TIME TO GET COZY
Survive the Winter Months With All the Comforts of Home
Story by Marsha Canright | Photos by Anna Vanderberg
When a chill seeps into our south Texas weather, it’s time to get cozy. But creating a comfortable home for wintry weather conjures different sights and smells for each of us. It might mean the glow of a fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa or the smell of a favorite dish from childhood. It could be a soothing color, a perfect pillow, or hugging a favorite pet.
“A cozy space is one where you can decompress and completely relax,” writes designer Liz Marie Galvan, the author of Cozy White Cottage: 100 Ways to Love the Feeling of Being Home.
Ideally each person’s home should reflect his or her heart’s desire. For Galvan, that means comfort, warmth and security. “I have many tips to help make a cozy home but it really comes down to what makes each person feel good,” Galvan says.
To make your home a place where you love to be consider all five senses when you are designing a room. Make it livable for your whole family and choose items that are functional while also matching your personal style. Another tip is to clear out the clutter.
“More stuff brings more stress. More stuff doesn't mean more joy,” Galvan says. “Look around you: Does everything in your home bring you joy? Does it help or benefit you and your family? Or, does it cause chaos and annoyance?”
Once you’ve managed the clutter, try these pointers to make your home more inviting.
Add a rug to your room or layer a natural fiber weave atop a cozy wool rug. “Rugs add a soft texture to a room and sometimes bring more color or interest to a space,” advises Galvan.
Load up on texture with comfortable pillows and throws. Texture adds depth and character to a room. Blankets and pillows have the ability to soften and warm up an uninviting room for the people who live there, as well as your guests. A soft, luxurious throw — like the unique mohair throws at Biscuit Home — can make a piece of furniture feel instantly welcoming.
If a room doesn't feel anchored or seems sterile, adding a piece of wood furniture will warm up the space. “Placing a large wood armoire, a wood coffee table, or wood accents next to a white sofa can make a world of difference,” Galvan says.
If you want to add a splash of color with a larger painted piece, she recommends a cautious approach. “If the thought of painting a wood piece grips your heart with fear, start small. Leave your grandmother’s antique buffet alone,” she counsels. Or, you could just go straight to the shops. There are many unique (and already painted) furniture finds at Shabby Chic Texas.
Add seasonal greenery by bringing in plants or making your own terrarium. For a pop of color during the dormant growing season, go to a local greenhouse and pick out different garlands and branches. Also, natural greenery can carry through the rest of winter, including for holiday wreaths, branches, and garlands. A great tip is to remove most of your twinkle lights but keep a few around in small spots such as jars or vases. Remove anything that’s red and replace it with creams or whites.
Galvan suggests adding something shiny like a mirror or metal candlesticks. “It adds a hint of elegance to your space that makes eyes linger longer,” she says. Head over to Three Doors Houston for furnishings and accessories that shine.
For a comfy bedroom, try large pillows and soft linens. “Bedrooms should be soothing, a place to gather us in at night and comfort us. That looks different for everyone,” Galvan says. Her method begins with keeping it tidy and uncluttered, then focusing on a quality mattress and bedding. And leave technology — including phones — outside the door. For luxe bedroom goods here in Houston, shop the collections at Peacock Alley and Tribute Goods.
Lastly, add a spicy scent to the air. Candles are Galvan’s favorite accessories for adding a cozy glow to any space. “When it comes to adding a delicious scent to your home, candles are the simplest answer yet make a dramatic difference,” Galvan says. “A single candle in a vignette with its flickering, fiery wick can add just the right glow to any room.” Locally, Foxfire Candle Works offers an array of intoxicating aromas.
Liz Marie Galvan
Cozy White Cottage: 100 Ways to Love the Feeling of Being Home
Available at Barnes & Noble, Target and Walmart
Foxfire Candle Works
126 Vintage Park Boulevard
Available at Feliz Interiors, Longoria Collection, Indulge Décor, Taylor & Taylor, Kuhl-Linscomb, Weidner Hasou & Company, and Plush Homes
Shabby Chic Texas
Three Doors Houston
Tribute Goods Fine Linens
3637 West Alabama, Suite 100