You don't need interior design experience or loads of money to make your home feel more cozy. These improvements require small investments of money and/or time, but the payoff is big. Whether you've recently become an empty nester, just moved into a new place or simply want to give your home a makeover, these updates will make your house, condo or apartment a place you can't wait to wake up in or come home to at night.
1. Portable fireplaces
There's nothing like a fireplace to add visual and actual warmth. From freestanding electric stoves to wall-mounted electric fireplace heaters, it's easy to get the glow of a fireplace without the permanence, expense or hassle. Indoor/outdoor models are available, as well as contemporary glass styles and gel fuel-operated options.
2. Softer wall colors
Peachy, golden or off-white hues provide instant warmth. Enhance the effect with soft lighting for a face-flattering glow. Cooler colors can look cozy, too; just go with lighter shades. Some examples are sage green vs. hunter green or sky blue vs. navy blue. `
3. Textured wallpaper or faux paint
Texture makes a room feel homier. Wallpaper with a raised texture can accomplish this, or opt for faux-finish paint for the same effect without the risk of peeling.
4. Cushions and throws
These accessories add texture and physical comfort while allowing you to introduce cozy colors and patterns into your decor. Try mix and matching cushions that compliment your existing colour scheme. Throws are a great way to make your sofa extra comfortable, a good idea is to think about how big or small you would like your throw to be before your purchase it.
5. Velvet drapes
If you associate velvet with cheesy paintings or gaudy 70s decor, take a look at what's on offer these days. Today's velvet-like curtains offer warmth and texture in teal, buttercup yellow and other fresh, pretty colors.
A well-placed plant or group of plants can breathe life into a room. Besides adding visual appeal, some plants actually filter benzene, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde and a host of other toxins from the air for a healthier environment. The U.S. space agency NASA uses Gerbera daisies, rubber plants, pot mums, weeping figs and a number of other varieties to filter space station air.
7. Table lamps
Table lamps is the kind of lighting that brings rooms, especially large ones, down to a people-friendly scale. They also provide adequate lighting for reading, crossword puzzles and other in-for-the-night activities.
8. Adjustable lighting
From dimmer switches to three-way light bulbs, adjustable lighting lets you set the mood for any occasion. Brighten the room on a dreary day or create a warm, cozy feel for evenings at home. "Warm" LED lighting saves money and energy without being overly bright.
Candles offer the ultimate in low-tech mood lighting. Amazing scents are available to adjust the atmosphere in your home, and lead-free wicks and natural materials make for healthier alternatives to old-school candles.
10. Channeling your passion
Go further by turning an unused space into a place for indulging in activities that make you truly happy. Create a craft room, art studio, music room, etc., from under-utilised space.