I've had several customers in recently looking for items to make their homes cozy. While it's true that the gray and white craze is fading, many of us are still living with that in our homes. And it's still common for new construction, too.
The reality is all white kitchens, gray walls and grey furniture can be cold. And as always, a full decor redo isn't always an option. Here are my top tips for making even the most sterile interior feel warm, cozy and inviting!
Tip 1: Add Wood
Adding wood pieces is the #1 way to add warmth and coziness. Wood is organic, textural and warm. And it doesn't just work for furniture! Think about wood charcuterie boards behind the stove in the kitchen, wooden bowls on stacks of books in the living room, and wooden vases with silk or dried flowers on the buffet. You can also add wood squares behind art pieces or replace colder tabletops with wood slabs - and everything looks better corralled on a wood tray! And the beauty of wood is you can mix tones and types! PRO TIP: Another "warm" material that is VERY trendy right now is rattan. Adding pieces of rattan can really warm up a space; think lampshades, trash cans, storage baskets and even small furniture pieces.
Tip 2: Add Lighting
Having only one light source in a room doesn't give many options. I like to think of light in layers; overhead, mood and task. Having these layers of light makes such a difference, especially at night. In our house, we have under-cabinet lights in the kitchen, and I use them all the time! It's just an extra layer of light, and it looks so cozy in the evenings, too. PRO TIP: Sometimes there just isn't a handy outlet box where you need light. Fortunately, battery-operated lights have improved immensely, and can replace traditional bulbs in sconces and lamps. You can even get them in groups with a remote!
Tip 3: Add Textiles
This one is always the obvious, but it bears repeating. From cozy throws in the living room to cushy blankets on the bed, there is always room for another! Textiles can be in the form of fuzzy ottomans, textural tapestries and unique rugs. Lambskins on sofa arms are coming back into style, and I'm loving some of the super thick, furry pillows I've been seeing! PRO TIP: Heavily textured or brightly colored rugs make stellar wall art.
BONUS TIP: One of the things that can make a house feel less homey is echo. If your furnishings and textiles aren't cutting the echo, here is a super sneaky trick I learned from an interior designer - stash acoustic tiles behind art and under furniture to help "soak up" sound.