What is it exactly that makes for a comfortable home? Pictures? Cozy Blankets?
For me personally, for a house to seem like a home, it needs to have elements that induce relaxation and family living, rather than bare minimalism and functionality.
I don’t mean messiness or clutter! I just mean it’s nice to have some objects out on display and ready to be used or admired.
(For example, books, toys, and magazines.)
That’s where homemaking comes in. Even if you outsource some of the housework, as the CEO of your home you can create a comfortable feeling in your house.
So let’s get down to brass tacks. These are the five elements that I think help create a cozy home.
Lighting is super important to create a feeling of coziness. Even in the summer.
I love low lighting and lamps for evening activities like reading and watching TV, and even if I’m working I don’t like to have full-on ceiling lights.
In the master bedroom, we have IKEA bedside table lamps (pictured), in the girls’ bedroom we have a wall lamp (in the shape of a cloud), and in Daniel’s room an uplighter.
In the living room, we have simple table lamps, also from IKEA, which are set on low tables and which we use often in the evenings.
If you’d like to invest in some more lamps for your home, I’d recommend using yellow lights over white, and trying to keep them dim and muted. You can always have a few turned on at the same time, if necessary!
Another great lighting option is having candles placed around your house for when the kids are in bed (if they’re under six), which will also give the house a beautiful light and glow.
2. Books and reading corners
I love books, reading corners, and bookshelves! They make the house seem so cozy, interesting, and, well, cultured!
In our house we have a desk with shelves full of books in our basement, we have an actual bookshelf unit as well as a reading corner in the living room. (Plus little piles of books on tables – like the ones pictured).
Then we also have books in the children’s bedrooms on shelves, and in our room in our bedside units.
You can never have too many books! And having them placed in different parts of the house, encourages reading in different rooms.
If you’re looking to add more books to your home, don’t worry about matching covers (like encyclopedia-type books). Mismatched books actually make them all the more interesting to look through. At least for people like me. 🤣
3. Plants and flowers
I love seeing plants placed in different corners of the house. They bring so much life and vitality to the surroundings.
In our house, most of the plants are in the living room (dragon tree in the living room pictured) and in the kitchen because those are living areas, but we also have a couple in other corners of the house.
I know plants imply a certain amount of care so if you don’t have time to maintain them, you could always buy some fake plants to start off with and then start investing in some real plants, as and when you feel you can.
That’s what I’ve done in both my living room and my kitchen. About 50% of my plants are real, and the other 50 are fake.
To be honest, I love the look and feel of plants, but being a busy mum, blogger, writer, translator and a 1000 other jobs makes it challenging to have anything that requires too much attention.
So what I do is that I really only have succulents that require little watering!
I also have a few bunches of fake flowers which I like because they don’t look “too fake” if you know what I mean, and they bring some colour to the house.
If you have real plants use them to your advantage and place them in bare corners (according to their light requirements), window sills, tables and shelves.
4. Family pictures
Family pictures are the ultimate way of making a house look like a home. I love family pictures, and, in fact, I would like to get more than I currently have.
At the moment I have some of my children’s baby pictures in picture frames in their bedrooms, a few wedding picture frames in my husband’s and mine’s bedroom, and then some other family pictures dotted around the living room and kitchen.
If you’re artistic you could also look into photo strings instead of photo frames or even collages.
I believe texture is one of the most important elements of a homely feel in a house. Texture as in curtains, cushions, rugs, blankets, baskets, table cloths.
As we have marble floors in the living room, I love to bring some texture to the feel of the room, so I have curtains (pictured), rugs, and cushions to make it seem more homely.
While it’s true that if you live in a hot climate it may not be appropriate to have rugs and blankets, you can still invest in some lovely curtains, light tablecloths, and thin fabric cushions.
Zara Home has some lovely ones, by the way!
If you live in a colder climate, choose as much texture as you like with fluffy rugs, velvet cushions, woolly throws and blankets, and anything else that brings warmth and coziness.
You may be like me and live in a mixed climate, in which case you can rotate the texture elements around the house, depending on the season.
What do you think makes a house seem homely? Let me know in the comments.
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