Cozy decorating ideas

Temperatures have officially dipped in Switzerland, and without the comforts of home, I’m struggling to find a cozy spot in this apartment. So I’m dreaming of things I can do to carve out a comforting nook, a relaxing spot to curl up in and read, blog and design. I wrote this article for and talked about creating instant warmth here, but I’m looking for that space I can escape to on cold days or when I need some me time.

I’ve given cozy decorating ideas to friends and I’ve made warm spaces for magazines. I designed this creative space.

Creative space

(Photo: REDBOOK magazine)

And this reading nook for REDBOOK magazine when I was an editor there.

Reading spot

(Photo: REDBOOK magazine)

We all deserve a comfortable place to rest, plan, read, dream, Pin or think, to turn off daily stress, get comfortable and do nothing that involves crossing anything off a to-do list. And creating this haven doesn’t have to take a lot of time, money or even space. Claim a corner of the living room, a nook in the attic or a spot outside (if it’s not too cold). And surround yourself with cozy, feel-good things.

Reading nook

Move a comfy chair to the corner of a room. Throw a plush rug on the floor, pull up a soft ottoman and a small side table for your tea, coffee or wine. Then think about creating a sort of barrier. You could hang a curtain, reposition a bookcase, even move a large houseplant to make the space feel more secluded.

Nook(Photos: top left to right; Little Bits of Delight, The Style Files,

Leave no space uncozied. Look at those overlooked “dead” spaces in your home and claim your territory there. Do you have an underutilized closet or an awkward recess? Remove closet doors, add a bench, lots of pillows with texture and a fury one, and a throw.

Think outside the box. Literally. Step onto the porch, patio or courtyard and see where you might be able to set up an outdoor retreat. In designing our back patio, I wanted a space where yes, we could entertain, but I wanted a corner of the small balcony to entice me to build a fire, have a glass of wine and just enjoy the cool San Diego night. Enter a fire pit and oversize furniture to invite lounging, and voilà!


How have you cozied up your home? Do you have a space for you? I’d love to see it!

Warm white

White on white
The colorless shade has so many variations that can make spaces and furnishings appear stark, shabby chic and modern. But most don’t think of adding white to warm up a room. Let me show you the ways:
white church
Scott and I recently visited the island of Hvar in Croatia. And while I was taken with the tiny city of Hvar Town’s Renaissance and Gothic architecture, I was more impressed with the color (or lack thereof) of the buildings. Shades of white, cream, ivory, alabaster, pearl, chalk, milk and snow wrap stone buildings, blanket cobblestone streets, cover windows and shade outdoor markets.
white hotel
I was totally inspired by so much non color. Scott’s not a huge fan of decorating with white. He prefers color and pattern, but I suspect if I created one of these inviting vignettes at home, I would change his mind.
Warm Welcome
Create a warm welcome
Lay something soft but durable at the entry, like this striped dhurrie rug. Place a bench on top, a place to sit and put on or take off shoes–and a place to drop your bag. Make it cozy with a small sheepskin rug and a few textured throw pillows, like these linen and cable-knit designs. Add a decorative coat rack. And a few cozy items, like this shearling vest and wood bead wreath. And something whimsical and fun, such as this vintage cowbell.
Create a comfy nook in the office
Make a comfy nook in the home office
Start with a comfortable but inexpensive couch, something with a removable slipcover if possible. Add a small end table. Add a few throw pillows for additional comfort. I couldn’t find any white-and-metallic-gold pillows that I loved, so I would buy this metallic linen fabric and this geometric pattern and make my own. Shed some light on the space for reading. And finish the space with one-of-a-kind art.

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