How to Make Your Big House Feel More Warm and Cozy
Don’t get me wrong: Big houses are nice. But when it comes to feeling cozy? They just don’t usually have that warm, snuggly thing that smaller homes have.
There’s just too much space — and they often feel cold, empty, and a little too sparse for comfort.
Want to change all that? Looking to get the lived-in, cottage feel in your larger home?
Here’s how to make your big house feel more warm and cozy
1. Keep furnishings and decor close together.
A room really feels empty when furnishings are spread far apart, positioned against walls, or with large gaps in between. In a cozy home? Everything’s smashed in and up against one another.
Now that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t leave some space for moving about the room, but you should think about your furniture arrangement carefully. Try to put no more than a foot or two between furnishings, and bring the furniture in from the walls — in a tight-knit arrangement in the center of the room, ideally. You should also do the same with wall decor if you want to make your big house feel more warm. Gallery walls are great at achieving that cozy look with very little effort.
2. Think about scale.
A full space is a cozy one. But putting your old apartment sofa bed and a tiny coffee table in a living room with soaring ceilings? That’s only going to achieve the opposite.
When outfitting your space, make sure to consider scale. Furnishings and decor should fit the size of the room. Think large, sectional sofas, wide coffee tables, and huge area rugs. You should also do what you can to scale wall decor and window treatments, too. Have vaulted ceilings? Add some heavy, floor-to-ceiling curtains to bring it down a bit. Large, hanging light fixtures and tall, potted plants can help to close all that empty vertical space as well.
3. Choose two-tone paints if you want to make your big house feel more warm.
Forget painting the room a single hue. If you really want that cozy look, opt for two colors instead. Divide the wall in half or thirds, and paint the bottom portion a darker hue. This will ground the space and make the walls seem shorter than they are.
You can also go a different route if two-tone walls are unappealing. Instead, simply paint the ceiling a few shades darker than your walls. This makes the ceiling feel lower and less daunting.
4. Choose oversized and plush over minimalistic.
Straight, streamlined furnishings and tables are going to add to a room’s sparse and cold feeling, while overstuffed, more plush options will make a big house feel more warm and cozy. A few tips here: Swap out your glass coffee table for a large, tufted ottoman and skip the leather sofa and go for a plush, linen couch with tons of oversized pillows instead.
5. Opt for warm lights.
Skip bright, overhead lights, and choose warmer, more spread-apart light options instead. This might mean placing a few lamps about the room (be sure they have colored or light-diffusing lampshades on them), hanging string lights for a more bohemian feel, or even just turning on your fireplace when the weather is right.
Candles can also work for achieving this effect, as can installing a dimmer — or even dimmable track lights.
6. Focus on the fabrics.
Steer clear of cold and sterile materials, like metal or glass, and opt for fabric whenever possible. That means a linen sofa, a cable knit blanket, a plush ottoman, and maybe even softer wall decor, like canvas paintings rather than framed photos or artwork.
Layering and mixing up the colors and patterns of these fabrics can also help add to a room’s cozy factor as well.
7. Make a big house feel more warm by dividing large rooms into smaller spaces.
If you have an expansive living room or master suite, consider dividing it up into smaller designated spaces using furniture. A long console table makes for a great way to divide the “relaxing” part of a living area from the “entertaining” section, and in the bedroom, a great storage trunk or X bench can do wonders. Bookshelves can also be used strategically as well.
8. Personalize it.
Nothing makes a place feel cozier than when you personalize it and make it your own. Add photos of your family or most memorable trips to the bookshelf, and place your child’s best artwork over the mantel. Put out that old record player you’ve had in the family for years, and make sure your favorite LP is cued up and on display. The more a space feels like a home, the cozier it will be.