In the winter months especially, there are few things more inviting than a cozy home. There’s nothing more therapeutic than having a warm personal sanctuary to escape from the outside world. You know, the type of place that makes guests take notice and never want to leave.

The good news is that it’s totally possible to create this kind of enticing atmosphere without shelling out a ton of cash. Transforming your house into a comfy paradise doesn’t have to be about filling it with expensive things. It’s just a matter of aesthetics and a few intentional tweaks. Check out the following

6 Tips to Convert Your Home Into A Cozy Winter Sanctuary:

1.Pair-Up – Buy and place accent pieces in pairs.  This rule applies to anything pillows, vases, sculptures – you name it. Group these items in pairs- especially if they are the same.  Why? Setting similar items separately along a view splits the attention. Keeping the items together not only looks better, but also reinforces the concept that your home is made for pairs – like a subliminal message. 😉  This is the number one cozy design strategy.

Photo: serdalgur.com

2. Cover Outlets – You may notice that nice places rarely expose their power outlets.  Apply that to strategy to your home. If your household is like most, with the white outlets in the walls, keep them covered, block them from sight with furniture, potted plants or pillows.  Try this small change around the home tonight and see what a big difference it makes.

3. Use Nature’s Aromas – Use natural fragrances for inviting scents. Aromas bring memories. A home that smells nice leaves an impression and is the perfect personal touch. So, try adding comforting aromas to your home. However, refrain from cheap store-bought lab manufactured smells. Sensitive guests (with allergies etc.) hate and feel sick from artificial smells like plugins or non-natural candles. Instead of a plugin filled with chemicals, use natural items to make your house smell good. Make your home cozy with aromas from anything like natural soy candles, or from boiling cinnamon sticks, orange peels or coffee grinds. Tip: boil expired spices like nutmeg instead of throwing them out.

Photo: homedit.com

4. Clear Clutter – This is an often-overlooked tip. Make clutter clearing a continuous process to optimize your home. The most obvious clutter collecting culprits are closets and bathrooms (are you a product junkie?!), offices and the junk drawers.

When clearing out the clutter around the home, try to toss anything thing you don’t love, use or need.

If there is something that doesn’t fit into those categories, but you still can’t let go – store it in a closet.  BUT don’t leave it in daily sight, it will just be a constant nagging reminder and drain your energy.  Go ahead, try it, choose a small area of your home to clear out.  I bet after you do, you and that space will feel so much better!

5. Display Memorabilia

Photo: marthastewart.com

Pick up the seashells on the exotic beach and bring them home. Surround your home with as many decorations as possible which mean a lot to you.  Keepsakes from wonderful trips or events provide great recollections around your home. Not all knickknacks need to be on display in the living areas.  Place them in bathrooms or in your kitchen. Tip: Also, find and decorate your home with items from your cultural heritage.  You will smile, feel grounded, connected or filled with cultural pride.

6. Pile on the Pillows – Your home can never have too many pillows – ever.  Invest in quality pillows to make your home cozy.  Use pillows in all of your rooms, on the accent furniture and on the floors. Hate a couch?  Drown it with decorative pillows, and no one will ever see it!  Pillows transform furniture. Need more seating? Buy large floor pillows, not only do they add coziness, they help you accommodate more guests.

Photo: jodysokol.com

Happy Home Transformation! The above little-known tricks give you all you need to turn your home into a cozy sanctuary.  But don’t blame me when you discover that you and your guest never want to leave!

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Maureen Lomo
In high school, Maureen dabbled in poetry, but it would be over twenty years before she entertained the idea of writing professionally. She received her B.A. from the University of Texas and went on to a career in H.R. in Houston and D.C. before eventually working for the Dept. of State overseas. There, she experienced many fulfilling moments as she traveled and worked around the world. Now, as Maureen writes, she makes international culture and sisterhood a recurring theme in her work. She crafts her inspirational literature from her home base in Austin, Texas.