5 Ways To Add More Cozy to Your Home

5 Ways to Add More Cozy to Your Home - The Inspired Room blog

Whether you are already decorating for Christmas or still just looking forward to Thanksgiving and savoring the last lingering days of fall, it’s that time of year when we really want to be inside nesting and getting cozy around the house.

Here are five simple ways to bring some cozy into your home right now and through the winter! Even if it is still 90 degrees where you are, I hope these ideas might give you a little bit of inspiration to do a little nesting this week.

A Welcoming Front Door and Entry - Simple Christmas Decorating

Cozy Up the Entry

Take a look at your entry and front door. What could you add (or remove!) to make it more welcoming and cozy for the season? I love my hanging basket on the front door because it’s the perfect size for gathering fresh greenery (or a mix of fresh and faux!). A furry blanket warms up the staircase or furniture, too!

Christmas Kitchen Shelves by The Inspired Room

Set up a Winter Baking Center

Do you do a lot of cooking or baking around the holidays? I don’t bake a lot these days, but I do love a good meal and seasonal treats. I always find having a baking station set up ready to go helps inspire me! When I’m surrounded by my winter cookbooks and baking essentials, I’m much more likely to get in the mood to bake an old favorite or try something new. We set up a special baking station in each of our old kitchens and it is always one of my favorite spots in the house.

 You don’t have to have a big or remodeled kitchen to enjoy a baking center, you can designate any cabinet or even a free standing piece as your baking center. I’m hosting Thanksgiving for our family in our new house and even though our kitchen isn’t remodeled, I cannot wait to cook and bake some holiday favorites. It’s just a cozy tradition to be in the kitchen baking and cooking together.

The Inspired Room Dining Room - Simple Christmas Decorating

Layer Up Your Table!

Last year I fell in love with using these velvet table runners or fur blankets to add a really warm texture to our dining room. Dining rooms can feel kind of cold in the winter, so dress up your table with some extra layers. You can add appropriately scaled pillows and throws to your chairs, too, for a little extra cozy. (I got my velvet table runners at HomeGoods last year!)

Candelight - Simple Winter Decorating

Evening Candlelight

Simply lighting candles (or using battery-operated candles) throughout the house makes a home feel magical this time of year! We have battery operated candles that are on a timer so we can enjoy the glow of candles every evening.

Simple Christmas Decorating - White Ruffle Trees and Cozy Blankets

Gather blankets

I started collecting cute cozy blankets a couple of years ago and I’m so glad I did! It’s been so chilly around here I’ve been layering my beds and sofa with extra blankets so there is always one or two handy. I love to curl up in bed or on our couch and easily grab a blanket to keep warm in the evenings.

How are you adding cozy to your house?

Related:

Cozy Rooms: Designer Secret

How to Create a Cozy Guest Room (my guide on eBay)

Cozy Decorating: Orange and Red

25 Ideas for Christmas Decorating

Shop My House (furniture, lighting, accessories and more)

My Christmas Shop (decor, ornaments, everything festive!)

Decorating Your House {Simply} Through the Seasons

Decorating Your Home Simply Through the Seasons - The Inspired Room Coffee Station

I love decorating my house through the seasons. As you’ve probably gathered if you hang out here much, I don’t really use a lot of themed decor. But I do love making my house warm and cozy this time of year and then lighting things up for the spring and summer. It helps to have a neutral backdrop with the foundational items around the house, such as paint colors and rugs, so the accessories can be the transitional pieces. I definitely keep things simple year round, but it is fun to have the opportunity to mix things up a bit every season.

Most of the time I use what I have, pull in some seasonal greenery and move things around until I get a new look that just feels more seasonally appropriate and inspiring!

Let’s take a peek at my coffee station in my kitchen through several seasons! You’ll see how several of the items are repeated or styled in different ways through each season (such as cutting boards and the mug holder) and a few seasonal elements are brought in (such as different colored books, greenery or accessories I made or have for the season).

I truly do try to use what I have and don’t feel the need to buy all new holiday decor each year. You’ll see below that I used my simple DIY Peace Banner on the same shelf a couple of Christmases!

Coffee station christmas

Coffee Station

Summer-Kitchen-Display-from-The-Inspired-Room

Coffee Station - The Inspired Room blog
Coffee station kitchen - The Inspired Room

I’ll share other areas of my home dressed up for the different seasons in upcoming posts. Courtney and I have been working on something else kind of fun for you guys, too. Those of you who made it to the end of this post can get a sneak peek!

For years I’ve had an online shop for The Inspired Room, but over the past couple of months I’ve been getting it prettier and better organized. Because my shop of favorite furniture, lighting, and decor from my home was getting kind of full, we started creating smaller themed shops that should be easier to navigate. We are excited to finally be better organized! We had so much fun window shopping online at a variety of sources to round up collections of some of our favorite things. Check out our new shops here!

We’ve also started to create several helpful gift guides this year of my most favorite gifts for the season because if you are anything like me, sometimes you just want to shop online in your jammies and slippers :). Check out our first few gift guides here!

Happy shopping!

Appliance Arrangement in the Kitchen

The Inspired Room Kitchen - DIY Wood Island

In our old house, one of the most frequently asked questions was about where we put our microwave when we remodeled. It used to be one of those built-in microwaves above the stove. In theory, a microwave over an oven is probably an efficient use of space in some ways, but we really didn’t like how crunched it felt for multiple people work at the stove with that appliance over our head.

We actually rarely use a microwave so we almost didn’t replace it at all. But sometimes it is nice to have one when you have a big meal and need an extra oven to heat something up or we just want a quick snack, so we set one up in our pantry during the remodel.

pantry2

And that led to another frequently asked reader question, wasn’t that location inconvenient for a microwave? The truth is I actually much preferred the microwave in the pantry! It was just a few steps from our island so it was just as close and convenient as anywhere, but it also saved counter and cabinet space in our main kitchen area which is where we spent the most time. It worked out great for us to separate out our appliances so there could be many cooks in the kitchen without bumping into each other.

english style kitchen on a budget

In our old English Tudor (above) we had a separate cooktop and then right next to it there was a wall oven and a microwave. I loved having a separate cooktop and a wall oven and a microwave, even thought they were pretty close together.

Kitchen Before Picture - The Inspired Room blog

One of the most frequently asked questions about my new kitchen is in regards to the appliances, particularly that vintage oven! Even thought it’s old, it is pretty cool to have the double oven, I’ll admit. I’ve had several emails from people wanting to buy it, so no matter what we decide to do it will continue to be well loved.

The stove/oven combo takes up most of one side of the available counter and wall space. The microwave that was left in the house was very old and sat on a chair. The microwave bit the dust a couple of weeks ago (joining our dryer in the appliance graveyard, ha! And of course, the sewer was already in line to be replaced. We also had a kitchen sink leak so we disconnected the garbage disposal for now. We’re on a roll here!).

Now as we are contemplating our kitchen design and how to best remodel it to suit our needs and style preferences, we are of course thinking about appliances. It is sometimes a puzzle how to best arrange a kitchen to be efficient as well as to allow the most storage and counter space. And if we open up that left wall at all, even to widen the doorway, it will leave less space for an oven and countertop.

My thought right now is to leave all the appliances in the same place, not only to save money but because they seem to be efficiently located.

If we eventually get a new gas oven we’d need to have the gas line brought in, so that’s something to think about too. I would also want to install a new exhaust fan as the one here currently doesn’t function. I really don’t like smelling food all over the house (sensitive nose here) and you need a good fan especially for gas cooking.

So even when you do try to keep appliances in the same location to save money, there will be work involved to get anything new. One thing always leads to another when it comes to kitchen remodels. Am I right?

Samsung HotBlast Smart Oven

I work with Samsung as a brand ambassador and they sent me some photos of a pretty cool looking new convection microwave called the HotBlast Smart Oven which would be neat to have if I can squeeze one in somewhere. Their new convection microwave (model MW8000J) offers several special features that sound amazing:

  • HotBlast™ – a brand new way of cooking that reduces cooking times significantly
  • PowerGrill Duo – to enjoy perfectly grilled foods, much faster
  • Grande Turntable – to cook on a much larger scale using the significantly wider turntable

We for sure won’t be keeping the chair and microwave arrangement in our kitchen :). I’m thinking if we do add the window seat I mentioned, which I would LOVE, we could still fit in a cabinet to the left of it to hold our coffee maker (a must) and if there’s space, we could fit in a microwave. If we had room, that convection microwave would be wonderful! I’m keeping it on my list of possibilities.

Even though I plan to remodel my kitchen, I have intentionally been spending time living with it and using it as is so we have the opportunity to really think about what the best plan will be. I don’t like to spend money unnecessarily so usually it pays off to think a bit before you tear it all apart! Taking that time to get to know the kitchen and our home has already given us quite a few clues as to what the best arrangement for this space will be!

So, what layout do you currently have for your kitchen appliances?

I am thrilled to be a brand ambassador for Samsung Home Appliances and this post was created as a part of my partnership, but my experiences and opinions are my own.

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