So you’ve just moved into a new place and you’re feeling excited and nervous at the same time. You’re excited for the possibilities that come with the process of moving, but you’re nervous about the daunting task that lies ahead of you. The many boxes are stacked in disorganized, brown rows and you’re wondering how to arrange what’s inside of them. Or maybe you’ve been living in a place for quite some time and the way it is situated makes you feel uneasy or incomplete. Somehow, you have to make it feel right, but how? How can you transform your four walls into something that makes you feel warm and cozy?
It’s the feeling we all long for – when you can sit at your little coffee table in the morning with a hot cup of joe, let out a long sigh and say, “ahhhhh, home.” What I am talking about doesn’t take fancy plasma screen TVs, surround sound, or that annoying (but admittedly convenient) Rumba vacuum.. It doesn’t take fancy kitchenware or expensive designer furniture. Coziness takes nothing but a little bit of creativity, passion, maybe a little quirkiness, but most of all it takes soul.
Not to get all mushy on you, but feeling at home is important, so it should be treated that way. Here are some tips on simple ways to create a cozy ambiance.
It Should Be Clean
One of the easiest paths to discomfort is through untidiness. Believe me, I know it can be difficult to keep a clean living space while working long hours and taking care of the kids, but I have found that it’s the little things that count. First and foremost is the bedroom. It is the first and last thing you see every day. I never used to believe what the military folks say about how much a made bed can benefit the brain, but after implementing this habit into my daily routine, I can say with confidence that it makes a large difference. If you don’t have a cozy place to sleep, home will always feel far away.
The kitchen and bathroom are equally as important. Nobody wants to awake from a grand slumber, walk out of the door, and have their heart sink from stacked dishes or a dirty toilet bowl. Bottom line,take time out of your day to do the little things that go a long ways. You’ll thank yourself for it.
It Should Have Meaning
My grandmother constantly brings up one story about me, which, to this day I think about frequently. When I was a tyke visiting her for the first time, I walked into her house and without batting an eye said, “Grandma, your house is so small.” She calmly replied, “Yes, but it’s not the size of the house that matters. It’s the size of the memories that we make in them that count.” A huge tip for making a house cozy is to not display things that you think other people want to see. I am all for kitsch, but when you’re going for kitsch for the wrong reasons, the result is less than satisfactory. In other words, don’t put the “live laugh love” sign in the front room because you saw it on a Pinterest ad. Finding things that are unique to you such as picture frames for your loved ones, displaying trinkets that you’ve gathered on your travels, or perhaps the “live laugh love” sign that’s an inside joke with one of your family members are all great ways to add warmth to your home. The point is, it’s the why, not the what.
It Should Have the Right Fit
I’m no interior decorator, but I know when I feel cramped inside of a room, and I know when I feel like I am the only living soul for miles inside of a room. The obvious tip here is stay away from hoarding or being a recluse. Feng shui is not a term that frequents my vocabulary, but I’ve found it is a crucial aspect of feeling at home. You don’t want the couch and loveseat right next to each other, facing one wall, with ten feet on either side occupied by the lone lamp awkwardly facing a different wall. It creates tension. You want things to flow in your living space so that you can relax when you come home. Separate your work space from your bedroom. Separate your living space from your kitchen. Every space should serve its own purpose. The last thing you want is for your home to feel disjointed. We get that enough disjointedness from the outside world.
Keep it Simple
When trying to make your home feel cozy there’s a tendency to try too hard. In actuality, making a home feel cozy is as simple as the word itself. Coziness doesn't involve trying to please other people. Do what you want. Don’t expect buying loads and loads of flashy things to improve your quality of life. On the other hand, material things such as scented candles, Christmas lights, and bedside diffusers make life a little easier. Above all, simplicity is best. Overcomplicating things is a sure fire way to discontent. Home is best enjoyed with friends and family, far more important aspects than the materialistic things.