How to Make Your Home Feel Warm and Cozy (Even if You’re a Minimalist)

LAST UPDATED: Feb 25, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Feb 01, 2020 | By: Julie Blanner

Get all the tips for creating a warm and cozy home, even if you’re a minimalist. You’ll find creative, inexpensive ideas for creating the ultimate cozy living vibes without bringing in too much “stuff”. 

tips to make your home feel warm and cozy

Over the weekend, an Instagram follower said “I just love how you are able to make your spaces so cozy and minimal simultaneously. It’s a talent.” I was so thrilled to hear that, because that’s exactly how I want our home to feel. Calm, cozy, minimal, but warm. Success!

Inspired by her comment, I’m breaking down my tips for a warm and cozy home.

Creating a Cozy Home

I’ve always gravitated toward warm and cozy spaces, much like those in Nancy Meyers films {Something’s Gotta Give, Father of the Bride, The Holiday, and so many more}. That’s because whether the spaces are light or dark, they are thoughtful and feel so lived-in and loved.

A cozy home featuring a white living room with a white sofa, wood coffee table, and minimal decor accents.

I’ve written about how to ease into minimalist living, minimalist seasonal decor, and our minimalist home details. You can also find all the details about our minimalist kitchen here! 

It’s one of my favorite subjects, and one that takes some practice but is so worth the effort. If you’re looking for inspiration for simple living, I’ve got it – whether it’s your home, meals, organization or daily life!

You can also find my favorite tips for where to invest in your home (for the best return) and tips for getting a luxury home for less.

Although minimalism might seem cold and contemporary, that doesn’t have to be the case at all. There are so many ways to make your home feel cozier!

A cozy living room with a wooden accent table, lamp plant and art in the background.

Having “white” paint doesn’t mean your home has to feel stark, and being minimal doesn’t have to make your home feel bare.

Tips to Create a Warm and Cozy Home

  1. Select a warm paint color. I’ve broken down my favorites for you! Pssst… gray by nature is cool, so if you want your home to feel warm, use a warm paint color. I also prefer an eggshell or satin sheen because flat feels… well, flat to me. You often see it used in office buildings with stark white walls and basic gray carpet, which doesn’t exactly evoke that cozy feeling. use a warm paint color to make your home feel cozy
  2. Incorporate wood. Wood instantly warms a room, even if just a hint {like this kitchen island below}. You can create a cozy home with wood elements like hardwood floors, wood furniture like a dresser or coffee table, wood shelving or accents like bowls, pedestals and trays. decorating tip make a home feel cozy with wood
  3.  Layer with rugs. I’ve written about pet friendly rugs before, and also how to shop for and purchase vintage rugs. This is an important factor in adding warmth and charm to your home, and it instantly makes a room feel cozier!A simple hallway with a vintage Turkish rug on the wood floors.
  4. Add texture. You can incorporate this element through things like rugs, blankets, window treatments, pillow covers , art and more (below in shades, furniture and rug).make a home feel warm and cozy by adding texture
  5. Blend old and new. Hey, I love Ikea as much as the next girl, and I’ve certainly bought my fair share of new purchases for our home. In fact, you can read my posts about shopping for an Ikea sofa vs a Pottery Barn sofa right here. However, one of the most important ways to character to your home is to include vintage or antique pieces! They don’t have to be family heirlooms. In fact, purchasing second hand pieces on Craigslist or in thrift stores can be so rewarding and add so much charm to your home. (Read more about this antique linen cabinet and how we use it for storage right here!) blend old and new to make a home feel warm and cozy
  6. Add something organic in every room. Plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables bring so much life to a space. I’ve brought you some fun plant ideas in the past, including posts about the best easy care plants, my favorite ZZ plants, Meyer Lemon trees, and even the best way to water plants when you’re away.A bright and cozy home kitchen with white cabinets, brass faucet and a vase of flowers by the sink.
  7. Bring in small comforts like pillows and throws. One of the easiest way to change the look, feel, and seasonal style of your room is to change your pillow covers! It’s one of my favorite tricks for a cozy living room, and it’s easy to learn how to mix and match patterns and styles. Blankets and throws are a necessity in our home at all times of the year! Simply store them away in a pretty basket when not in use if you don’t love the look of draping across an ottoman, sofa or chair. They add instant cozy living vibes! A cozy home living room with white walls, sofa and blue chairs, lots of pillows and throws.
  8. Hang pictures at eye level. This is such an easy change to make in your home! Why does it seem like so much art is hung so high on walls? It should ideally be at eye level, where your family and guests can enjoy the items that are so special to you. This creates an element of instant warmth and comfort in your cozy home, and it invites guests to get to know you and your family’s story more intimately. Get all my best ideas for inexpensive homemade art, and find amazing ideas for easy wall decor ideas throughout your home right here! Woman in a blue dress hanging a piece of framed art in a cozy living room.
  9. Mix and match. Your furniture doesn’t have to come in a set, and maybe it shouldn’t! It feels so much more interesting to mix and match color, style or both. You can see another example in our breakfast room. One of my favorite tricks is to buy furniture that can do double duty because it’s flexible and multipurpose- making it so easy to mix and match. Read more here.A little girl's room in a cozy home, featuring velvet drapes and a vintage chandelier.
  10. Use warm metals. Of course, you can clearly see my love for the patina of raw brass throughout these images. There are a variety of ways to bring in warm metals to your home! Search for antique silver plated pieces at thrift stores, add a fresh brass tray to your coffee table or a mirror to your walls.A white bathroom sink close-up shot, brass faucet and brass mirror above.

You can see all of these decorating tips incorporated into our family room, below! 

  1. Warm paint color
  2. Incorporate wood
  3. Layered rugs
  4. Textural elements
  5. Mix of old and new
  6. Organic pieces
  7. Cozy comforts (blankets, pillows)
  8. Art hung at eye level
  9. Mismatched furniture
  10. Warm metals

A warm and cozy living room with neutral colors, wood accents and organic textures.

When everything has a purpose, you have designed a minimal home that not only blends function and design, but authentically feels warm, cozy and thoughtful.

I’d love to hear from you! What are your favorite tricks for creating a warm and cozy home? Is your cozy living room the best space in your house? Or is it a bedroom? Please share in the comments! 

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