I am not the most polished decorator, I don’t strive for magazine perfection, and I’m fully aware there is plenty of room for improvement around here – and I’m fine with all of that. Well…most days I’m fine with all of that. I think we all have days when a scroll through Instagram or Pinterest leaves us feeling like we don’t measure up, or that our home will never reach that image we have built up in our minds.
But the reality is, I don’t want my home to be a showroom. Don’t get me wrong, I want it to be pretty – pretty spaces are what inspire my mind – but I don’t want it to feel so pretty that it doesn’t seem real or livable.
You know what I mean?
So my heart always swells a little bit when someone tells me how cozy our house looks. It’s probably the biggest compliment I could ever receive when it comes to our home, because it’s exactly the look and feel I strive to achieve. When I think of a cozy room, I think of a place to come in, put your feet up, and enjoy a warm cup of coffee or a lovely glass of wine. I think of a place that invites you to sit down and stay a while. I think of a place where friends and family gather, and the worries and stresses of the day fade away.
So what is it that gives a home that cozy vibe?
I don’t think there is a perfect formula – everything in design is subjective – but one of the elements I personally try to focus on the most is texture.
It happened quite by accident really. I never thought about “texture” when I was just starting out and trying to decorate our home – I usually thought more along the lines of a color scheme. I’d pick two or three colors and then everything I sought out had to be in those colors or it wouldn’t work (or so I thought in my mind), but over time I discovered that I was actually drawn less to color and more to something in the look of seagrass baskets and the warmth and wear found in old wood pieces. It didn’t matter so much what the piece was – but if it had beautiful aged wood, complete with dents, dings, scratches and an inconsistent finish – I wanted it. Once I latched onto that idea, I stopped thinking in terms of a color scheme, focused more on neutrals, and allowed the textures to do the talking.
Varying textures around the room provides depth, adds warmth, and lends visual interest – especially if you have a neutral color palette.
Obviously things like blankets and pillows carry beautiful texture, but texture can be found in anything and everything.
Even the walls…
By the way, there’s this new design trend called shiplap – have you heard of it? It’s a beautiful way to add texture to your walls. Google it sometime – I think you will like it…
Obviously, I’m just kidding – shiplap is a household word these days, so of course you’ve heard of it. Who hasn’t, right? But it’s a perfect example of the impact texture can have on a space.
These days, I’m still drawn to the texture in baskets – I have to force myself not to bring one home every time I go to a store, and I’m still obsessed with the texture in old wood pieces – I think that’s why I have such a hard time painting furniture. It’s a fear I’m trying to get over, because I have a few that I think could benefit greatly from a little paint. It’s always nice to have a mix of painted pieces and wood pieces in a space too. 😉
In recent years, I’ve also developed a love for the look of linen – I think you either love it or hate it. I personally love the wrinkled look, but I know it can drive others crazy. I have yet to meet a ball of twine I didn’t like, and don’t even get me started on jute rugs – you can find one in just about every room of our house now. Textures like these are carried all throughout our home and are the key to giving us the casual, cozy atmosphere we’re after.
The whole reason I turned all my books around backwards on those shelves? I liked the texture of the pages. 🙂
Line ‘em up, stack ‘em up, fill a basket with ‘em – I do believe books are the definition of cozy.
So what about you…are you a texture person or a color person? Or are you both? What kind of textures are you usually drawn to?