Caravan Sonnet: 10 Ways to Make Your Living Space Cozy

10/11/17

10 Ways to Make Your Living Space Cozy

I'm so excited today y'all to link up with Shay and Erika's link up "workin' it Wednesdays". Each month there is a different topic and today, we're blogging about ways to make your home cozy. (If you missed last month's topic -two of my favorite things to wear to transition my closet from summer to fall you can find it HERE!)

I was so excited to see this topic because one of the things that I have loved doing no matter where I have lived is to add in the element of "coziness" to my surroundings. I want people who walk into my living spaces to feel warm, welcomed, and embraced in love for the amount of time that they are there. Growing up my parents had a motto of wanting their home to be a refuge and a place like heaven on earth no matter what was going on in the outside world and that has carried over to how I view my living and work space.
To me it is not about whether or not you have a whole home that you own or are sharing a room in college or you are simply renting a room somewhere... it is about creating an atmosphere that reflects the beauty and love of God. I read the following quote in college and it has stuck with me, encouraged me, and given me a freedom to love well the people who walk into my living space...

"If you have been afraid that your love of beautiful flowers and the flickering flame of the candle is somehow less spiritual than living in starkness and ugliness, remember that He who created you to be creative gave you the things with which to make beauty and the sensitivity to appreciate and respond to His creation."

Don't you just love that?? It's simply a wonderful reminder... so today I wanted to share some of the ways that I have made my living spaces cozy with that in mind. I have lived away from home and had huge two bedroom apartments to living in a tiny studio apartment in Washington DC to now living back home for a time with parents due to health reasons. In each of these situations and in the future here are the things that I have found to make a living space cozy. (If we are connected on Pinterest- and if we aren't drop me a comment with your link - I would love to connect with you- you can find some of my inspiration for making your living space cozy and refreshing on my boards entitled lovely pretty living (click HERE) and Mingle (click HERE).) So here are 10 ways to make your living space cozy...

1. Lights
Over the years we have expanded the way that we have used lights throughout our living space. At Christmas time we always added lights and candles around our house growing up and over the years we started to add little white lights to our porch in the evening, making it a wonderful cozy and relaxing space. Last year (for the party in the woods for my sister's engagement party) we added some lights into the trees. I loved it so much that I said I wanted to do it again for the 2nd Annual Party in the woods, but enjoy them throughout the summer. It was one of the best ideas. We absolutely loved it and many of our neighbors commented about how welcoming and warm it made our entire property. We just took them down for the winter months, but it is definitely one of the first things that we will put up next year.

I love how people use lights creatively to add a touch of warmth and coziness to their living spaces and look forward to adding more of this throughout the home in a tasteful and decorative way. 
2. Organization
This is probably not one that you think of right off the bat when it comes to coziness (and definitely not one that I did well as a teenager *smiles*), but over the years I have learned that having a living space organized helps to bring a sense of peace and calm to a setting. As the above pictures show (from my craft room which you can see HERE), I don't believe that organization needs to be so extreme that you don't live in a space... I just mean organization where you don't spend your life trying to find things. I think for different people this looks different at different stages, but taking a few moments to clean up each day is something I have found gives a space the opportunity to be joyfully lived in instead of a place to dread being.
3. Cozy and Pretty Throws and Blankets
I found this pin (with the picture above) on Pinterest a couple of years ago and yet I still love it. I love having pretty and cozy throws and blankets around in my living space. Sometimes when I would have people over they would wrap up in them as we sat and chatted about serious issues of life or just laughed our heads off over the tiniest things. There is something about a cozy and pretty blanket or throw that just invites you into a home and into a heart. 

4. Music
If you have been around the blog for even a few moments of time than you know how much I love music. Throughout the day I love listening to different music. It doesn't always have to be loud, but I love having music as a backdrop in a space. I feel it brings it alive. 
5. Books...and more Books
While we may all dream of having a book wall with the ladder (*swoon*) in a home someday, I have learned to not let that stop me from displaying and having some of my favorites on hand to read even in this season of life. 

As an author I obviously love books and words, but I have found over the years that a welcoming book can set the stage for a good heart-to-heart conversation or just be a cozy comfort after a long day when I feel weary. I shared on the blog a couple of years ago about some of the books that have impacted me the most and these books you can find surrounding me in my living space pretty much at all times. And in the meantime, I continue to dream about that library wall... *smiles*
6. Pretty Plates
As some of you know there is a story behind my growing collection of pretty mis-matched, vintage plates. Someday on the blog I will share it, but in the meantime this is something that brings me happy and cozy feelings as they bring beauty to everyday meals. 
7. Cozy Pillows and Comfy Chairs
I love how pillows and chairs can set a stage for giving a comfortable and cozy atmosphere don't y'all? One of my favorite places in the world to spend time is on our front porch (it definitely inspired the title of my health updates- "notes from the porch") and I love the story behind how we purchased the porch furniture... it has reminded me that you don't have to spend a lot of money to achieve a beautiful, cozy, and welcoming look. (You can read the story behind it HERE.)
8. Flowers
Okay, so y'all know how much I love flowers. A note to the future hubby... she doesn't like chocolate that much, but go pick her a flower and she will love you. *hahaha* I love bringing prettiness inside and creating an atmosphere of joy even through flowers. I also know that there is not always the money to just go purchase a bouquet of flowers each week... and that is why I love that you can even just pick dandelions to bring the beauty in. One of my favorite ways to have flowers or nature inside is inspired by the picture above that I found on Pinterest. It is simple, it's sweet, and it is free... all you need is a field of wildflowers. Not in season or it is the winter? I love to go outside and cut a few green branches and add some twigs to it. It gives a gorgeous and simple look for free. 
9. De-cluttering
This kind of goes along with organization, but one of the best ways I have found to make a living space cozy is by de-cluttering the things that I don't need. I haven't always done the best job of this to be frank, but over the last four years of fighting for my health I have learned the hard way how important it is to not allow things to be the focus. Instead, I have learned to let go, give away, and keep things that I only love or that are extremely practical. I have loved how this has opened up my life, given me more time and freedom (less things to clean or wash or put away) and has transformed other areas. Moving from a huge two bedroom apartment to (now) living temporarily at my grandmothers extremely small home where my bedroom is used for numerous things, I have found to really keep the things I love and get rid of all of the rest. 

10. Pictures
I love having pictures around my home of travels, of loved ones, of special memories and of the gentle reminders of God's love and mercy each new day. Pictures flood my surrounding space and I am blown away by the love that surrounds me. Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, "My past life is incredibly full of God's love and mercy..." such a true statement that I see as I look at the pictures that surround my life. 

At the end of the day I feel that these 10 ways to make your living space cozy are just the beginning steps to creating a haven that is uniquely yours. I love finding new and creative ways to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere... whether that is taking the time to bake a favorite meal or just spend a few extra minutes listening to someone's story... each and every act that we do- big or small can create a cozy living space. What about you- what are ways that you make your living space cozy?

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