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7 Steps to Cozy

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Do you ever feel like you struggle to make your spaces feel cozy? Like they’re ALMOST there…but not quite?

Guess what? I’m coming over today to decorate for you. πŸ˜‰ Ok, maybe not literally, and I’m sure you’re relieved about that. But what if there were 7 (easy to follow) steps to cozy-just right-welcoming-casual-well decorated happiness? That’s what we’re talking about today…so simple, so fun. Aaaand you don’t even need to take notes. Ready?

1. PAINT COLOR. It sets the stage for cozy.

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This is one of the most-asked questions on the blog, and social media. The wall color in our home is Valspar “Coconut Milk.” It’s a great neutral in any room, but it might not be YOUR color. Maybe you’re more into the gray tones. Maybe you like a little darker tone. Whatever your preference, start with paint chips…and don’t just look at them in the aisle at the hardware store. Take them home…in YOUR lighting, with YOUR exposure, next to YOUR furniture, flooring, etc. If you think you’ve found just the right one, congrats! Buy a sample of it, and paint it on several walls in your home. The color will look different in each location due to lighting, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. No one wants to repaint a room because they’re unhappy with a snap decision on paint color. Aint nobody got time for that.

2. AN AREA RUG. (this one is from wayfair.com, find it here.)

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I already know what you’re gonna say. Your room is carpeted. YES, you CAN put a rug on a rug. I feel like every room should have an area rug. IT’S EVERYTHING! Did you hear that? EVERYTHING. It adds pattern, texture, defines the conversation area, and, back to our purpose today, BRINGS. THE. COZY. I know, I know…you have kids and a dog, and a house-rabbit, and the occasional goat running through. Still. An area rug. Run. Get it now. Lest you still need your mind set at ease, we have a very light-colored area rug in our main living space. We have 2 teenagers, the adults in this house are spill-prone (I’m not naming names), and our dog likes to punish us in unspeakable ways that test our rug cleaning abilities (I think you know where I’m going with this). Somehow, the rug still looks great!

3. PULL THE FURNITURE AWAY FROM THE WALLS. Go ahead, walk on the wild side!

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Ah-ah-ahhhh…don’t skip this step. If you have a fairly large room and your furniture is lining the walls to leave a big open space in the middle, ask yourself, WHY? Because it makes it look bigger? Let your new area rug define the space, and bring your furniture up onto the rug. Create a more intimate conversation area. And guess what? Having a little open space BEHIND the furniture will actually make your room feel very inviting and is pleasing to the eye. Bonus: the next step will really finish the look…

4. USE TABLES TO ANCHOR YOUR SEATING ARRANGEMENT (this cute sofa table is from wayfair.com, find it here.)

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So, you’re right. A sofa floating out in the middle of the room does look a little crazy-times. We need an awesome sofa table, and maybe an end table and coffee table to anchor the arrangement. When I go into a client’s home, they almost ALWAYS have at least one of these, either already in the room, or hiding in the garage. Do you have something that could be repurposed or painted for a fresh new life in your home? Or maybe you’re ready to make a little investment in something new? This little cutie from Wayfair won’t break the bank! (See link above.)

5. LIGHTING

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Oh my goodness. Lighting, lighting, lighting. NOTHING makes a room feel cozier FASTER than some beautiful lamp lighting. The goal is to have a triangle of light in a room, so maybe you have a lamp on the sofa table, a lamp on an end table, and a floor lamp at the end of the sofa or next to a chair. When purchasing lamps, consider the color of the shades, and keep them similar (when the lamps are turned on you’ll notice the color a lot more, especially if they’re really different). And here’s a fun little tip…you can hide the cords under that new area rug you got! VOILA! Lamps all over the room, and not a cord to be seen. These pretty options are also from Wayfair, find them here, here, and here.

6. PILLOWS AND ACCESSORIES.

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Let’s start with pillows. Oh the opportunities! Have some fun mixing patterns, textures, and adding a graphic punch. If your pillows are flat as a pancake/they’ve been spit-up on/the dog has shed an entire extra dog onto it…it’s time. Treat yourself to a few new pillows…you won’t believe the difference it makes! I’m kind of loving this combination…just in case you see something you love too, here are the sources:

a. FloralΒ  b. PlaidΒ  c. TrellisΒ  d. FrenchΒ  e. Swiss Cross

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Aaaaaand accessories. The finishing touches. This is absolutely the fun part, the frosting on the cake. This is where you can reeeeeally inject your personality into the space. Just keep in mind, a good mix of textures is so important. Some greenery for “life” can lift a room (find this cute faux succulent here), some darling storage options (this cute basket set is timeless AND cute! Find it here), and for all of you farmhouse lovers out there, don’t forget something shiny (find this pretty white artichoke vase here)…this plays well alongside all of the rustic rough textures of the farmhouse look.

7. AUTHENTICITY. Be true to your style.

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The most important part of the process of feathering your nest. Be true to what you really love. A few years ago, I felt like my style (farm chic) wasn’t really “in” anymore. I felt lost. What do I like if it’s not THAT? I tried to decorate in a way that I felt was “happening” at the moment…but it wasn’t me. It wasn’t even fun because the look didn’t bring me joy! When we built our home, oddly my first instinct was to bring OLD STUFF into the picture. The juxtaposition of the old with the new seemed like the perfect marriage. I got up the guts to tell my hubby that I wanted our old Goodwill hutch to be the crowning glory in the living room. Ya, you know that big old thing we were gonna take BACK to Goodwill? I’m thinking it should be the anchor to our spankin’ new living room. Friends, he went for it. I’m not saying he looked super excited about it, but he went for it. And the rest is farmhouse history. It’s so completely liberating to be yourself. To be surrounded by things that make you happy. Like CRAZY happy. And your friends/family/guests will feel it. And they will LOVE it. Because YOU, my dear, brought the cozy.

  • January 18, 2016 - 10:15 pm

    Christie - You’re so great! I thought you were crazy when you told me to pull my couch out from the wall. So glad I trusted you because I LOVE it! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

    • January 18, 2016 - 10:17 pm

      yellowprairieint - Awww, Christie, you’re the BEST!! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • January 20, 2016 - 6:34 am

    Shelia Hammack - I love your ideas and your home is gorgeous. I agree about being true to yourself in using the things you love, not just what’s trendy at the moment. I have a question about pulling furniture away from the wall, what do you suggest for a family room that has the entry door in middle of wall with a corner fireplace? Any ideas appreciated. ThanksReplyCancel

  • January 27, 2016 - 5:32 pm

    Kim Deiter James - I really love this post. It’s so very true, especially the last part! And your blog has been an inspiration for me to find my true style. I hope that I can pay it forward and do that for others as well!!!! xoxo KimReplyCancel

    • January 29, 2016 - 3:22 am

      yellowprairieint - Awwww thank you Kim! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • February 7, 2016 - 4:00 pm

    Christina - Your home is beautiful! My family and I are getting ready to move into a new home and I’m so excited to bring the old into the new too! Thank you for sharing such helpful tips! Quick question for you, if you don’t mind telling me, where is your couch and love seat from? We’re looking for a new set when we move and I love the look of those. Thank you for sharing your beautiful home and helpful tips!ReplyCancel

    • February 15, 2016 - 6:40 am

      yellowprairieint - Thank you Christina! The sofa and loveseat are from Ethan Allen.?ReplyCancel

  • February 9, 2016 - 5:57 pm

    Alyssa - Your home is absolutely gorgeous!!!!!! I love reading your blog and your instagram! If you wouldn’t mind me asking, where is your coffee table from? I am trying to find one just like that! and also your #4 pillow πŸ™‚ Thank You!ReplyCancel

    • February 15, 2016 - 6:39 am

      yellowprairieint - Hi Alyssa! The coffee table is from Ethan Allen, but I’ve seen similar ones on wayfair.com recently. The pillow is from So Vintage Chic, on etsy, or find her on Instagram @sovintagechic. ?ReplyCancel

      • January 19, 2017 - 5:41 am

        Sandi Shaffer - Love the sofa.. Checked on Ethan Allen site. Is the style the Arcata? The color ..natural or oatmeal? @yellowprairieintReplyCancel

        • January 20, 2017 - 5:17 pm

          yellowprairieint - Yes, the Arcata! I don’t remember the fabric nameπŸ™ˆBut it was a custom fabric.😊Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

    • September 25, 2016 - 10:57 pm

      Dana - Love your kitchen! Are your cabinets white or offwhite/almond?? Can’t tell πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

      • September 26, 2016 - 12:28 am

        yellowprairieint - Hi Dana! The cabinets are a bright white.😊ReplyCancel

  • February 15, 2016 - 4:49 am

    colleen - So happy to have found your site! We are building our house in Dubai and as the 1 american in the family Im trying to reconnect and get inspired so as to have some rooms that lend themselves to my roots. I just want “comfy beautiful” and show my kids how its done! LolReplyCancel

    • February 15, 2016 - 6:37 am

      yellowprairieint - Wow, Colleen! Thanks for taking time to say hi! Enjoy decorating your new home. ?ReplyCancel

  • February 15, 2016 - 1:01 pm

    Lauri - We are building a new home, paint colors are stressing me. I love the look of your home, I am doing white cabinets and trim and medium brown wood look floors. On the walls that you have striped is the white color the same color white as the trim? And what color did you use for the ceilings?ReplyCancel

    • February 15, 2016 - 5:34 pm

      yellowprairieint - Hi Lauri! Yes, on the white striped wall we used pure white, straight out of the can, no color added. Same as trim. The ceilings I’m not sure about, I believe the painter used a standard flat ceiling white. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • February 22, 2016 - 12:15 am

    Leeandra - Can you please please please tell me where you got your pillows that are on your couch!!!!!! I’m so in love and wanting that same exact kind of look!! <3ReplyCancel

    • February 22, 2016 - 5:29 pm

      yellowprairieint - Hi Leeandra! The pillows are from Pottery Barn, HomeGoods, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Ethan Allen, and SoVintageChic on Etsy. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • March 4, 2016 - 8:49 pm

    Jen - I LOVE LOVE LOVE your house. It is just perfect! Thank you for sharing!
    My family has been in our house for 2 years now and I am finally getting some inspiration to make some changes. I love the farmhouse decor and style, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make it work with our newer “cookie cutter style” house but I am so ready to make some changes!! Thank you!!!ReplyCancel

  • March 10, 2016 - 3:01 pm

    Mandy - Love your home and these tips! Can you tell me the shade of white that you painted around your fireplace? Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2016 - 7:44 pm

    Jennifer Reece - I love your home. I’m currently working on cozying up my space right now. Where did you find those barstools? A great way to add a wood color to the White Island.ReplyCancel

    • April 14, 2016 - 10:37 pm

      yellowprairieint - Hi there! The counter stools are from Pier 1.?ReplyCancel

  • May 11, 2016 - 5:05 pm

    Jackie - Hi! I was wondering where your floor lamp is from? Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • May 11, 2016 - 10:36 pm

      yellowprairieint - Hi Jackie! Floor lamp is from Target. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • May 25, 2016 - 12:20 am

    Kim bice - Can you recommend a similar wall color in Sherwin Williams brand? I bought 3 gallons during their last sale and can take them back to be tinted. Thanks so much. Beautiful room!ReplyCancel

    • May 25, 2016 - 5:11 pm

      yellowprairieint - Hi Kim! We used Sherwin Williams paint as well. I took a swatch of Valspar “Coconut Milk” to Sherwin Williams and had it color matched. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • June 9, 2016 - 7:24 pm

    Kaci - I absolutely love your design style! Your home is beautiful! Would you mind sharing your kitchen cabinet color and whether you used a flat/high gloss finish? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • June 9, 2016 - 7:33 pm

      yellowprairieint - Hi Kaci! Our cabinets are pure white, no color added. The finish is semi gloss. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • June 10, 2016 - 11:09 am

    Hanna Berbres - Hi and thank you for an amazing blog!
    I’m trying to make our living room a bit cozier but I can’t decide on a rug. We have dark grey walls and a grey sofa, and I don’t know if we should go all dark and buy a dark rug or if we should go on something lighter… Really love the sofisticated and calm feeling the dark colours bring but don’t want it to be too much either. Please help! πŸ™‚ //HannaReplyCancel

    • June 10, 2016 - 3:42 pm

      yellowprairieint - Hi Hanna! I’d try a lighter rug with dark accents, that way the color will tie in but lift the room.?ReplyCancel

  • June 14, 2016 - 1:07 am

    Liz - I love your blog! I am so inspired. I found your couches and was wondering what color fabric you went with. I am debating between ivory and natural (from the quick ship selection) and can’t decide. ThanksReplyCancel

  • August 16, 2016 - 3:53 pm

    Amber - Beautiful room! Where is your coffee table from?ReplyCancel

    • August 16, 2016 - 4:55 pm

      yellowprairieint - Hi Megan! The coffee table is from Ethan Allen. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • August 23, 2016 - 12:39 am

    Keri - I love everything about your home. We are in the process of a remodel and I feel so overwhelmed by all the decisions. I really like your flooring… Can you tell me more about it?ReplyCancel

    • August 23, 2016 - 8:46 pm

      yellowprairieint - Hi Keri! The floors are prefinished hardwood maple, with a driftwood-type stain. Our particular floors are now discontinued, but there are so many beautiful options on the market! Best of luck to you!ReplyCancel

  • September 4, 2016 - 2:58 am

    Cheyenne Morris - Hey! I absolutely luv ur home! We r planning our addition and the layout is exactly the same as urs!!! What is the dimension of ur kitchen area? How big is ur island? Thanks so much!!!ReplyCancel

    • September 4, 2016 - 9:49 pm

      yellowprairieint - Hi Cheyenne! I don’t have the kitchen dimensions at the moment, but the island is 9’4″ x 3’9″. πŸ™‚ Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • September 9, 2016 - 1:56 pm

    Kim - Wow – I just discovered your blog and I’m in love. This was just the inspiration I needed to decorate my home. Could you tell me who makes your kitchen cabinets and the door style. I love them!

    Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • September 9, 2016 - 4:02 pm

      yellowprairieint - Hi Kim! Our cabinets were made by a local company, “Vixen”. The door style is “shaker.” πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • November 25, 2016 - 2:42 am

    Teresa - Hi Janna. We are in the process of building a house. I love the overal look and feel of your home! Thank you for sharing your pictures and helpful decorating tips. I am having a hard time deciding on kitchen countertops. Can you tell me what yours are? Thank you. -TeresaReplyCancel

    • November 26, 2016 - 5:13 am

      yellowprairieint - Hi Teresa! Our countertops are “River White” granite. “Colonial White” is another pretty option! Have a great weekend.ReplyCancel

  • November 27, 2016 - 6:23 pm

    Stephanie - Do you happen to know what the hardwood dimensions are and what color they are?ReplyCancel

    • November 29, 2016 - 12:45 am

      yellowprairieint - Hi Stephanie! The hardwoods are maple, and I believe the stain color was “Taupe”, however our particular floors are now discontinued. Have a great evening!ReplyCancel

  • December 6, 2016 - 3:04 pm

    Stacy - I would love to pull our furniture away from the walls but my problem is the cords that will be exposed because the receptacles are in the walks. Any ideas? Love you home andReplyCancel

    • December 7, 2016 - 6:00 pm

      yellowprairieint - That is always tricky! I like to use area rugs to hide cords, so that tables with lamps can be floated in the middle of the room. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • December 11, 2016 - 5:58 am

    Wendy - Love your home! Are the plans to your house available? Your living, dining and kitchen layout is perfect! Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • December 12, 2016 - 5:27 pm

      yellowprairieint - Hi Wendy! Yes, I’ll email you the layout. πŸ™‚ Have a great day!ReplyCancel

      • December 29, 2016 - 5:49 am

        peg hayden - Could I possible bother you to email your floor plans to me as well?ReplyCancel

        • December 29, 2016 - 5:29 pm

          yellowprairieint - I’ll send it over! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

      • January 17, 2017 - 3:43 am

        Cheyenne Morris - Hey! Can u send me the plans as well? Ur kitchen/dining/living is absolutely perfect!!!!!!ReplyCancel

    • August 24, 2017 - 7:20 pm

      Stephanie - I would love LOVE a copy of your plan as well. We plan to build soon as well. Your house is lovely! πŸ™‚ You are such an inspiration.ReplyCancel

  • January 6, 2017 - 7:10 pm

    Pam Foster - 7 Steps to cozy!!!! You amaze me! I loved reading these steps! You make everything about decorating sound so easy and fun! Thank you Janna! You are the best! Love the way you even give us the places to find these things!ReplyCancel

  • January 12, 2017 - 6:54 pm

    Jennifer - I LOVE this post! I need all the help I can get making our home feel cozy and your tips were very helpful! We just moved into a new home and I am trying to figure out curtains for our dinning room. The kitchen, dinning and living room are all open to each other so I feel they all need to coordinate. My kitchen is white cabinets are white with gray countertops and my living room furniture is neutrals/reclaimed wood, and Agreeable Gray walls. Can I get away with using drop cloth curtains or do I need something with gray tones? Thanks for your help!ReplyCancel

    • January 12, 2017 - 11:16 pm

      yellowprairieint - Yes! You could absolutely do drop-cloth curtains…so cute! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • September 4, 2017 - 2:55 am

    Giulia - Hi there,

    Beautiful home! Would it be possible to share the plans?

    Thanks so much!ReplyCancel

  • December 9, 2017 - 12:37 am

    Tracy Kirwan - You are such an inspiration to me. I’m building my own home next year and you has given me so many cool ideas for comfort and layout.ReplyCancel

    • December 9, 2017 - 5:19 am

      yellowprairieint - Thank you Tracy! Congrats on your upcoming build!ReplyCancel

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