How to Create a Cozy Home

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Those who know me know that fall is my favorite time of year. Crisp, cool air, changing leaves, chunky sweaters and a reason to redecorate. A home’s interior often reflects inspiration from the outside world, so it’s only natural to want to bring in the warm colors reflective of autumn. Here are the top ten ways you can transition your space into autumn:

Pull up a throw

Place throw blankets on chairs, sofas and beds. For a clean look, fold the throw in thirds lengthwise and tuck into cushions. Texture makes a difference; faux fur, wool, felt, heavy cotton and cable knit cotton all work nicely.

Pillows talk

Changing accent pillows with the seasons is simple and inexpensive. Having inserts that allow you to change covers is particularly savvy. Velvets and knits can replace summer fabrics such as linen and canvas. Use hues a few shades deeper than what you use in summer. For instance, lilac and pale blue get replaced with jewel tones such as plum, and light yellows with deep mustard tones.

Bring in nature

Where you may have displayed found shells and sea glass during summer, you can now create arrangements with acorns, pinecones and sculptural tree branches. An assortment of squash, pumpkins and other harvested goodies make great centerpieces on a table or kitchen counter.

Art swap

Replace selected pieces of art with warm, fall-inspired scenes or colors. Consider collecting art prints you can change out with the seasons. Store prints in acid-free archive safe folders until next spring. Rotating art throughout the year keeps your walls exciting and prevents clutter from hanging too many pieces at once.

Cover your floors

The coolness of tile and bare hardwood floors is refreshing in the summer months, but quickly becomes uninviting as the temperatures begin to drop. Add area rugs for warmth and texture. Pick up colors also used in your throw blankets and pillows to tie the look together. Regular carpeting can be cut into custom sizes and the edges bound – an inexpensive option to traditional area rugs. Ask your local flooring retailer about remnants they may have for sale.

Hang curtains

There’s no better way to add a layer of insulation to your windows than heavy fabric panels, especially when lined. Curtains help keep your heating costs down and the coziness factor up. The addition of window treatments in any room adds an instant “wow” factor.

Paint

Nothing changes the look of a room faster than a fresh coat of paint. Experiment with bold, deep colors for fall. Even one accent wall can transform a space. Consider a rich chocolate brown or a warm rust hue.

Make a headboard

If you’ve shopped for a headboard recently you’ve most likely learned this seemingly small panel can become quite a large expense. However, the addition of a headboard, particularly in fabric, adds warmth and comfort to your bedroom in a big way. Embark on a weekend project by following simple instructions from a DIY website such as www.doityourself.com to create your very own padded headboard using a wood panel, foam, batting and fabric.

Hearth is where the heart is

If your home doesn’t include a built-in fireplace, consider other ways to bring fire elements into your home. Ventless fireplaces are an option without the expense of extensive reconstruction. Groupings of candles make more of an impression than lonely single candles scattered about a room. Place candles of various heights together on a tray for a glowing centerpiece or coffee table focal point.

Let there be light

Add ambiance and warmth to your home by bringing in additional light during the darker months. Invest in new lamps to integrate into furniture arrangements. Swap out cool light bulbs with those that give warmer light. Compact fluorescents are great for energy savings, but have had a bad rap because of color distortion. Be sure to give them a chance as they have recently improved and will continue to do so. The best ones are equal to incandescent bulbs in the quality of light they produce.

Tags: cozy home, interior design

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Ashley Cole

Ashley Cole is a professional interior designer based in Grand Rapids. Her work has been featured on HGTV as well as in numerous publications, including Kitchen Trends and Home Magazine. Ashley’s passion is “creating environments that enliven the spirit.”

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