Mid-December heralds the abbreviated days when our trip home from work feels like a midnight drive rather than 6 p.m. rush-hour. The steel gray blanketed skies do everything in their power to chill us to the bone and insure that once inside the door, we can think of little else but staying for the rest of the night.
Welcome to the season of comfort.
Comfort is both emotional and physical. A home that is so inviting that people want to curl up in a chair and put their feet up on an ottoman is a truly comfortable home.
Emotional comfort is experienced in a space that is the right combination of color, texture, lighting, furniture and furniture placement.
While the interpretation of cozy can be quite individual, there are some elements that seem to be universal.
A fireplace is at the heart of a cozy space. It evokes warmth beyond the heat of the embers. The crackle, the smells and the flicker are all a part of the feel of comfort.
The textures of the furnishing translate into a cozy feeling. A leather chair that sports a nubby wool throw invites a long winter’s night cuddle. A cup of cocoa and this room setting can be the perfect antidote to the blowing snow outside the window.
The natural and rustic materials evoke a sense of comfort. The earthy scents of holiday greenery paired with wool throws, thick rugs and wood furnishings are some of the coziest choices for a winter retreat.
Lighting has an emotional impact, as well. Dimmers are the first step to cozying up a space. Florescent and LED lighting tends to be cold so a bulb that offers warmer lighting is key.
Physical comfort plays a definite roll in “cozy”. Furniture that does not fit the body can break the feeling of safety and comfort. The height and size of a person and the dimensions of a chair or couch do make a difference.
Furniture that is arranged to encourage conversation as well as provide a haven for reading a good book is ideal. It is important to make sure that you aren’t tripping over tables, squeezing between chairs to get to the sofa or reaching too far to turn on a lamp.
Cozy and comfortable can be as simple as having upholstered or cushioned chairs in the dining room if you want people to linger after a meal.
You know that a room has achieved “cozy” when you feel the urge to sit down, slip on your slippers, and curl up for a long stay.