With snowflakes softly swirling against the window and the cold season definitely having gained footing, making the home comfy and cosy is more dear to most than ever. Christmas time is family time, and it is also a time where we stay in and adore the winter weather from the warmth of our living rooms.
But what makes a home cosy? Many would say, it's the company inside and family coming together while food is cooking slowly on the stove, and while all of the above is true, a lot of cosiness comes to the right interior. Believe me, these cosy rooms you see in magazines are down to perfect lighting, well-positioned items and the right angle of camera. Surely, the latter is not really applicable in making a home cosy, but the first two can definitely be used to increase homeyness in your house or flat as well, so find out 7 Tips To Make A Home Cosy, concentrating mainly on the living room for this feature. More to come soon.
1) Make a fire
Most of us would agree that nothing is cosier than a lit fire in the fireplace. Soft crackling and the natural warm light create the perfect environment for a cosy home. Now, many of us don't have firesides, like myself, as I am currently residing in an old flat in Vienna. This tip I encountered when visiting the Wöscherhof with my fiance after our engagement party, and it is pretty simple, in fact. For fake fire with a close-to-real atmosphere, simply choose a YouTube video of a crackling fire and put it on the TV - sound on, of course. It does not only instantaneously light the room with warm and gentle light, but it also makes the TV look less intrusive and black. And if you put the heaters up, you may even pretend it emanates warmth.
2) Use smaller lamps instead of ceiling lights
Whoever has a knack for interior design will agree that ceiling lighting is usually a pretty cold and not cosy affair. Instead of letting the light source come from one cold bulb dangling in the middle of the room, making your living room resemble an interrogation room, opt for many smaller lamps which are spread around the room. In fact, my living room has four little lights, one in each corner, and that does not even include the candles and fairy light chains yet. The great thing about smaller lamps is that the warmth of the light can be distributed wherever you need it. You can have one little light on and your (TV) fire and candles, which creates the perfect atmosphere for a lovely evening with reading or cuddling on the sofa - it does not get any cosier.
3) Have curtains even if you have blinds
Blinds are usually not very pretty, and even though they are practical, I would never replace my curtains with them. In my living room, I have blinds which allows me to always have my curtains open in a decorative manner, adding a lot of atmosphere to the room. Curtains also make a room look more together, which instantly creates a homey atmosphere. Who wants to put an extra twist on their curtains during the cold season, put fairy lights over them and enjoy the warm and inviting atmosphere unfolding.
4) Put on candles
This relates to the first tip. Nothing says cosy as much as firelight (as long as it is contained, of course, a burning house is not necessarily desirable). I love candles and light them every evening, especially in winter when the dark sets so early. IKEA has great scented candles which last a long time, or for more upscale scented candles, try Yankee candles. I also love lanterns and they can also be put inside the house as well as outside. If fire is not entirely your thing due to safety hazards, put fairy lights into the lanterns, which does not only look really stylish, but definitely adds to a comfy vibe.
5) Have books in your rooms
This tip is mainly valid for the readers among you, as I don't believe in buying books just for decoration for a home where nobody reads (but if you don't, you should, it's amazing!). Books always create a cosier and lovelier home, partly because their whispers tell of innumerable stories and worlds to explore. I have encountered various homes where I wondered what was missing to make it homey and then I realised it was missing books. Even though Kindles are also great, there is nothing better than a real book which is well-leafed through and proudly stands in line with all the other stories you have already enjoyed in your life. Old books can also be used for decorative purposes, like drilling a hole through them and putting them on a metal stick to make a stable book stack. Such constructions times 4 can also serve as the legs for a self-built table.
6) Don't tidy up too much
Certainly, having a neat and tidy home also adds to a welcoming and inviting atmosphere, but tidying away too much simply makes a house feel empty and unlived in. I, for instance, keep my interior magazines in a blue basket on the table and people love leafing through them whenever they come over. Books that I am currently reading are also lying on the tables or in the shelves and I don't put them away, or a teacup can still be found on the table. I am not suggesting to leave these things out on purpose; however, don't get overly stressed when having people over to tidy up everything, as a home needs to feel lived in to create a cosy atmosphere - and it's less stressful, too, yay!
7) Put on music
Lastly, there is nothing as uniting, as enjoyable and as welcoming as music. Music can create fantastic vibes and when someone is invited in and hears the festive tunes quietly playing in the background, you are all set for a homey atmosphere. During the festive months, I actually only play Christmas music and you can read previous posts on Christmas music here, if you need inspiration. Kate Rusby's Christmas albums always do their magic and are neither intrusive not too loud and frilly. Another great album I have recently obtained is the one from Katie Melua where she sings partly in Georgian - it's really something else and should definitely be in the collection of Christmas music enthusiasts.
To circle back to the beginning, all these hacks and tips will not work if a family does not have a fondness for their home, so baking, cooking, cuddling, reading, watching Netflix, whatever it is what makes you happy should also be part of creating a cosier home, but with these interior and life hacks, getting started gets a little easier :-)