Now more than ever, feeling sheltered, cocooned, and cozy at home has become a top priority. Amid the demands of our careers, the challenges (and joys) of parenting, and the increasing presence of technology, the need to slow down and relax is ever-present.
If you are like me, you might seek to escape the everyday bustle with a quiet family movie night, an engrossing novel, or an evening of pampering in your own spa-inspired bathroom. (I love my infrared sauna!) However, unless you have made time and space in your home for these types of activities, they are not likely to happen by accident.
If your home is designed for peace and calm, these experiences and emotions become an effortless part of your home and your family’s routine… and it is easier to achieve than you might think. This month, I’m sharing several ways to increase the coziness of your interiors for peace, relaxation, and living the simple life.
1. Create a Sensory Ambiance
There is a Danish concept, called hygge, that has been catching on in North America. Hygge describes a warm atmosphere that feels comfortable, safe, and full of wellbeing. The term hygge could be applied to a burning candle, an afternoon of baking, or the texture of a cozy blanket.
My best suggestion for creating this warm, hygge ambiance is to consider each of your five senses:
- Touch: Favor soft textures and upholstery, natural woods, plush pillows, and cozy blankets.
- Sight: Choose colours that are muted, neutral, or moody and opt for warm, low lighting.
- Sound: Embrace silence or outfit your space with a speaker for quiet music or rhythms.
- Smell: Add candles or diffusers in a scent that brings you peace. (Scent is very personal.)
- Taste: Leave room for a mug of tea, cocoa, lemon water, a cocktail, or snacks, as desired.
2. Embrace Peaceful Reading Nooks & Window Seats
Nooks have the power to create a private escape within your home. Their small size and “tucked away” feeling creates a cocooning effect, narrowing your experience to this one specific space and shutting off the rest of the world. (That is, assuming your children are at the neighbours’ house…)
Not all homes are constructed with space for a potential window seat, but if yours presents the opportunity, I suggest taking it — especially if it boasts a restorative view of the outdoors. If you don’t have a nook, but you are planning to renovate your home, talk to us about adding one.
Style-wise, in a reading nook, we like to design custom seat cushions, add in-bench storage where possible, and decorate the space with pillows and soft window treatments for coziness. We also place task lighting nearby (either a lamp or overhead lighting) and leave designated space for setting down a mug of tea, a candle, and any other treats you want to bring along. Bliss.
3. Upgrade to a Warm, Crackling Fireplace
When it comes to finding comfort during North Vancouver’s winter months, few features can match the warmth of a crackling fireplace. On dreary afternoons or dark evenings, your fireplace offers the perfect setting for playing games with your family, entertaining friends over mulled wine, or snuggling up with pets.
In the past, I have shared several fireplace design tips, including ideas for the surround design, mantle style, special features (like hiding your TV), and styling. There are infinite options for creating a fireplace that fits your home and personality, and done well, it can become a visual focal point and daily destination.
Note: If you live in North Vancouver, it is quite possible that you have a mid-century modern home. If so, any fireplace update will require extra work (on your team’s part) to bring the fireplace up to code. Though it takes longer, these updates do make your home safer. I suggest it, especially if you have kids.
4. Make Your Bedroom into a Sanctuary
In my experience, most homeowners leave their bedroom design for last. I can see the appeal; it’s not a space you share with others, so it falls lower on the priority list. Funnily enough, I am the exact opposite. Whenever I move into a new house, my bedroom is the first room I set up. Why? Because everything is better after a good night’s sleep.
Your bedroom is a space where you can privately destress, relax, read, watch TV, or meditate. It’s what gets you ready to sleep well or ready to take on a new day. Put your efforts into this room, and I am confident you (and your loved ones) will reap the benefits. A well-designed bedroom often includes…
- All of the sensory design suggestions shared in #1 above
- A high-quality mattress that inspires great sleep with no morning aches and pains
- High-quality bedding and pillows
- A colour palette, patterns, and/or art that relaxes you
- Enough storage space to keep every surface in the room clear and clutter-free
5. Style a Comfortable Home Theatre or Media Room
If your home has a living room and a family room, consider turning one into a home theatre. Imagine sinking into the sofa with your giggling kids, sharing cozy blankets and a bowl of fresh popcorn as the opening credits start. This is where memories are made all year long.
Like the other spaces on this list, comfort is key. I suggest a cozy sofa, lots of pillows and blankets, soft ottomans (for hosting extra guests), and dim lighting to set the mood. These spaces also benefit from significant storage space, as most families are likely to store board games, extra blankets, tech appliances, and other items in this room. Custom built-ins, like the one shown above, are great for this purpose.
My Final Words of Advice
You are convinced — cozy spaces will bring you daily peace, comfort and relaxation, whether your goal is dedicated time for yourself or to for family memories. If you are feeling stuck or too close to your home to see it objectively, a professional designer can help. Our passion is designing homes that help you live your best life.
If you are still considering whether to update your home, I recommend downloading our Guide to Uncovering the Hidden Potential of Your Home below. If you already know that a home project is on the horizon, let’s talk. Reach out to us to book a Discovery Call and see if we are the right team for you.