I'm all about creating a cozy home, afterall... it is where you spend lots of time with your family making memories. We moved into our home April 2014, so it's been a little over 8 years. When we first moved in- we didn't have a big budget or really, any budget to spend on renovations & upgrading our new home. Over the years, I have learned several tricks & tips on how to give your home an elegant feel- without breaking the bank. And while we are in a big season of renovations in our home this year- it wasn't always like that & there are many tips that I still use to this day just because I love them & they help me bring out my creative side.
1. A new paint job goes a long way!
You can't make a house feel cozy overnight but if there's one quick way to help make it happen in a day or two... a new color of paint will surely help do the trick. Hiring painters can be costly- everything in our home... I have painted myself or Garrett has, which has saved us a ton of money! When we moved in... our kitchen had orange sponge painted walls, our bedroom was a bright aqua blue & our bathroom.... was purple! After we painted... it instantly looked like an entirely new space... just with a little paint. If you've lived in your home for a few years & looking to change things up... think about a new paint color or even a contrasting accent wall to brighten things up. Some of my favorite neutral paint colors are: Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore, Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore, Putty by Fusion Mineral Paint, Fog by Rethunk Junk Resin Paint, Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams, Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams, Alabaster by Sherwin Williams. I am loving the "mushroom" paint colors: Pashmina by Benjamin Moore, French Gray by Farrow & Ball & Loggia by Sherwin Williams.
2. Declutter. Find a place for everything!
You'd be surprised at how much of what you have in your home... you rarely use or decorate with. This is the perfect time to do a little organizing & tidying. Countertops tend to be a space that can easily get cluttered with dishes, mail, etc. Try to keep the counters as clutter free as possible. This will make your counter space feel larger. It is also a great time to go through & find items to host a yard sale... you can then use the money you made to buy that new piece of artwork you've been looking at...or that new lamp. Win, win!
3. Add Seasonal Pillows & Throws
Would you believe that our couch is actually 17 years old? My mom handed it down to us & I just can't seem to part ways with it for a few reasons- the biggest reason being is that it is SO comfortable. I didn't care for the color of it & wanted to brighten it up. I just so happened to be out shopping at a local antique shop & came across a beautiful vintage bedspread blanket for only $35. I took it home & washed it really good & now it serves as a cover for our couch. It fits my cottage farmhouse décor perfectly & was a quick way to change up our couch without going out & buying a new one.
My favorite place to shop for pillows & throws is Target. You can't beat their prices & the Studio McGee & Magnolia Home lines are always right on point with the current trends. I always go for the neutral tones- as they tend to match with every season, especially with pillows. Throw blankets- well, I have a ton! They are a quick way to bring texture & color to your home through each season without spending a lot of money. Plus, they are so fun to have during movie night & when you have friends or family down for the weekend.
4. DIYs is where it's at!
Sometimes, we just want something done. Like a board & batten wall or a shiplap fireplace. Maybe the supplies are in your budget but the labor isn't. You can find SO many DIY tutorials now days... utilize Pinterest, Instagram & YouTube- they are a DIYers best friend. You can gain new knowledge & get a little new creative inspo for your home too! Pick a project that you know you are capable of completing. You wouldn't want to be stuck in a rut with a DIY gone wrong & now you're spending more money that you initially would be hiring someone to do the job for you. Set a realistic budget & stick to it. Make your plans. See if you have any items around your home that you could reuse from a prior project. We like to keep extra wood from all of our projects & it has come in handy more than several times when we are doing random projects in our home. Deck building isn't something that me & Garrett can do- this is why we have put off our deck being built for 8 years. 8 years of patience to have the EXACT deck we've always dreamed of. A little patience goes a long way in home renovations & upgrades too. I like completing the smaller, less expensive projects first & then saving up for the larger ones.
4. Candles, Music & Snacks
Having guests over for the weekend? Day night in? Movie night with the family? These 3 things are the easiest way to bring some instant cozy to your home & not just for a special occasion. Candles are not only pretty & cozy with the flame but the scent is an added bonus too, everyone loves a home that smells good. It gives us all the good feels. Add in a little music & a few of your favorite snacks & viola! My favorite is a rainy fall evening with the candles lit, music going, dinner in the crockpot & snacks out on the table for the family to enjoy. Making memories is key. If you aren't able to use candles- you can also use wax melts, fresh flowers, etc. to bring a little bit of fragrance to your home.
5. Lighting is important!
Chose the color of your lighting wisely. Cool white lights are colder & warm white lights are warmer & cozier- this is why we love candle lights... it's warm color. Cool white LED lights don't do your home justice, stick with warm white lights & I promise you'll be happy you did. A fun way to bring a little more light to your home is by adding warm strip lighting behind your TV.
A few more ways that I love the bring cozy into my home are:
- bringing the outdoors in: plants, plants & more plants- nothing says cottage cozy better than plants... use a mix of faux & real plants
- area rugs: rugs are like artwork for your floor- I like using jute rugs for the farmhouse cottage aesthetic
- family heirlooms: display them proudly & uniquely: curio cabinets, bowls, dishes, wine glasses, blankets, etc.
- add texture: think baskets, wood, ceramic, leather, old books, chunky knit, linen, velvet, old pots
- curtains: place your curtain rods up high on your wall to create the illusion of taller ceilings, lighter colored curtains make your space feel brighter & open
- mirrors: try to place them to reflect light from a window to brighten up your space
- shop at your local Goodwill, antique shops & yard sales: you never know what amazingly beautiful things you may find- sometimes they need nothing done to them & other times a little bit of paint can make it the perfect fit for your home & it's budget friendly too
Be sure to follow me on Instagram (krystlemarienickels) & stay up to date on what I'm up to day to day. Happy decorating, friend!