Hygge, gezellig, or just plain cosiness, pretty much every culture has a word for creating that sense of hominess — those warm, welcoming places you can’t wait to get back to. It can be hard to get it just right, and can often be the work of a lifetime, but here are ten ways to get your house feeling homey and start on your journey to the perfect cosy den.
1.Rugs are for Every Room
Cold feet are the antithesis of a homey house. This can be combated by a basket full of slippers at the front door (which is highly recommend), however not everyone is comfortable in other people’s shoes. The solution? Rugs and carpets everywhere! Rugs are especially good in rented property with uncarpeted floors since you aren’t really able to lay your own carpet.
2. Hang Artwork
Hanging artwork around your house brings many benefits and is not nearly as expensive as most people think. Of course, you can spend thousands on original works, but there is also the option of buying prints or originals from lesser-known artists — go to craft fairs or college sales for some great budget pieces. You can use art to pull your colour scheme together as well as add a little personal touch to every room. This can be the perfect solution if you have any problems painting in a rented house (see number 4).
3. Get Some Candles
Fire has fascinated humans for thousands of years; it harks back to our basic instincts and nearly anyone you meet will admit to spending at least one evening staring at a flickering flame. Even unlit, the right candles can invoke a cosy feeling and add a homey feel to your house. Look for ones that match the overall color scheme of each room and think about how you place them as well. Glass dishes can give a more minimalist vibe, while large cast-iron spike-style holders could make you feel like you’re living in a castle — not necessarily what you’re looking for in a homey house.
4. Think About Paint
White-washed walls and magnolia stairwells don’t exactly scream “cosy,” and while they may give a clean, minimalist look, they aren’t very inviting. Go to your local paint shop and look for something that has a little more warmth — that doesn’t mean painting your entire living room red (that’s probably a bad idea), but single feature walls and pulling out existing features such as fireplaces in darker colors can immediately make your house feel homier. Think about painting wooden furniture in a room as well to have all the stuff match nicely together. An added bonus of this is that it can be relatively cheap to do; By only focussing on the features you can hit multiple rooms in a house with just a few small cans of paint. If you’re renting your house, make sure to check with the landlord before painting as it could be a breach of your rental agreement.
5. Think About the Smell as well as the Visuals
It’s not just about how a place looks but also about how it smells. Those rich scents of freshly baked bread or laundered cotton make us all sink into comfort. However, most of us haven’t the time to hang around the house baking bread just for the smell, so combine this tip with your decorative candles to double down on your cosy factor.
6. It’s all About the Lighting
Often, a super-bright light in the middle of the room isn’t the best option for lighting — you don’t want your house to feel like a strip mall. Multiple lamps dotted around a room can help make it feel cosy, welcoming and homey. It’s important to think about the bulbs as well as the lamps, steer clear of white-blue light as this will keep you awake and give a feeling of alertness rather than comfort. Instead, look for warm-coloured bulbs or, better yet, use those candles!
7. Books Aren’t Just for Reading
You should read all the books in your house and then go out to get more and read them as well. But books aren’t just for reading — the brown hues and comforting feel of old paper can instantly make a house homier. Vintage books are often cheap to buy and easy to find, focus on yard sales, second-hand markets and end-of-line institutional sales to pick up some bargains for your bookshelf.
8. Add Some Greenery
Apart from the practical considerations of bringing house plants into your home, like temperature control and better air quality, greenery also has a considerable impact on how your living space looks and feels. Plants help boost mood, make people happier and add a living element to your home. We call it greenery, but it doesn’t actually have to all be green — look for red, purple or even more colourful flowers to match your theme and brighten your rooms. Another aspect to consider is how they are housed — terracotta is a classic, but plant stands and coloured pots can make a lovely feature piece in any room.
Wooden furniture invokes the idea of cosy winter cabins, fires blazing in ski lodges and going back to basics. Reclaimed wood has become increasingly popular in recent years which means its much more expensive than it used to be, but if you keep an eye out you can still scoop up some old pieces at a great price from clearance sales and thrift stores. If you’re completely at a loss there is also the option of “aging” some modern pieces using varnishes, waxes and stains. This is the perfect opportunity to let your creative side out and add a little individuality to your home.
10. Cushions and Throws
Possibly one of the most obvious ways to make your house homier — lots of plush, comfy, soft thing. Cushions, pillows, big furry throws. Piles of these things will instantly add a cosy feeling and make your house more like a home. This is also a great way to adjust the colours of a room without changing the paintwork.
Making your house homier can be the work of a lifetime, but with some quick, simple and often cheap solutions you can create a living space you’ll never want to leave. Mix and match these different cosy tips to suit your taste and style, and have the homiest, hygge-ist, most gezellig house around.