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A focus on comfort over appearance is bringing a plusher, warmer aesthetic into our homes.
While we’re all for elegant decor, after a long day, nothing feels better than sinking into your favorite cushy chair and relaxing. The last few years have taught us that our homes should feel lived in and not just looked at. These days, having a formal living room that no one sets foot in just seems antiquated and a little out of touch with how we live now. With our increased time spent at home, now more than ever we want spaces that work for us.
Modern rooms need to be functional, and, in the best circumstances, they should also be designed for physical and emotional comfort. And the latest decor trends reflect this: There’s a move away from fussy and overly precious looks in favor of overstuffed furniture and more casual, unpretentious designs. One of the most desired styles now is the cozy house. This trend is manifested through warm colors, luxe textures, and a return to ultra-comfortable furnishings that transform your house into a snug sanctuary perfect for recharging.
Why Cozy Decor Is Trending
Sometimes it can feel like trends comes out of nowhere, but Amber Brandt, an interior decorator and coziness consultant, believes that the reason behind this trend is clear. “During lockdown, our homes also had to become playgrounds, offices, classrooms, and churches,” she says. “Especially in the early days when there were so many unknowns, we were all seeking comfort and stability, and we needed our spaces to adjust and expand to meet all those demands. I think we unconsciously thought, ‘If I’m going to be stuck in here, I’m going to at least be comfortable’—and that seems to have largely become the new norm.”
Although lockdowns are over, more people are still working from and spending a lot more time in their houses. This lifestyle shift has led us to change our perspectives, too.
“We’re giving ourselves permission to stop striving for an unrealistic ideal, to purchase only what we really love, and to choose things that make us happy … and for many, that means more comfort,” Brandt says.
This comfort isn’t just from using furniture made for lounging; it’s also about creating a wholly relaxing space filled with calming colors that convey a welcoming, soothing feel that makes you and your guests want to pull up a chair and stay awhile.
Tips for Creating a Cozier Home
When designing for a cozy aesthetic, you want to create a space that makes it feel like the outside world melts away when you step through your door. To initiate this immediate shift, Brandt recommends engaging all the senses to increase the feeling of coziness in your home. Consider elements like potpourri or candles with homey scents like cinnamon or vanilla or a water feature that has a relaxing sound. Also, add warm, soothing colors and accessories with rich textures like velvet.
Proper lighting is also essential for establishing a cozy mood. You can find lightbulbs labeled warm glow to help set the tone in your space and putting dimmers on overhead lights can help soften their intensity and make for a more welcoming ambiance. Also, try adding multiple layers of lighting; smaller floor and table lamps allow you to make little vignettes in their pools of light that help you focus on design details and create intimate nooks.
As far as the furniture goes, this isn’t a literal throwback to past styles, so think overstuffed, not stuffy. The contemporary take on this trend is more tailored and much sleeker. “Stylistically, there’s a lot of Scandinavian influence in current trends, which is naturally oriented toward warmth, creature comforts, and a variety of cozy textures,” Brandt says.
Since new furniture is a large purchase, it’s essential to focus on comfort and construction to buy pieces that will last. Comfort is subjective, so it’s always best to shop for furniture in person if you can. If you do shop online, read the reviews carefully, and try to purchase items with a generous return policy, so you can try your new sofa and return it if it doesn’t offer the comfort you were hoping for.