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”. 

A cozy home is one that feels welcoming, comfortable and warm. You can achieve a cozy aesthetic no matter your personal design style or taste – learn the secrets!

In the music room, there is a vase of flowers on the table and a guitar hanging on the wall in the background.
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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 is often created over time, and with careful effort.

I have realized over my years of decorating both our St. Louis home and our Modern Lake House, that a few things always help create the look I’m after. Welcoming, soft, and uncluttered, but thoughtful!

White sofa in a white living room with a wood coffee table

An Instagram follower once commented and 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!

How to Create a Cozy Home

Is it possible to live minimally, but still have your home feel warm and cozy? My answer is absolutely. You don’t have to bring in too much extra stuff just to create a welcoming house!

Before we jump to our favorite cozy home inspiration, here are a few tips, tricks and answers to commonly asked questions.

White sofa in a white living room with a wood coffee table

Frequently Asked Questions

What does cozy mean when it comes to home decorating?

Generally, the term cozy references a warm, comfortable and welcoming environment. It can also refer to the size of a space – cozy can be a kinder way of saying that a room is small, but still warm and welcoming.

What’s a budget friendly way to create a cozy home?

Many of the ideas in this cozy home guide are budget friendly! From the tips about art work, to changing your pillow covers, you’ll be surprised how many ideas are super affordable – and even free.

White sofa in a white living room with a wood coffee table

Tips

  • Instead of bringing in more stuff, simply change items out seasonally. This goes for pillow covers, candles, and even the wreath on your front door and artwork on your walls.
  • Cozy means welcoming for many people. If you’re inviting guests, light the candles, start a fire, and turn on all your lamps. Instant cozy vibes!
  • Clutter is just that… clutter. While you want your home to be comfortable, clean surfaces are always the best start! Find my best Decluttering Tips here.

12 Steps to Create a Warm and Cozy Home

Here are a few simple ways to instantly help you create a cozy home.

Choose a Warm Wall Color

I’ve broken down my favorite Warm Whites, Mushroom Paint Colors and Greige Paint Colors 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. Read more about Paint Sheens here.

Having “white” paint doesn’t mean your home has to feel stark.

A laundry room with cream walls, greige cabinets and herringbone floors.

Incorporate Wood

Any amount of wood integrated into your home adds warmth. Incorporate wood on a large scale with hardwood floors, cabinets, furniture or door. Decorative accents like trays, bowls and frames can add little hints throughout your home.

A white entryway with a coat rack and a pair of boot trays.

Layer with Rugs

Layering rugs on carpet, wood, tile and other flooring adds a layer of warmth – especially on solid surfaces. In addition to warmth the rug you select can add interest, texture, warmth and function! These are a few of my favorite styles:

Favorite Rug Styles

Ultimate Rug Guide

The Ultimate Rug Guide

Get the secrets to help make a rug purchase so easy! Find out how to narrow down your choices based on size, color, material and durability. This rug shopping guide makes the process simple and yes… even fun! Read More

 

 

Add Texture

There are so many ways to incorporate texture in your home!

A coastal bedroom with floral wallpaper, and a rattan headboard, bench and light fixture

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 there. 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!) 

In the music room, there is a vase of flowers on the table and a guitar hanging on the wall in the background.

Add Something Organic in Every Room

Plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables breathe life into a room. Below are some of my favorites, including where to use and detailed guides to care for them.

Easy to Care For Plants

Easy to care for plants
An entryway in a home with wood floors and a wood dresser with magnolia branches in a vase

Add 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 easily accessible throughout our home. Stored in baskets, draped on sofas, chairs or folded in a tray for instant comfort.

Textured pillows on a white sofa, in pale pastel whites and creams

Hang Art and 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 my favorite Amazon art, free art sources, and find amazing ideas for easy DIY wall decor ideas throughout your home right here!

A white living room with navy chairs and textured rattan chairs

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.

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.

A piano in a family music room.

Integrate Warm Metals

According to my favorite interior designers, brass is here to stay. 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 cozy home with brass metals in a white bathroom

Favorite Brass Hardware

A white kitchen with custom cabinetry and a wooden floor, featuring an oven.

Lighting

Lighting goes far beyond your overhead fixtures! Consider adding pretty lamps and sconces to your home. Dramatic flames like a fireplace, or even something as simple as candle light to bring all the cozy vibes into your home.

A bathroom with creamy walls and a greige vanity, with wall sconces for a cozy feel

Use Warm White Light Bulbs

For instant warmth, update your lightbulbs. The right warm lightbulbs will add a beautiful warm glow! You can learn more about our favorite light bulbs that we use throughout our homes at the link above.

A primary bedroom with carpeted floor that have a vintage turkish rug placed on top, and a wood dresser in the corner.

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33 Comments

  1. Just love these tips and great suggestions for improving space. I have a lot of work to do to attain some sort of organization and downsize in my home. It is overwhelming to me and your tips will certainly help me through this process of eliminating. Thanks so much.

  2. Why have you and other bloggers stopped putting dates posted on your blogs? Don’t know if we should comment for your answers or the blog is so old you won’t be reading. Help!

    What do we do a it the useless items we have?

    Where do you store your seasonal decorations?

    This blog is priceless. Thank you!

    1. I do! It’s right under the title of the post. I read ALL of my comments, new and old (and LOVE them!)
      I tend to decorate with staples that transition from one season to another and incorporate organic elements, so there is little to store. I do have a small storage area in the basement with a few shelves, but to be honest, not a lot of seasonal decor. It felt cumbersome to get things out and stow away all the time. Most of my seasonal decor is limited to things my mom made like her ceramic Christmas tree. You can read more here: Minimalist Seasonal Decor

      If it’s useless, it’s donated or recycled. Thanks for chiming in!

  3. Your article has some great tips that I’ve been looking for. I’ve lived in my apartment for over a decade but it still seems to be missing the “warm” factor. Its not just about the furniture but the add-ons (paint, pictures, plants..that make it a home). My style is a mix of farmhouse and traditional with a splash of bohemian..however I find the whimisical child in me bubbling to the surface now and again.

    How can I incorporate a bit of whimisical in my home from time to time without a holiday feel and being corny?

    1. Little hints here and there are always welcomed! I think the ratio is what typically makes it feel corny.

  4. I do not know where to ask this, but can you tell me where you buy your soft, drapey, white ribbon such as that which you tied on your banister with the greenery/candles at Christmas?

    1. Of course! That’s from Michael’s – it’s part of their wedding line, about $8.99 a roll. It’s my go to!