Did you grow up in the MTV TRL / cribs era? I always loved seeing inside of people’s homes – but not because they had expensive things…just because I like to see how people live. (too creepy?)
When we lived in South Philadelphia – if I was walking around at night, I would do my best to look into people’s windows out of the side of my eye so I could see how they decorated their living space. I got many ideas from my 16 years of city living.
Anyway – I’ve been struggling with our spaces ever since we moved to Lancaster. We have much more room in this house, which is awesome, but has also proved difficult when it comes to decor and design. I like super-minimal, everything put away, kind of vibes. But our bedroom, for example, looked like a furniture showroom. It’s so big and we essentially had only a bed and a dresser in it! Our living room is also a kind of awkward shape because the massive built-ins (created for a HUGE 90s TV, LOL), aren’t centered on the wall – so centering the couch means getting creative with the space behind it.
Before turning the light on:
After turning the light on (SO much more cozy!!):
Here’s what I did to make our spaces more curated and cozy – and ultimately, somewhere I want to spend more time! I have the living room and bedroom done, and working through the rest of the rooms slowly.
Lighting – I found Brilli Wind Down light bulbs for my nightstand lights and the light behind our couch. Learn more below, but I am essentially creating that perfect wind-down, cozy-up, warm lighting needed before bed (which is when we are using the lights!).
Rug – I bought the bedroom rug for our last house when we only had Carmen walking around. Then PJ and Graham showed up and it was getting SO messy and is not washable. It’s been living in the basement since that realization that I can’t have nice things, but I resurrected it for this low-traffic area of the house, to add a pop of color! In the living room, we are using a high-traffic-appropriate rug that is machine-washable and ah-mazing. It’s a calm, muted pattern so that it doesn’t take on a ton of focus.
Night stands – I bought these online when we moved here >> I wanted something simple, with a drawer to hide any things I use before bed. I don’t use a lot of things, but I do like for everything to be hidden! (lotion, chap stick, earplugs) and cords (baby monitor, phone charger). I thought this was a nice neutral color to tie together my white dresser and black fixtures.
Plants – They aren’t real because my cats will eat them and throw up. But I brought in two lovely fake plants to make the bedroom space feel alive. If you can add real plants to your space – do it!! I wrote a blog post HERE on why houseplants are amazing for your wellbeing. I have a large (fake) ficus tree for our living room.
Blankets – Cozy blankets OBVIOUSLY evoke a cozy feeling. I have neutral blankets in the bedroom since the rug is so colorful, and can grab them any time to sit on my bed with a book, or in the living room while watching TV. They easily drape over this bench that I brought up from the basement and add some texture and warmth, quite literally, to the room. In the living room, I went with a mauve color for my accent, since the rug and couch were not super colorful.
About that couch – since the space was so awkward in here, we went for an L shape. I always get questions about this couch and it is THE most comfortable couch ever! My friend Gab had one in her apartment and I would sleep on it when I would stay with her. It’s super wide and just perfect for lounging. Anyway, we centered it with the built-ins and then used the back space by the windows as a little play nook for the kids.
Diffuser – In addition to touch (blankets) and visual (rug, plants, light) – the scent is a super important aspect of cozy for me. I have a diffuser in almost every room of our house. During the day, I like uplifting scents, a lot of citrus, and motivational blends. At night time, I use sleepy blends to calm my anxious mind and make me go to sleep!
I want to share some more on Brilli and the lighting I chose. Short for Brilliance, they are a lighting company, creating products that have well-being benefits without sacrificing light quality and energy efficiency. Things they have created products for include – boosting mood, reducing stress, minimizing eye strain, helping focus and preparation for sleep. For the majority of human history, people spent their days outside, and nighttime in the dark. Today, people spend less time in the sun, and more time under lighting not tuned to the correct time of day. Our bodies are increasingly being negatively impacted as a result. While most LEDs have optimized their phosphor to minimize cost, Brilli LED’s and phosphors were designed to deliver the right spectrum of light for well-being.
Definitely check out Brilli’s site. They have several different lighting options, some that are better for daytime as well as full-spectrum ones that will take you from day to night with one dimmer switch!
Thank you to Brilli for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.