own home essentials, and these are some of mine! What are your must-haves in your home?
I am in no way licensed or trained in interior design, but I would be happy take a stab at any questions you might have about your space!