7 Ingredients to Create a Cozy Space

It’s one of those secret spilling days, y’all. You know the time I shared my absolute best thrift store shopping secrets? Or the time I handed over my little bag of photography tricks?

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.

7 Ingredients to Create a Cozy Space | www.blesserhouse.com

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.

7 Ingredients to Create a Cozy Space | www.blesserhouse.com | wood beam

7 Ingredients to Create a Cozy Space | www.blesserhouse.com | plank wall

2. Greenery/Flower/Foliage

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.

7 Ingredients to Create a Cozy Space | www.blesserhouse.com | herb garden
7 Ingredients to Create a Cozy Space | www.blesserhouse.com | dining room

3. Metal

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.

7 Ingredients to Create a Cozy Space | www.blesserhouse.com | vintage fan

7 Ingredients to Create a Cozy Space | www.blesserhouse.com | wire basket

4. Glass

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.

7 Ingredients to Create a Cozy Space | www.blesserhouse.com | farmhouse bathroom shelves

7 Ingredients to Create a Cozy Space | www.blesserhouse.com | wheat stalks in glass jars

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.)

7 Ingredients to Create a Cozy Space | www.blesserhouse.com | wagon bench and fall decor

7 Ingredients to Create a Cozy Space | www.blesserhouse.com | cable knit pillow and fur throw

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.

7 Ingredients to Create a Cozy Space | www.blesserhouse.com | distressed ASCP duck egg chairs

7. Paper

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.

7 Ingredients to Create a Cozy Space | www.blesserhouse.com | vintage map

7 Ingredients to Create a Cozy Space | www.blesserhouse.com | spring tablescape

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)

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22 Comments

  1. Hi Lauren,
    I don’t even know how I stumbled onto your post, but I’m glad I did! Thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog post.
    Love the way all the textures blend together, but stand apart.
    Looking forward to reading more of your articles.
    Hope you don’t mind my sharing.
    Barbara

  2. Lauren, Great tips! (As usual!)? I do have a question for ya tho….I have been looking through a few of your styling and decorating posts and didn’t I read somewhere where you painted thrift stores pitchers and such to add to your decor? I would love to know what paint you use to get that shiny finish like on most white vases and pitchers I see. Thanks so much!!

  3. Do you mind sharing what color wall paint you used in the bathroom, adjacent to your wood planked wall? I love it!

    1. Sure, Jenny! It’s Sherwin Williams Pediment. It’s a very light neutral gray and goes with just about anything. πŸ™‚

  4. Fantastic ideas Lauren. I love mixing wood grain, metal, and distressed finishes. I need to work on adding more greenery . . . I can’t keep anything alive and very few faux things look nice enough to me. I think that may be the missing piece though in some of my spaces. Thanks for sharing your tips!

    1. I’m right there with you on the greenery thing. I have a really black thumb. Haha! I usually buy dried, preserved greenery or boxwoods that are fake but at least look convincing as the real thing. πŸ™‚

  5. Love these tips! Especially about using metal and paper. Metal is unexpected and cool against the coziness of neutrals, and paper adds a sweet little bit of nostalgia πŸ™‚

  6. What a GREAT post as I looked around my house as I read every word. Best post I have read in a long time on decorating! Thanks for sharing!
    Susan

  7. Great tips, Lauren….thanks for sharing your secrets!! Some of those I already use when decorating, but others, like metal and paper, I hadn’t really thought about before! And you know, just because you divulged your secrets, I would never stop reading your blog…..there’s too much good stuff!!
    Blessings,
    Lanita

  8. Ohhhh! This was a fantastic blog post! I absolutely looooove the cabinet color – the one with the map. What color is it painted? I have a similar bookcase/cabinet and this color would be perfect! I seriously love your blog! I’m still soooo nervous about getting a “big girl” blog…someday!

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