9 Tips to Make Your Home Feel Like a Cozy Cottage (Without the Clutter)

Do you love a cozy cottage style home but hate a lot of clutter? I’m sharing my 9 simple ideas to add to your home to bring on the cozy. You don’t have to spend a lot of time or a lot of money for these decor ideas.

Read on to learn easy ways to make your living space feel like a cozy cottage, even if you’re a minimalist!

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woman with basket of flowers and linens

Creating a Cozy Cottage Home

I have always loved the timeworn, layered look of a cottage. Early cottages used simple materials and handed down furniture to furnish their small size homes.

Authentic English cottages often have quirky spaces from being added on to over the years. Due to smaller square footage they usually have to consider the things they use daily as part of the home decor. American Farmhouse style also has a similar history.

Trends come and go. But cozy never seems to go out of favor.

Everyone has a different threshold for clutter. One thing is for sure, cozy doesn’t have to mean lots of decor on every tabletop and a gallery wall in every room.

Why not make the things that you use everyday your decor? It worked for the earliest cottage dwellers and it can for you too.

Tips to Create a Cozy Cottage Home

  1. Declutter

You knew it was coming! It’s the obvious first thing to do if you’re drowning in “stuff”.

Most people don’t get the sense of calm (that is part of cozy) when they’re having to clear things off of the couch to sit down. Your home should serve you and your family, and not the other way around.

I love a good declutter and I’ve written about how I achieve it. I’m sure there will be more to come. One thing is for sure, organizing and getting rid of things you no longer want or need is an ongoing process.

As much as I would love for it to be one and done, it doesn’t usually work that way.

The good news is that you can get some systems in place so that the clutter doesn’t build up to the point of overwhelm.

Clear off your tabletops, shelves, and floor space to begin your home’s cozy transformation.

2. Colors and Paint

I personally love neutral colors. This way I can change my accent colors with my seasonal decor.

For a cozy feel use warmer colors. Did you know there are warm and cool whites, as well as warm and cool grays, and every other color?

It seems that a lot of people paint their walls and are unhappy with the finished result. A big part of that is not understanding the warm and cool undertones.

Take your time when choosing your wall color. Paint a swatch on the wall and see what it looks like at different times of the day.

For the walls in our home we have used BM Simply White in almost every room. It doesn’t turn blue (too cool) or yellow (too warm) in any light. Just a clean pure white.

Sage greens as well as other green variations are very popular right now. I’m all for it! Green is such a feel good color and works well with the new cozy cabin trend that’s trending as well.

3. Textures

Vary the textures in your home to amp up the cozy factor. Fur pillows, a textured area rug, linen slipcovers, and a brass tray with some patina.

IKEA Kivik Sectional review

Even if all of these are neutral, it won’t feel boring. The texture of baskets, chippy paint, and pottery brings a cozy feel.

A blown glass vase or glazed dinnerware bring shiny textures into the mix. Warm metals such as copper pieces or brass add to the room feel. A floral arrangement adds texture as well as color.

I often say that I’m a texture addict! Nothing else pulls a room together in a cozy way like texture does.

4. Wood

Adding in wood pieces of furniture or accessories is a definite cottage move. It’s completely fine to mix different woods. As a matter of fact I recommend it. Most wood finishes play well together.

Too much of the same, can look boring and contrived.

Bring in wood finishes with bowls (such as handmade dough bowls), trays, or a unique piece of furniture. Even small amounts of wood will instantly cozy up a room.

5. Lighting

Soft lighting is a must for a cozy cottage. If you’re lamps and overhead lights all have harsh bright light bulbs, switch them out.

Either a full spectrum or warmer bulb will look softer. Unless it’s a reading or task lamp, keep your bulbs to a lower wattage.

Chandeliers and overhead lighting can be put on dimmer switches to control the ambience. However, some LED bulbs will flicker on a dimmer. Look for the non- flicker type at the hardware store.

6. Creature Comforts

A comfy chair, a cozy throw blanket, a table to set your drink on. Cozy includes not only the way a room looks, but the way it feels.

stack of antique books

Stacks of books next to a reading chair invite you to sit and relax. A few hooks at the front door offer a place for you to take your coat off and transition from work to (cozy) home.

Make sure you think of function in your rooms to not only keep them clutter free, but ultra cozy!

7. Scent

Again, cozy isn’t just about what you see. It affects all of your senses. I have a keen sense of smell so this is one of my favorite ways to cozy up a room.

Good quality essential oils are a must at my house. I use them in homemade cleaning products, and diffusers all over our home. I love the versatility of changing up the blends with the seasons.

What’s more cozy in the fall than the smell of a pumpkin spice lattes all through the kitchen or a warm cinnamon smell in the powder room?

There are several very good choices for your oils. I look for third party tested oils to verify that they’re pure. Did you know that many “essential oils” have a lot of chemical additives? Definitely not what I want to be putting into the air in my home.

I generally stay away from candles as well due to the chemicals that they emit. But I do have a few homemade beeswax ones that I’ll light in our living room for some added cozy.

Fresh flower or herbs placed in the room can be so refreshing as well. Just the scent of green can make me begin to relax!

8. Mix New and Old

I’ll admit I love a good Ikea trip. I have a couple of Ikea sofa reviews on my YouTube channel. But I don’t want my home to look like an Ikea showroom! Same with Pottery Barn or any other place to buy new items.

To achieve a “decorated over time” look of a cozy cottage, you’re going to need to have some vintage pieces!

I feel so passionate about including some unique finds in your home decor that I wrote a guide to buying vintage and shopping at thrift stores. If you’re just getting started into the world of thrifting for your home, this post will get you started.

Adding in some thrifty finds or even antiques will help your home feel cozy and personal. However, this is an area not to go overboard.

Keep a list of what you’re looking for and your measurements in your phone notes. This way you can be intentional when out shopping for vintage treasures. Otherwise, there are a lot of cool “things” in the world and you could end up with an avalanche of flea market finds. Ask me how I know!

9. Plants and Nature

Whether you have a green thumb or prefer a great fake, indoors plants are a perfect addition a cozy space. We’re naturally drawn to nature. Especially in the winter months, being around some green can be so cozy and cheerful.

Vintage baskets holding house plants

For your best results with live plants, make sure you choose some hardy ones to begin your collection.

Indoor plants will be beautiful and work hard to purify your indoor air. You might find out that this plant thing is a little bit addictive!

Also bring in nature finds such as pine cones, or even faux stems. Visit your local farmers market for fresh flowers, or produce. Display them on open shelves or your fireplace mantel.

In Conclusion

Cozy isn’t just about how you decorate your home. It involves all of your senses to create a feeling.

Working to create a cozy home is well worth your time. A place to rest and be your happiest self is important for everyone.

I hope you use some of these tips and create the cozy home of your dreams. Start one room at a time if you have to.

Let me know in the comments what your first cozy move will be!

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