Casper and I created a combined list of our favorite six essentials for a welcoming home. These items are sure to turn any space into a comfortable and cozy oasis. I’m in the process of giving our master bedroom a facelift and working on this list was the perfect catalyst to get things going. Our bedroom is pretty and it has a lot of great elements but, like most homes, it’s often one of the most overlooked rooms when it comes to design. And ours definitely needed a more welcoming, relaxing and cozy feel.
We put our list together of the six essentials for a welcoming home. Even though Casper is well known for their mattresses, sheets and pillows, these 6 essentials aren’t just for bedrooms. They’re a good guide for any room in the house that we want to make more welcoming and cozy. Sounds good to me!
We have wall-to-wall carpeting in our bedrooms which is such a nice and practical solution. But I really do love area rugs and the trend of layering rugs – even over wall-to-wall carpeting. Rugs definitely add warmth to any room but they can also make it feel more welcoming by how they’re placed. Here are a few tips on placing an area rug to help make a room more cozy and welcoming:
- Avoid a floating rug if possible – which is a rug that doesn’t have any furniture placed on top of it
- Use the largest rug size that you can afford
- layer rugs if possible, in directions that help direct – or lead – a guest through or into the room.
- Let the rug extend beyond the furniture by at least 6″
- Give the rug some breathing room by allowing 18″ between the end of the rug and the edge of the walls
- Mix in contrasting textures and patterns to make the space more dynamic. The trick is picking patterns and colors that are complementary but still different enough.
Oh, how I love to change up the artwork in our home! And it doesn’t have to be an expensive or time consuming change. If you are able to invest in original or pricey art, that’s great. But you can also change up some of your smaller pieces depending on the season, holiday, or the current trends to make your home more welcoming and warm. Here are a few inexpensive and easy ways to add some meaningful and welcoming art to your home:
- Digital art prints – They’re lots of resources online to find some great designs. Most are original and unique and you just download and print hem yourself. Or you can take the files to a copy center for better quality. Digital art means no shipping charges or waiting time for some thing to be mailed to you.
- Inspirational type – What better way to welcome your guests to your home then with a written, meaningful message. Wood signs, script prints or even just framing a quote your find online or in a book are easy ways to add art to your walls.
- Gallery walls – It’s like telling a story by grouping meaningful artwork together. Anything from photos to children’s artwork to inspiration quotes, or even moments can really make your home more welcoming and personal. Click here to see my tips on gallery walls and the best way to hang them.
- Etsy offers a large variety of physical and digital art. I have my own shop there where I sell over 40 different art prints, wood signs, frames and calendars. I also offer a monthly art subscription service for only $24 where you receive a new print in your on-box each month. Do your research and find what you like and what works for your space and decor.
3. NEW MATTRESS & PILLOWS
According to a study by The Huffington Post, a new mattresses can result in “a significant decrease in stress”. Stress levels based on factors like worrying, racing thoughts, nervousness, irritability, headaches, trembling and are possibly related to sleeping on a poor, old mattress. And in my experience, pillows can have the same effect. Choosing the right mattress and pillows is definitely a personal choice and preference. Getting a good night’s sleep depends on a lot of different factors – comfort, stress level, room temperature and you’ve got to start with the basics. Click here to see some tips on how to select a new mattress.
In addition to comfort while you sleep, I also think the look of your room can reduce stress and add comfort. Decorative pillows are really meant to add comfort to your furniture, rooms and home. Here a few tips on how to choose the right pillows:
- Address the whole room – Pillows don’t have to match their grouping, but they should relate in some way – such as color palette or style – so the space feels unified and cozy.
- Use an odd number of pillows. In design, odd numbers tend to be more artful. Try one, three, or five, depending on the size of your furniture and the look you want.
- Mix & match prints and sizes – One simple print, one busy print, and one solid. This is a basic formula that’ll help you narrow down your options. Another way to think about it is — one small print, one big print, one solid. Plaids and stripes work well as small/simple prints.
- Texture – Tactile contrast like nubby linen against smooth leather or faux fur with burlap all add warmth and style.
4. COZY THROWS
Besides pillows, cozy, comfy throw blankets are an easy way to add warmth and texture to our homes. And they can go in almost every room – over couches, the end of a bed, a chair, in baskets or storage trunks. Emily Henderson – stylist, author and TV host – told POPSUGAR: “…I like to change up the throw on the back of the sofa. You put a really pretty throw on it and all of a sudden, it has a lot of style. And that’s a lot of bang for your buck, just a blanket and it really does make the sofa look totally different!” She says it’s one of her favorite ways to get creative and bold with home design since it’s easy to change up.
Here’a a few different ways to display throws to add that cozy feel:
- Simply toss the blanket over the back corner of the sofa and let it drape on the seat. It adds a layer of texture, warmth, and casualness to any space.
- Racing stripe – or be more intentional with the placement by adding a splash of color or pattern down the center of an arm-chair or back of the couch. Fold the throw blanket neatly into thirds or fourths and place it down the back of the chair and onto the seat.
- Rolled in a basket – this is my favorite! A great way to stash a bunch of different textures and styles and let everyone grab their own.
- Draped on a bench – This look is carefree and welcoming. Toss a blanket on a bench to create an inviting seating area.
- At the end of a bed – Fold a blanket neatly across the foot of the bed or go for the rumpled catalog-look by casually draping it over the edges.
5. BOOKS & GAMES
Displaying books and games in our homes is like adding life and activity. You don’t need to put all your games or books on display but making them accessible and visible will help add a sense of life and warmth to your home. A few ideas on how to display books and games in your home:
- Make displaying games and books part of your decor – stack books on a table and use it as a pedestal for other accessories.
- Arrange books in small groupings versus needing one large book shelf.
- Set a puzzle out and let others help to piece it together.
- Place games in easily accessible areas – click here to see an post on how to make an oversized Scrabble board for your wall. You can have a never-ending game going on for all to participate.
- Checker boards or backgammon boards designed onto tabletops are a a perfect way to get a game started. I painted my own checkerboard table top for our outdoor patio. It’s a great way to welcome new guests.
- Keep a basket of playing cards or a rubix cube out to welcome some friendly competition.
- Pool tables, foosball, ping pong tables, even a tic-tac-toe board are all fun and welcoming activities for all.
6. HOUSE PLANTS & FLOWERS
No room is complete without some fresh green plants. Plants and flowers add life to a room. Literally. If you don’t have a green thumb there are lots of great options out there that are very resilient. Real plants have gorgeous color and texture that faux plants just can’t quite capture. Plus, they grow – which is fascinating and rewarding.
- Succulents – plants like Jade require very little care and have a cool sculptural feel. Hens & Chicks are another variety that spread quickly to fill a container. They also do well in terrariums or glass domes.
- Ferns – They’re easy to find, inexpensive and have the best texture.
- Herbs like Rosemary, Basil and Thyme are always good choices especially in the kitchen. And they’re useful – clip them as you’re cooking!
- Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees are a very popular floor plant but can be a little temperamental.
- Clippings and branches – I love fresh cut flowers and when our peonies and hydrangea bloom, I try to bring some clippings inside when I can. Also, during the winter, fresh cut evergreen branches are the best way to add life to our chilly home. The bonus is that clippings and branches are free and they add so much life and texture to any space.
- Fresh flowers – even a simple bunch from the grocery store, rearranged in a pretty vase can add life and warmth. Click here for some helpful tips on arranging flowers. Orchids are one of my favorite indoor plants. I just bought my first one a few months ago and it’s doing well. It really warms up the space and truly adds life.