11 Creative Ways To Make Your House Cozy

Want to make your house cozy? Looking for cozy decor tips? Look no further! Read on for cozy, warming, fun ways to make your house a snuggle palace this winter! #behappier #howtobehappier #howtofeelhappier #happierthanever #waystobehappier #tipstobehappier #happybooks #waystomakeyourselfhappier #howtobehappy #happinessactivities #happinesshabits #happinessmindset

Now, I don’t want to brag or anything but I’m pretty much a competition-level cozy-fier. As a third-generation Minnesotan of Scandinavian decent, I know how to make your house cozy – I mean, it’s kinnnnnd of written into my DNA.

Even if you live south of the frost line, winter means shorter days and longer nights. I bet even Floridians could benefit from these house cozy-ing ideas!

11 ways to make your house cozy

1. Purchase and light all the candles that have ever been made

But not just any candles, you guys. If you haven’t experienced the wonder that is a wooden wick candle, you need to stop reading this post, drive to Target, and buy three of them right now. I’ll wait.
Are they a bit expensive? Yes. Are they 100% worth it? Also yes. They make audible fire sounds, dudes. That is worth $18 when it’s sleeting outside. Also of note: this candle allegedly smells like campfire and I can personally vouch that soy candles really do last a lot longer than wax. Which matters when you’re burning three at a time for 12 hours a day.

2. Add cozy, warm lighting

By now we’re probably all using fluorescent bulbs because we care about the earth, right? I think it’s okay if you use a few rosy, lower wattage incandescents here and there around your home. If you’re fancy/handy install a dimmer switch or just pop on a more opaque lamp shade.
One of my favorite things to do in these darker months? String fairy lights through the branches of my big fig tree. It’s festive and warming and since they’re white lights I don’t feel like I’m preemptively decorating for the holidays.

3. Swap in warmer, textured furnishing

“Now, Sarah, that’s a bit much, isn’t it? Do you really have two different sets of decor for the season? Are you a Rockefeller?”

I’m not, my friends. I do, however, live through six months of snow and darkness each year so I take this business Seriously.

A few months ago I splashed out on lined, velvet curtains (I got these and they’re amazing) and they’re about a million times nicer than the thin, linen, $26 curtains from Ikea. You know what’s nicer than cotton and satin pillows when it’s cold? Velvety, corduroy pillows. And purchasing the perfect couch blanket is a science which I have perfected. It’s this one.

And if you’re realllllly serious and live in a space with hardwood floors, change out your classy, thin Oriental rugs for something thick and shaggy.

4. Get the perfect slippers + and the perfect ‘house sweater’

I have a pair of fur-lined leather slippers I bought on the street in Peru but my mom swears by these and I steal them every time I’m home.

What’s a ‘house sweater’ you ask? It’s a drapey sweater that serves the same purpose as a robe or giant hoodie but makes you feel slightly grown up. I have one similar to this and I wear it constantly.

5. Simmer some good-smelling things on the stove

If you’re a lady who reads the internet, I’m sure you’ve already heard about stove simmers. Thrift an old pot, fill it with water and good-smelling things, turn your stove to low and allofasudden your house smells wonderful and you didn’t even need to cook. Here are some ‘recipes’ for stove simmers.

6. Run your humidifier

In Minnesota the air dries out as soon as summer ends, which means chapped skin, more colds and flus, and the temperature inside even feels colder! Run a humidifier, guys. You can get them everywhere, they’re not expensive and they’ll make your apartment feel warmer (literally!) Just be sure to clean it regularly so you’re not pumping wet, germ-filled air into your home. 

7. Create an excuse to use your stove + oven

It’ll make your house smell good and feel warmer. Here are 10 amazing soup recipes and a million interesting, innovative cookie recipes.

8. Pet cuddling #dur

This is obviously the time of year for enforced pet cuddling – and if you have an aloof pet they’re more likely to snuggle now because they want to steal your warms! If you’re a super devoted owner of an older pet, consider getting a heated pet bed!

9. Start a fire or watch a fireplace DVD

Are you lucky enough to have a functioning fireplace? Awesome. When can I come over? If not, tune into this three-hour long fire video on Youtube or buy a million of those woodwick candles I won’t shut up about.

10. Turn on the cozy music

Rather bizarrely, I have some very specific ideas about which types of music are ‘cozy’ and which aren’t. In my mind, electronica and punk aren’t cozy. Jazz and Rhye are. I’m sure you’ve got your own ideas of cozy music, tune in accordingly.

11. Bring your cozy with you

If you regularly spend the night somewhere else – like your partner’s house or you travel a lot for work – make yourself a little cozy bag filled with duplicates of all your favorite stuff: slippers, house sweater, travel candle.

Is your office less than cozy? Bring in a little desk lamp with an incandescent light and use that instead of that horrible fluorescent number. Bring a few cuddly pashmina scarves that are office appropriate but still cozy-i-fing.

How do you keep your home cozy during these long and gray months?

P.S. How to look cute even when it’s really cold + How to break out of a winter style rut

photo by paul itkin // cc

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  1. Harriet Johnson

    Urrrrgghh! Yes please – it's so miserable in England right now… numbers 1, 8, 9 would definitely be perfect right now!

  2. Mandi

    I get the winter-blahs for sure. I totally love this list! I may have to indulge in one of those woodwick candles…

    • Sarah Von Bargen

      They really and truly are worth it!

  3. Kate and Chris

    This post almost made miss living in a place with real winter weather. Almost. Also, I have a fireplace that I haven't even used yet with a real fire, but I have a bunch of candles in it that I light on rainy days. When I did live up north and it was cold and gloomy I used to like to head to friend's homes or have them to mine for potlucks and wine. Lots of wine.

    • Kate and Chris

      P.S. The Rhye song is gorgeous!

    • Sarah Von Bargen

      Isn't it amazing? I'm seeing them when they come to Minneapolis!

  4. Sugar Plum Eats

    Since the weather suddenly changed, practically over night, i like these ideas. After reading about the woodwick candles on your web time wasters last week i ordered one online. I cant wait for it to be delivered!

    • Sarah Von Bargen

      You're seriously going to love them!

  5. Teleri

    Just in time! My personal cold-hands-season started yesterday (it usually lasts from the end of September until May) and since my room in my new place is on the ground floor (cold, damp cellar underneath!) my feet aren't that warm either. I refuse to turn up the heating yet, but when I do there will definitely be some sort of nice-smelling stuff put on top. And as for some serious candle shopping.. I'm right with you 😉

  6. Rebecca Esther

    I love the Midwest, but dammit, it's too cold here! Thank goodness for these ideas. They'll definitely improve my drinking tea/cat cuddling/dreaming of Florida plans 🙂

  7. Anonymous

    There is nothing better than slipping into a bed on a cold winter's night with fleece sheets, not flannel, but fleece. Kohl's sells them. The best!

  8. Heather

    I bought a lovely smelling bar of soap at Anthropologie last year. Instead of using it as soap, I place it in a ceramic dish and set the dish on the register in my bathroom. When the heat kicks on…it heats the soap and smells great when I walk in!

    • Sarah Von Bargen

      Great idea!

  9. Helena

    Just refound this, and you are a genius! My mum’s cat is about 17, and her house is very chilly. A heated pet bed would be perfect!

  10. Amy

    I loved this article even though our Virginia winters aren’t as harsh as yours. Thank you!

  11. Lyn

    I keep a candlelight (obviously electric) on in all the front windows all year long. It is welcoming and cozy, and and gives gentle low light.

  12. Jodie

    I live in Maine. Long winters, just went through another blizzard with bitter cold temps.. Living in the North is hard work. Nothing like low lamp lighting and being curled up in my favorite chair with a fleece blanket over my legs and embroidery hoop in my hands.

  13. Corrine

    Love this blog! I come from Scotland and like you I’m an expert on all things cozy. Love candles and fairy lights scattered everywhere and I definitely like to swap out pillows and throws with the different seasons ❤️

  14. Nikky

    Omg, The Hearth and Home is absolutely fantastic! Highly recommend it to your readers! https://thehearthandhomestore.com/
    Amazing products!

  15. Tamara

    Thanks for the slipper recommendation. I just bought a pair. Under $22 you can’t beat it! They look so cozy and warm and cushy.

  16. Tracie Jones

    To make it cozier during Christmas, I realized burning a Christmas tree scented candle helped imply my fake tree is real! I think in general, there are cozy things like types of dishes to display– to me milk glass and stoneware are cozy. 🙂 I think also a coffee/tea bar gives a cozy vibe. In our home, I try to emphasize a cozy cottage look, and some things don’t suit the style, from formal decor to “heavy” looking things visually to cluttery knicknacks. I use light colored linens on the table, too.

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