Originally published November 22, 2010 at midnight, updated November 20, 2010 at 11:12 p.m.
It’s more than just a large heating bill that can make your home feel warm and toasty.
To get things truly nice and comfortable, you have to bring in the coziness, not just the artificial heat. But creating that feeling can be a bit hit-and-miss, especially when facing down a wall of seasonal pillows or throws.
That said, we’ve got some pro tips to create a warm and fuzzy home without becoming so exhausted you just want to hibernate all winter.
Pay attention to texture. Most of what we associate with the word cozy comes from things that make us feel warm. And because many of the things that make us feel warm — sweaters, blankets, pillows — involve fabric touching our skin, texture becomes a very important element in coziness.
“Cozy’s all about texture,” says Julie Adolph of Adolph Interiors, 1201 Wakarusa Drive. “And if you think about, if you don’t get it. If you don’t understand what that means, if you think about a silk blouse as opposed to a sweater, then you see the difference immediately between cozy and texture and what texture means.”
Add accessories. Accessories are an easy way to up the coziness factor of a room. Pillows, blankets and rugs can all create that nice, warm feeling we crave after coming in from a winter’s day says Galen Tarman, owner of Blue Heron, 642 Locust St.
“When I think of cozying up a house, I often think of textiles, throws to throw over your sofa or chair, (and to) add some nice lighting that’s not necessarily task lighting, but kind of an ambient lighting where it’s creating kind of a mood,” says Tarman, who even suggests plants to give your home a warmer feel. “Just bringing in some of the nature from outside (helps).”
But don’t add too much. Adolph says there’s a fine line between cozy and cluttered. Make sure to edit yourself before you find yourself with too much going on in one room.
“I think you need to be really careful when you try to get things cozy that you don’t overdo and get too much stuff happening, because that changes from ‘cozy’ to ‘smother,’” Adolph says.
Don’t forget your style. Another thing to take care to think about? Your style. The last thing you want to do is betray it with a bunch of incongruous new pieces, the experts say.
“Everybody has their own style, I mean design is (meant) to reflect the personality of the homeowner,” says Scott Wisdom, a designer/buyer for House Parts, 714 Mass. “If you’re French country or very traditional, you’re definitely going to have more accessories and things added in. If you’re contemporary-modern, you’re definitely editing and streamlining your looks and your accessories and everything.”
Make it glow. You can’t snuggle up to it, but lighting is an incredibly important part of creating that cozy feeling. Wisdom says that adding candles can instantly make a room feel warmer.
“Candelabras, hurricanes candle holders, especially with an amber or gold glass really gives you that warm glow,” says Wisdom, who also notes that scented candles can really add to the cozy mood, especially in seasonal formulas like pine, pumpkin or something spicy like cinnamon. “Certain scents can definitely give you that feeling of home or nostalgia that really gives you that sense of a warm, cozy feeling at home.”
Don’t forget your walls and windows. Another inexpensive way to up the cozy factor? Paint. Going for warm, bold colors on your walls is an easy way to add to the lush feeling says Tarman, who has much of his shop outfitted in colors inspired by some of the Indian and Moroccan items he carries.
“Anytime you can add some color, I think it helps, especially in the winter months, to kind of cheer you up a bit,” Tarman says.
Cozy doesn’t have to mean expensive. Wisdom says that especially with sales this time of year, it’s easy to pick up items to add to your comfort on the cheap.
“A candle is really inexpensive, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be a ‘look.’ Because of the fragrance, really, like I said with nostalgia, can make it seem cozy,” Wisdom says. “Throws aren’t that expensive. It depends on what style — if you go with chenille, they can be $20-$25.”