After a hard day's work, the thought of returning to a comfortable, cosy and welcoming home is what revitalises us. There is always this urge in us to make our homes more comfortable, warm and cosy throughout the year.
Here I'll go through a few ideas which can make our home comfortable throughout the year…
Spruce up the Front Yard
A well-kept and attractive front yard is also a good way of meeting and making friends with neighbours. Keep a few chairs and a picnic table or even a fire pit out in your yard.
Surrounded with lush greenery your front yard will look welcoming while retaining your privacy.
Give the Verandah a Romantic Look
Add an old fashion swing to your porch or verandah. You can have your coffee out on the porch on a summer morning or wait when welcoming guests and friends while swaying on the swing. Put up a couple of string lights along the eaves of the porch.
Keep a couple of planters with flowering plants on either side of your front door. A wooden plaque with a quirky saying like "Welcome to our comfortable, cosy and delightfully crazy home!" will set the mood for any guests or visitors.
Keep the Entrance Bright and Inviting
A well-lit and clutter-free entrance is a good way to set a warm tone and welcome visitors. After all, it is the first part of the house that guests see and you get an opportunity to give your guest a taste of your style.
Lay a rug at the entrance and keep a chair to set bags down and remove shoes. A small painting and vase with some flowers will enable you to give a personal touch to the welcome.
Keep a small cabinet at the entrance to keep the mail, papers and other things that might create clutter out of sight. A shoe rack will ensure that footwear is not flung all over the place.
Display Family Photos in Passageways
Hallways and stairwells are good places to lighten the mood with some family photos. Photographs of fond memories and kids art can be displayed where someone can stop and take a closer look.
Use spotlights to highlight the galleries. Don't be shy about putting up some candid shots. The memories that impromptu photos conjure are more precious than formal photographs.
Make the Living Room Lively
Have plenty of light points in the living room with individual switches and preferably with dimmers. When watching TV or chatting you will need warm light, but a cocktail party will call for brighter lighting.
A couch with a pair of chairs accompanied and a few upholstered ottomans will create the impression that you can seat a crowd.
These small pieces of seating make the living space look more inviting. Keep a couple of small tables for guests to keep their keys or cups on.
Opt for Comfortable Seating
Choose the most comfortable cushions that you can afford. While feather stuffing is the most comfortable, it will need frequent fluffing. Foam and coir stuffing will settle down with time.
Go for a combination of the three materials. Good quality foam with coir for the seat and foam and feathers for the backrest are a good combination. While foam will provide the squish, the coir and feathers will give the softness.
You have to be careful when choosing the covering material. Leather coverings age well if kept away from sunlight but are difficult to maintain.
If the sofas are likely to be spilt upon by kids and there are pets around, you are better off choosing a loose cover of smooth cotton fabric or a polystyrene material that can be washed or spot cleaned.
Keep plenty of soft pillows and woollen throws around. Pillows make seating comfortable while throws make the room look snug and warm.
Decorate the Living Room
Keep a few indoor plants in planters around the room. The lush green of the plants will help in balancing the ambience of the room. Hang a couple of paintings on the walls.
Make use of the bookshelf to also display some artifacts, relics and collections from travels. These can be placed in random cubicles while the books are stacked in others. Stack some books horizontally and some others vertically in cubicles.
Use rugs in seating and dining areas. Rugs make for comfort underfoot and help you get off the cold floor in the winter. Use good quality grippers to prevent the rug from slipping or being a tripping hazard.
Select light lace curtains with valances if you don't have cornices or pelmets. Curtains of a length that finish a couple of inches above the floor look good in living spaces.
Brighten Up the Kitchen
The kitchen is so often the family meeting room. Make it bright and comfortable for both the cooks and family members.
Keep plenty of brightly coloured kitchen towels and some vases with flowers around the kitchen.
The refrigerator, kitchen sink and the cooking stove or oven should be at the three corners of the triangle for the best economy of movement.
Paint the cabinets and walls with bright colours to give your kitchen some exuberance. Have at least three light points. Keep the working and cutting place well lit with bright white light.
Keep the Bedrooms Cosy
Choose soothing shades of monochromatic colours. Light hues of green, lavender, blue, topaz or toasty brown will give a feeling of serenity, comfort and cosiness. Paint the ceiling with a subtle pattern or softer shade of the wall colour.
If you have floorboards, place a rug under the bed that extends at least a foot around the bed. This helps avoid placing your feet on the cold floor immediately after you wake up.
Keep a bed table near the bed and a chair in the bedroom. A cushioned ottoman will come in handy in front of the dresser.
Have at least three light points to allow for both warm lighting and bright lighting. An electric table lantern can be placed on the bed table.
Bathrooms Should be Smart
Bathrooms are places where we spend some of our most private time and do a lot of our best thinking! So it has to be cosy and bright.
Keep the bathrooms well ventilated and well lit with light coloured short curtains for privacy. Maintain the exhaust fans so that they are in working condition.
Use the best quality of bathroom fittings and at least a 24-inch mirror over the washbasin. Keep plenty of bathroom tissues and the bathroom well stocked with shampoos, soaps and toothpaste.
Buy Turkish towels for the bathroom. They are costly but they are also durable and their softness increases with use. They are made from Turkish cotton which has longer fibres.
Make Your Home Smell Fresh and Fragrant
Even if you are cleaning up your home regularly, there will be a stale smell because of the accumulation of fungus and bacteria in damp and dark areas.
Buy baking powder in bulk and sprinkle some of it under the kitchen sink, washbasins and the bottom of the garbage can. Sprinkle some over the rugs and the carpets in your home.
Make potpourri with a choice of spices, herbs and citrus fruits boiled in water. Making a potpourri takes little time and the fragrance lasts for days on end.
Cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, whole cloves, star anise are some of the spices used. Lemon, orange and grapefruit peels are the citrus ingredients and fresh ginger, masala tea bags, rosemary sprigs and vanilla extract are the herbs.
Boil all or a combination of the spices, herbs and the citrus peels in some water and keep them in small crucibles in different rooms. Be assured that you will return to a comfortable and fragrant home every day.