A cozy house filled with the scent of baking cookies and gingerbread, Bing Crosby music wafting from the speakers, and a roaring fire going in the fireplace as the centerpiece of it all: This is what many of us think about when we think of cozying up at home in the wintertime. If you live in the winter postcard towns of Bangor, Maine, or Telluride, Colorado, it’s easy to create this tableau. But can those of us living in NYC achieve this vibe in our homes, especially if we don’t have fireplaces? Yes.
Get Cozy with Texture
Many people underestimate the power that textures and fabrics have on the psyche. Light fabrics like chiffon and silk bring to mind light-colored summer dresses on balmy evenings and soft breezes billowing through light drapes. Heavy fabrics and textures like fur, wool, flannel, and knits evoke feelings of warmth and coziness. Using them in your home can instantly make things cozier.
- Throws: Dress your sofa with the warmest throw you can find, the kind that will make you want to bury into it as soon as you walk into the room. Faux fur is an example of an ultra-rich material that will envelope you with decadent coziness.
- Drapes: Swap out your warm-weather curtains for winter-ready drapes. Thick, rich drapes not only block out the cold, sealing in the warmth, but they also soundproof rooms, making them hushed, cozy, and cocoon-like.
Put Your to Work Lighting
There’s only one thing to say: Put all of your lighting on dimmers. Instant coziness. Enough said!
Create the Right Ambience
When it comes to what makes a home cozy and welcoming, one of the biggest factors is how the home makes people feel when they walk in.
- Use Music to Set the Mood: It doesn’t have to be a fancypants Infinite Wisdom Grande audio system hooked up to those $300k Goldmund Epilogue speakers that your hedge fund audiophile friend owns. Your iPod connected to one of those tiny iLuv Boom cubes is fine. Set the stage with Bach, Björk, or Beyonce. Keep upbeat, romantic, happy, or energetic background music looping all day long. Even if you have it on the lowest volume level, it gets into your mind and creates a cozy and positive soundtrack for your day.
- Set Up a Media Center: If you have a TV in your common space, great. Position it so that it can viewed comfortably by your guests. If you don’t have a TV, still set up a viewing area where you can lug and prop up your laptop in case friends want to come over and catch up on Piper’s latest shenanigans on Orange Is the New Black on Netflix.
Still Want a Real Fire?
The future is now, and though we may not have hovercrafts (yet!), we do have the ability to a darn good job of creating near-perfect replicas of everything from flawless diamonds to fur to … fireplaces. You may not have a Stanford White–designed mansion with a gloriously detailed stone fireplace built for roasting chestnuts, but you can totally buy a perfectly good replica of a fireplace. We’re not talking about those tacky, fake-flame monstrositites: The electric fireplaces of today can look elegant and startlingly authentic, and gel-fuel fireplaces come in all sorts of modern and vintage designs and styles, allowing you to create the cozy house of your dreams.
Image Source: Flickr/Brian J. Matis
Source: Tips of the Day