Home shouldn't just be the place you sleep at night — ideally it's a place where you can unwind from a long day and where you can look forward to spending time. And that's why if you're like me, you spend a lot of time looking for affordable ways to make your home feel cozy and inviting. In a piece for the HuffPost Healthy Living section, psychotherapist Robi Ludwig said, "we need our home environment to be the place where we can take both personal and physical refuge. It is here that we can balance ourselves and our psyches, because our home is the place where we can relax, regroup and reinforce the best part of who we are."
While creating a cozy living space is important, it also doesn't have to be expensive. There are a ton of big and small things you can do to a room or space that will quickly and affordably take it from average to a super inviting. And you don't have to have a background in interior design or decorating either — literally anyone can rework their space to make it feel more relaxing and restorative. If you're looking for ways to "cozify" your home, here are nine inexpensive ways to do so.
Interior Designer Toni Fairley said that one of the fastest ways to make a space warm and inviting is by layering furniture with blankets and pillows. She recommended layering a bed or couch with a comforter and soft cotton blanket on top so you have options for warmth, and then adding pillows of various shapes and sizes to accommodate different activities, like reading and napping.
2. Warm Wall Colors
In an article for Better Home and Gardens, professional color consultant Barbara Jacobs said that the importance of room color is often underestimated, and that "the effects of color are subtle and significant; physical and psychological." She said, "for a quieter ambiance, make sure your colors are not extremely bright," and recommended warmer shades like oranges, yellows, and neutral browns for coziest of shades.
3. Soft Rugs
According to Nancy Mitchell, Senior Writer at Apartment Therapy, a patterned rug with a texture you want to touch is a great way to add comfort and warmth to a room. Not to mention rugs on bare floors help keep in heat, meaning they are literally warming your space.
Adum Rug, $49.99, Ikea.com
An article on how to choose the perfect curtains and drapes on My Fancy House noted that curtains can radically change a room, and that, "colored curtains create a spacious aspect while dark ones transform a room into a comfortable and welcoming place." They also recommend opting for thicker curtains for south-facing windows that will be in direct sunlight all day, and lighter curtains in oranges, yellows, and browns for windows facing other directions, as they will "enliven the light," and create a welcoming atmosphere.
5. Pay Attention To Lighting
Lighting is an extremely important part of creating ambiance in a space. In an article for WholeLiving, Joseph A. Rey-Barreau, a lighting designer with the American Lighting Association, stressed to avoid bright or [fluorescence] FLUORESCENT overhead lights, instead opting for floor and table lamps with dimmers. "Not using a dimmer is like buying a radio with no volume knob," he says.
Mitchell also recommended switching out cool-toned bulbs for warm one for "nearly instant cozification."
6. Have Fun With Candles
To continue with the lighting theme, don't be afraid of candles! The Bliss and Home Design team said that, "Candles can help transform the mood of any room with their soft glow, and many offer an enticing fragrance to complement the décor throughout your interior." They also recommend using candles of various different sizes to create dimension, as well as finding candle holders that fit the theme of the room.
7. Use Flowers
8. Create A Nook
In an article on WholeLiving, Zen Buddhist priest and author Karen Maezen Miller recommended creating a relaxation nook somewhere in your home. "Designate one chair as your 'quiet chair,'" she said. You can throw a cuddly blanket over it and use a foot rest to make it extra comfortable.
9. Start Seeing Red
The overall color-scheme of a room is one of the most important aspects to creating a welcoming space, and to to "give it soul," as designer Anthony Baratta said in an article on Country Living. He recommends introducing shades of red, like cranberry and Nantucket Red, in a few places throughout the room.
Loving your home is an important part of feeling good, and a cozy living space is not only completely achievable, but it's affordable too. Just keep color, lighting, and soft fabric in mind when choosing basic, inexpensive pieces and you'll soon have a comfy space you'll probably never want to leave.