10+ Secrets to Cozy-Stylish Homes -- Try These Today!

May 05, 2021 5 min read

how to maintain a cozy but stylish home

Some houses are tasteful or trendy, but lack that homey warmth. Other homes are so lived-in that much of their appeal gets buried in the everyday mess. Then there are those homes that strike the perfect balance between comfortable and beautiful. These are the spaces that inspire admiration from guests and an easy, graceful lifestyle in the household.

So how do they do it? How does one create and maintain cozy-stylish interiors? Here, we spotlight some of their 'secrets' -- which aren't really secrets, but tips and habits that most other households miss. The good news? You can absolutely do these for your home, too!


1. Opt for a simple color scheme.

Decide on two or three coordinated hues to decorate your home with, and try to stick with them. Most homeowners pick basic neutrals like white, beige, and gray as their foundational colors because these are unobtrusive and can go with anything. However, any color can be a fine choice, as long as you don't overwhelm it with too many complementary shades.


2. Minimize visible clutter.

Every household has its share of clutter -- some are just better at hiding them! Invest in some closed storage to stash away your odds and ends, leaving only the prettier objects on display. Closed storage is particularly useful in busy areas of the house, such as the entry and the kitchen.

Another important tip from clutter-free homes? Slow down on buying unnecessary items that you don't absolutely love. Only acquire objects that either serve a purpose or bring you real joy.

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "Kitchen - Seasoned With Love" Premium Canvas


3. Maximize the light.

As much as possible, let sunshine flood into your space to make it feel airy and comfortable. If natural light is limited, add some lighting fixtures at strategic spots like dark corners and in front of mirrors. Sometimes, even small rooms can seem more spacious when you eliminate dimness and sharp shadows.


4. Use decorative storage.

If certain objects just keep popping up as clutter, it may be time to put them in display-worthy storage. The playtime geniuses at Milton & Goose remind us that if you have a toddler at home, you can tame all that kiddie clutter in easy-to-reach but stylish bins and baskets.

We also think you can employ this trick in various areas of the house (with or without kids). In your entryway, for example, you can place an elegant tray to serve as a catch-all for those keys, coins, and other knickknacks.

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "Family - Like Branches On A Tree Premium Canvas


5. Layer with texture.

So your house is now clean and tidy. Does it feel too flat and sanitized? An easy way to add coziness is by layering on some warm, fluffy blankets, pillows, and rugs. Of course, make sure that your cushy additions aren't just a jumbled pile -- coordinate them with your overall color palette. We've got an easy guide here on how to style your pillows as decor.

Pillow pictured above: "You & Me (And The Dogs)" Pillow


6. Balance the aesthetic with the personal.

Ever notice how those staged magazine homes feel a bit empty and lonely, despite being well-styled? That's because they lack human elements that you would normally find in a real home. There are no family pictures, no quirky keepsakes, no out-of-place object.

Don't be afraid to incorporate personal items into your decor. Combine personal photographs with wall art on that gallery wall. Place a sentimental figurine on your display shelf. Hang a personalized artwork that goes with your decor scheme. Display your souvenir mugs alongside the fine china. And yes, you can light those decorative candles!

Wall art pictured above: Photo Personalized "Family... Love" Premium Canvas


7. Decorate with natural materials.

Wood furniture, woven textiles, and natural accents feel much more homey than, say, plastic or synthetic furnishings. But while hardwood furniture and premium upholstery are ideal, you don't have to spend so much to get the look. Try a cost-efficient mix of real and copycat materials. We have some great canvas art pieces that look like real wood -- perfect for adding a rustic touch to your interiors without breaking your budget.

Wall art pictured above: Personalized Rustic "Family Name" Premium Canvas


8. Conceal electronics.

One more thing about beautiful homes: you barely see any crisscrossing cables, random switches, or gadgets lying about. Some pros even deliberately avoid TVs and entertainment consoles to keep their space free of bulky plastic elements.

You don't have to discard your flatscreen though! Just steer clear of disordered electronics, which are not only a safety hazard but eyesores, too. So if you're doing just one thing today to give your interiors a facelift, try out ways to conceal unattractive electronic items (see our handy tips here). One of our favorites is this trick by decorator Kelly Elko, who seamlessly blended her TV into her gallery wall. What an elegant camouflage!


9. Add life with plants.

Lush indoor greenery adds a visual boost to any space, making it feel more breathable and inviting. If you don't have a green thumb, don't lose hope! There are indoor plants that are so low-maintenance, they are almost 'unkillable.' For starters, try a pothos, a snake plant, a Chinese evergreen, or even a ficus/weeping fig (above).

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "Having Somewhere To Go Is Home" Premium Canvas V2


10. Decorate with 'movement.'

One reason that indoor plants look so calming is their graceful movement. It softens the hard materials and straight edges of architecture, without looking messy or chaotic.

For a beautifully peaceful home, designer Sara Hillery recommends incorporating this sense of movement into your interiors. Some architects opt for arched windows and doorways for this very reason. For your home, graceful motion can be as simple as a vase of flowers or some light drapery that blows in with the breeze.


Bonus tip. Cultivate a 'pick it up' habit. 

Keeping the home clean and tidy is the most obvious way to make it appealing. Yet tidiness is one of the most difficult to maintain in real life. One helpful tip we learned is to just pick up any stray item you happen to see as you go along, and put it back where it belongs.

If you're walking from one room to another and pass by a misplaced book or toy, pick it up. If you're taking your shoes off in your entry and notice other footwear scattered on the floor, pick those up. If you have five minutes to spare while waiting for toast or pasta, pick up an unwashed plate in the sink and clean just that one thing. Or use those five minutes to clear a portion of a cluttered desk.

The key here is to stick with small pick-ups, one object at a time. Don't get carried away and turn it into a full-blown chore. Small actions aren't as tiring, but they can save you from a pile of clutter down the road.


Did you find these tips useful? Which ones are you applying to your own home? What home decorating ideas would you add? Leave a comment!

If you'd love more tips on keeping your home nice and cozy, check out our other blog post for a calm, restful, peaceful home.

And if you love the home decor items featured here, you'll find more at GearDen.com -- browse now!

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