I know, I know … It’s hard to imagine right now in the throes of August. But fall is right around the corner and, if you’re anything like me, you’re thinking about how to make your home cozy.

Coziness is a state of mind, something that nice to experience but hard to explain. For that reason, making your home cozy isn’t the easiest task. Luckily for you, I’ve been at this a long time. I have utterly failed in many attempts to make my home feel cozier, but I’ve also hit on a few ideas that really work.

What are those ideas? Here they are: 7 ideas for how to make your home cozy this fall and winter.


1. Fires

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, ramps up the coziness factor like a fireplace. Once upon a time, I moved into an apartment with a fireplace. It had a gas connection, but there was no fireplace set inside — that is, my fireplace was unusable.

My parents got me exactly what I needed for Christmas that year. And I was just brave enough to do the installation on my own. Here’s the thing: It was SO much easier than I thought it would be.

Years have passed since that moment, and I no longer live in an apartment or on my own. But I still have that fireplace kit that my parents first got me, and it gets heavy use October through March. Trust me, when you want to know how to make your home cozy, you need a fireplace that works.

Natural gas is just about the least expensive utility, too, so your bills don’t go up all that much. Try this complete fireplace kit from Myard, but make sure you check the size of your fireplace: You may need an 18-inch kit rather than a 24-inch kit (or another size altogether).


2. Throws

Here’s a confession: I keep my home a little cooler during winter than I should, simply because I love to use my fireplace and a throw blanket. My family doesn’t appreciate it, but they indulge me.

So, I’ve already made my fireplace recommendation, and here’s my favorite throw blanket — the Sherpa from Bedsure. It’s soft and fuzzy, which makes it just about the coziest thing you can imagine. And you can also choose from a number of different colors, which is important. A throw blanket is as much a part of your home décor as it is there for warmth.

I go for the grey version, because a neutral works best with my living room set. And I definitely go with the 60 x 80 throw — the bigger the better, right? But take a look at all the colors and find one that’s right for your décor. The perfect throw sends the cozy factor skyrocketing.


3. Books

I was inspired by Avery’s post a few days ago, the one that shares the best American books of the 20th century. Much like a throw blanket, a classic book can serve both a functional and decorative purpose. I’m interested in reading some of these classics that I haven’t thought about since high school, so I looked for hardcover versions of interesting titles that feature vintage cover art.

My favorite is To Kill a Mockingbird, which is a great story with a classic mid-century look to its cover. So, just imagine me sitting under my throw blanket on the couch by the fire, picking up this all-time great novel for some light reading on a cold winter evening. Now we’re getting cozier.

Many of the other classics have classic covers, too: The Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby and Fahrenheit 451 all feature covers that are unmistakable.

There’s also a sense of coziness that comes with reading a book while sitting under a throw blanket. Much like choosing a throw blanket as an item that is both attractive and functional, choose attractive books that can serve both as décor and as reading material if you or a guest wants to curl up under a blanket and read a good book.


4. Photos

When I was a kid, we had a film camera that we’d tote around on vacations and family trips. When we got home, we’d go to the Fox photo drive-through or to Eckerd’s to have the photos developed. Most of them would be garbage, because the old film cameras didn’t let you appraise the photos you had taken in real-time, allowing for do-overs when needed.

But today we have cameras in our pockets, and you can get beautiful, filtered, edited photos sent to your doorstep in less than 24 hours. That’s what I do to make my home cozier. I get family photos developed in black and white, and then I find rustic frames that help ramp up the coziness factor.

Frames are a matter of personal taste, but here’s one that I really like — a collage frame from Umbra. The wood looks rustic without going too far over the top, and the photo opening are perfect for Instagram-style shots.


5. Lights

I have a huge crush on string lights. I have them outside, which makes the backyard much more charming in summer, and I hang them inside during fall and winter — just to make the house cozier.

These globe string lights are my favorite indoor selection. Why hang them indoors? Because the indirect lighting that string lights provide is perfect for ramping up the coziness factor. Be creative with how you string them up. Put them atop a table that displays picture, or wrap them around a wall accent. You can even frame doors with string lights in some rooms, though you wouldn’t want that done too prominently.


6. Nooks

This won’t work for everyone’s home and layout, but creating nooks is a great way to get cozy. If you have a breakfast nook or a window nook in your bedroom, make it a place of leisure. Stack design magazines or classic books in these spaces to make them more usable. You can also added blankets and a reading lamp.

Speaking of lamps, here’s a minimalist option that offers soft, warm light — enough to read by without sacrificing the cozy factor. This lamp also includes a USB port that can make a nook more usable. Charge your device while you curl up and enjoy the coziness.

I live in Texas where it doesn’t snow all that much, but I dream of sitting in a warm nook and watching the flakes come down on a gray winter’s afternoon. If you have a nook that’s previously felt impractical or unusable, transform it to ramp up the coziness.

Do you have an interesting space that has felt unusable in your home? Perhaps it’s an opportunity to create a seating or reading nook. Add a cozy chair, the aforementioned blanket and books, perhaps a reading lamp, and let this new nook serve as the coziest spot in your house.


7. Seating

You need a comfortable place to sit in order to feel truly cozy. That’s why I love this Accent Chair and Ottoman from Tribecca Home — so comfortable, so cozy.

I recommend bedroom seating for the utmost in coziness. You want the biggest and most comfortable chair you can find, a chair that you sink into and get lost in. I also highly recommend an ottoman. It’s hard to feel cozy without a place to set your feet.

What should you avoid when looking for cozy seating? Don’t go too formal. Formal feels more stiff than comfortable, which is a no-go. And never choose a leather seating option. I love this chair and ottoman from Tribecca Home because I love the way the linen feels. You’ll love it, too.


Final Thoughts on How to Make Your Home Cozy

You don’t need to rush out and pursue products for each of these 7 ideas. Find a couple or a few that do work for you, and then mix and match to create your ultimate cozy refuge before the weather starts to turn. You may find the perfect lamp and throw, as well as a classic book that you’ve always wanted to read — and that’s enough to achieve the coziness you want. Just be true to yourself, and create the environment that makes you feel warm and secure.

Did I miss one of your go-to ways to create a cozy home? Let us know via our contact page, or just comment below. I’d love to hear what you’re doing.