Redecorating can be daunting. In fact, decorating at all can be stressful if interior design is not your thing. You may want your room to be the cozy, hygge haven of your fairy-light-draped dreams, but actually making that dream a reality? Harder than it sounds.
But never fear! We’ve compiled a guide of five easy DIY things to keep in mind and consider when trying to cozy-up your room so it’s a place you can’t wait to get to when bedtime comes around -- not a place you avoid until it’s time to sleep.
1. Start With Your Bed
The bed is the heart of anyone’s bedroom. In fact, we spend almost a full third of our lives sleeping -- or at least trying to get to sleep. Since you’ll spend so much time in bed throughout your life (not even counting lie-ins and days where you just want to curl up and watch Netflix), it stands to reason that the time you spend in bed should be enjoyable. So if you’re looking to make your room a cozy place or just to give your living space a spruce, starting with your bed is a must.
While buying a new mattress can be expensive, getting a thick mattress topper is extremely affordable and can go a long way to making your bed more comfortable. Everybody’s preferences for how firm or soft their mattress should be are different, so you might have to test a few out, or at least read many reviews, before deciding. Whatever you choose, it’ll definitely make you excited to cocoon yourself into bed at night, and you'll wake up refreshed after a good night's sleep.
The other important thing to consider when cozying up your room is your bed linens, which is exactly what we recommend for a cozy bedroom—linen. While it may be tempting to look to fabrics that make you think soft, like trendy velvet or cheap blends, we recommend shelling out for real linen if you can.
Linen is lightweight and breathable, so it’s perfect in any temperature, and it just gets softer and cozier the more you wash it. Plus, linen gets this wonderful wrinkled texture that makes you want to tumble back into bed as soon as you’ve made it. Make sure that you top it all off with a comfy duvet that you love.
2. Think About Your Color Palette
You might be tempted to choose your color scheme based on your favorite color. We’re totally in support of this, but it might be worth considering the idea of color therapy and the mood-boosting benefits it can offer. Although science-based research on color therapy is limited, there are some day-to-day examples of how we already think of color impacting our mood, especially when it comes to light.
For instance, we’re often told to avoid blue light around bedtime -- it’s why electronics increasingly come with a night time or blue light setting that limits the blue light on your screen in the evening. But conversely, blue light is also thought to make you feel more alert. So when you’re considering what colors to incorporate into your bedroom decor, it’s also worth thinking about what color you want the lighting to be.
The lamp of your nightstand, for example, will be more relaxing if it’s a warming color -- it has less of a risk of potentially disrupting your circadian rhythm (although nothing beats natural light). A lamp with a dimmer might also be a great option so that you can turn down the lights as you wind down for the evening.
Even when it comes to paint (or the color of your furniture if you’re not up for such an overhaul), it’s worth considering the impact certain colors have on your mood. While this can be deeply personal and vary from person to person, in general, some colors are thought to influence your mood in certain ways.
Red is thought to be stimulating and to increase your energy and blood flow. It’s often associated with strong emotions -- which may be the vibe you want for your bedroom! Alternatively, if you want your room to be a place of calm and relaxation, blue can make the room feel calming and might be a better choice.
Purple is thought to inspire imagination, and so is yellow -- but in large amounts, yellow is also thought to over-stimulate you and contribute to anxiety. If you're more of a minimalist, you can absolutely keep your walls a sleek neutral and add in slight pops of color for a cozy touch.
If you’re looking to make your room as cozy as it can be, we recommend incorporating deeper, warmer colors. Think jewel tones and warm colors. While bright colors may be your preference, think about the weather. Bright summer days have their benefits, but nothing makes you feel like snuggling up with a good book quite like dreary winter weather.
3. Think About Textures
Much like with fashion, the textures you incorporate into your room’s decor can have an impact on the vibe your room gives off. Glass and marble surfaces can seem neat and luxurious, but also can be a little too neat to give you the cozy, cuddle-up mood you’re looking for.
You’ll be better off incorporating bits of wood, especially natural wood, into your room. Whether this means getting a wooden jewelry box or other tchotchkes to go on surfaces, or getting some new wood bookshelves or a headboard to replace any cold metal or standoffish synthetics you might have is up to you and your personal taste!
Just think about the coziness of a cabin in the woods -- there’s something about having a touch of nature around you that can just make you feel at home. If wood isn’t for you, think along the lines of “natural,” anyway -- we’re sure you’ll come up with something perfect for your tastes. Greenery on a side table can be a great way to cozy up a room, especially if you care for your plant babies yourself.
4. Consider The Ambiance
It’s so satisfying when your room looks exactly how you want it to look. Having that special, comfortable space especially made just for you can make you feel cozy and at home in and of itself. But a few extra touches to add to the ambiance -- especially if there are some minor things you can do to make coming home or getting ready for bed into a relaxing little ritual -- can really put things over the top.
If you find your room is a bit dry, especially in the winter, using a humidifier can help you find that perfect balance to keep you feeling healthy and hydrated. Even better, you can incorporate some essential oils into your humidifier use -- or, if you don’t feel you need a humidifier, you could get an essential oil diffuser.
Essential oils are plant extracts that, when diluted and diffused, can have amazing wellness benefits, both for your emotional wellbeing and your physical health. Choosing the right mixture of essential oils can create the right mood for your room if you’re looking to make it extra cozy, whether that’s filling your room with woodsy scents like pine and cedarwood, or keeping it chill and relaxing, with lavender or chamomile.
If an essential oil diffuser isn’t for you, look to products like essential oil-infused candles, which give you all of the same aromatherapy benefits, plus that beautiful flickering light that does amazing things for the mood of any room.
5. When In Doubt, Textiles
If you’re standing in your newly re-thought room and thinking it still doesn’t feel as warm and cozy as you imagined, textiles are a quick, easy, and potential affordable fix. This could mean adding an area rug or two -- whether that’s something big and bright, something thick and textured, or layering multiple smaller rugs for your ideal cozy effect is up to you. (We’re partial to placing a faux-sheepskin or other thick-knit rug next to your bed so when you get up in the morning, your feet are instantly cozy.)
If you already have a rug, try adding some pillows. Adding some throw pillows to your bed or even desk chair adds texture, color, and interest -- and also makes every surface in your room beg you to cuddle up on top of it.
If you’re more functional than fashionable and can’t quite get behind adding a bunch of pillows you may not actually sleep with, try adding functional pillows that improve your posture, like a cute lumbar pillow for your desk chair. This supports good posture and eases lower back pain if that’s a problem for you -- but even simple memory foam cushions can make an otherwise sterile chair look more inviting.
If you’ve checked off rugs and pillows from your list and still find your room less cozy than you’d like, you’re not out of options! Even a nice set of curtains or window treatments can go a long way to making your room look more homey. We’re also big fans of a cozy faux fur throw blanket artfully draped over the foot of your bed or a knit throw over the back of your chair (perhaps in your reading nook?) if you’re looking to up the comfy factor of your house even further.
Making your room into a snuggly, cozy haven is easier than you think! It’s important to consider the effect every aspect of your room -- from your bed to the scent to the materials you furnish it with -- will have on your overall experience. With these simple guidelines, we have every confidence that your next redecorating project will be a success, so get going, you interior designer, you!