For the past six months, I have been living from airbnb to airbnb. The hubs and I came back to Malaysia to spend the Lunar New Year with our loved ones, but we had to extend our stay due to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions imposed by both Malaysia and France. Long story short, I am now starting to feel the adverse effects of staying at home for a prolonged period of time.
Don’t get me wrong—I am 100% a home person. I would gladly stay at home for days on end in my pyjamas, but six months of changing airbnbs can really make a person crave some stability in their lives. Since it seems like I can’t change my travel plans anytime soon, I will have to make do with what I have and one of the things I can do is to make my space more ‘liveable’ and cozy with some small touches here and there.
If you’re like me and you’re a cozy cat, then you will agree that our environment has a huge impact and influence on our mood and behaviour. A cozy home and comfortable environment can not only create a conducive space for you to work and do activities in, it can also help you to destress and relax when the sun sets and all you want to do is put on some music, pour yourself a glass of red, and put up your aching feet cocooned in plush slippers.
Sounds a lot like you? Then enjoy this post on my absolute essentials to create a relaxed and cozy home.
Ambient lighting/fairy lights
Ever wonder why people turn down the lights when they want to set a cozy, romantic mood? That’s because lighting plays a major role when it comes to setting the mood.
Personally, I prefer yellow light to white light since I am photosensitive. When I turn the dimmer switch to the right brightness, the soft yellow glow instantly bathes my space in a soft mellow ambience that’s both warm and relaxing.
If you do not have a dimmer switch, have no fear. Fairy lights work just as well and I cannot live without one. Fairy lights are not just kept for Christmas anymore. The last airbnb I stayed in had fairy lights and I swear it was on every single evening.
There are so many ways that you can dress up your space with fairy lights and not to mention there are so many variations of fairy lights that you can get these days. You can hang them above your bed, frame your TV, wound them around your plants, and frame the door or window.
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Staying on the theme of light, scented candles are a great way to create a cozy home. Of course you can use normal candles as well, but I love a subtle fragrance in the air when I want to chill.
Some of my favourite relaxing scents are woody and floral scents such as french lavender, eucalyptus, vanilla birch wood, roses, and jasmine. You can even use seasonal scents such as blooming floral bouquet for spring, or fresh-baked warm apple pie with cinnamon in autumn. Just make sure that it doesn’t violate any regulations in your residence.
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Related post: Get inspired by these beautiful spring farmhouse decor ideas.
A humidifier is an absolute must for me in summer when the air-conditioning is on and in the winter when the air is cold and dry. During the first couple of years when I moved to Europe, my skin started to suffer from eczema and as a girl who grew up in a tropical country, that came as an unpleasant discovery.
One of my best friends suggested investing in humidifiers and that really transformed my skin. Goodbye, itchy red patches on face and hello, soft supple skin. Goodbye, irritated dry sinuses and hello, a good night’s sleep.
If you’re not a fan of scented candles but you still want the fragrance, humidifiers that allow scented or essential oils are a great alternative too. I love a large humidifier that has a minimum of 1 litre capacity, but if your space is small or you’re planning to place it on your work desk area right next to you, then you can invest in a smaller, more portable humidifier.
For more inspiring home decor ideas, click HERE.
Decorate with natural textures
When you decorate your house with natural textures such as wood, straw, cotton and wool, these natural elements combine to create a soft, natural, and yes, cozy ambience.
As human beings, we are naturally drawn towards nature and honestly, I find decor derived from an earthy palette is extremely soothing and healing, even. You do not need to live in Bali or The Maldives to have a tropical paradise at home. Create your own! Think of woven straw baskets for storage, rattan armchairs with beige plush pillows with linen covers, or even start small by decorating with some plants to literally liven up your space. Which brings me to my next point…
Create a green haven with foliage
The easiest way to bring a space to life is by introducing plants to your home. There are many scientific research that proves the positive healing effects that nature has on human beings. Besides, having a small garden or greenhouse at home might even be the start of a new rewarding hobby that you will come to love.
For those of you that do not have green fingers, or if you simply do not live in a country where the weather is sunny enough to keep a plant alive, then have no fear. You can get some artificial plants or even dried flowers to dress up your home! I find that dried flowers are great for that cozy vibe since the fit with the natural palette. Another good news is they won’t die on you when you forget to water them for a year.
Snuggle in a soft throw
When I think of snuggling, I think of being completely wrapped up in something soft like a human burrito. In the colder months, I love wrapping myself in a gigantic soft throw blanket made of a natural fabric such as wool. Throw in a steaming cup of jasmine green tea, a fireplace and a good book and we have the perfect picture of a cozy home.
A plush rug also works equally well, especially when you want to protect the floor from scratches and spills. Personally, I prefer a rug that is handwoven and is thick enough that I can sit in comfortably, and heavy enough that it won’t slide around when I vacuum the hundreds of hair strands on the rug.
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Personalised chill playlist
Audio plays a huge part in influencing our mood and that’s why having a chill playlist is a major key in creating a cozy home atmosphere. You know how there is always that music genre or playlist that can put you in a more relaxed mood? There are people who relax to heavy metal, and then there are people like me who puts on rainymood and a chillhop/jazz playlist to melt my worries away.
I can spend hours discovering new artists, new tracks, and new playlists on Spotify and create my own personalised playlists. But a Spotify subscription is definitely not necessary. You can search for playlists on Youtube or even Soundcloud. Sometimes when I need that extra boost of cozy, I put on a chill playlist on Youtube that has an animated cozy fireplace to create my little cabin in the woods vibe.
A steaming cup of your favourite tea/coffee
While there are many guides out there that would suggest starting your day by jumping out of bed for a quick workout or hopping into the shower for a quick cold rinse to wake yourself up, I prefer to start my day by slowly easing myself into the morning. One of the ways I do this is by snuggling on the couch with hot coffee and quietly contemplating on what I would like to achieve for the day.
There is something about cupping a warm mug containing a steaming cup of your favourite tea/coffee, slowly sipping away, that I find extremely relaxing. Although tea and coffee are not necessarily home decor items, they are absolute essentials to a cozy home that I must have no matter where I am. This is especially the case when I travel, like now, because it allows me to have a small comforting slice of home.