Well, this one is right up there with those in the decorating realm. They’re so simple, yet powerful, and it can be summed up in one word: texture.
If you’ve ever finished a room makeover and felt like something wasn’t “quite right” or you poured yourself into decorating for a special occassion or a season and found yourself staring, trying to decide what was missing, I can almost bet you can throw in a few (or all) of these 7 ingredients to create a cozy space.
And you’re about to see that pretty much this entire blog’s decor hinges on these 7 elements.
1. Wood Grain
If you’re a fan of neutrals but don’t know how to prevent it from being “boring”, throw in plenty of wood grain! You can go big with a plank wall or wood beam, or you can go small with a wooden crate for shoes or some weathered wood picture frames. A woven basket for blanket storage always seems extra cozy. If you have a painted table and want to bring it to life, nail some wood planks on top. Whatever you decide, you don’t have to paint everything in sight.
I’ve mentioned it in the past, but it’s worth repeating. A vase of flowers, a dried wreath, a few clipped branches, whatever’s in season or makes you happy, add it throughout a room. Nowadays, even fake plants can pass as the real thing. (And goodness knows I can’t keep the live plants going past a few weeks anyway.) It’s amazing how one little plant can perk up an entire room.
If you’re really into the industrial look that seems to be everywhere lately, use metal every chance you get. If you really love the vintage look, metal with an aged patina works even better. Utilize wire baskets, interesting metal lighting, galvanized metal trays, anything- it’s a fun material to work with. Use a little or a lot depending on your taste.
Add some dimension to a room by incorporating lanterns or glass lamps (or bonus- fill them with something else with texture like pine cones or greenery for a terrarium). Use glass jars or vases in tablescapes or on shelves to add that extra layer.
5. Natural Fabrics and Upholstery
Okay okay, this one’s probably a no-brainer. I mean, I hear the word “cozy” and I instantly think of being curled up in a warm, cable knit blanket. The more natural the fabric, the better. Think cotton, linen, burlap, wool, leather, fur (well, faux fur). Utilize them in drapery, upholstery, throws, bedding, and pillows. (Make those pillows filled with down or down alternative for extra comfort.)
6. Washed, aged, or distressed pieces
I love distressed furniture simply because it adds more of that dimension and layering effect. A chippy cabinet, a worn farmhouse table, distressed picture frames, whatever suits you whether you use a little or a lot, that aging adds even more texture that makes a space come to life.
There’s probably a reason I love using maps and books everywhere. It’s another one of those elements that makes a room interesting. Place sheet music scrolls under a glass cloche, frame old letters, whatever speaks to you, put it out in the open.
Next time, if you ever wonder what’s missing, throw in something with an aged metal finish or a piece with great wood grain.
Those are all my secrets! Well most of them anyway. And if you’re a designer by profession, I’m sure you already knew them. But if you sometimes find yourself in that guessing game with yourself, I hope it helped.
Do you decorate with these elements usually in mind? Are you going to stop reading this blog now that I’ve given away the basis of everything I do? I hope not! (Wink wink)