As we prepare for colder temperatures we look forward to spending time in cozy living rooms, warming ourselves near the fire or under a heavy blanket. In the fall and winter, we especially appreciate a room that makes us feel comfortable and well as relaxed. Getting that “cozy” feel doesn’t require a lot of work or even a lot of money. In fact, you would be surprised how easy it is to create a cozier environment without even turning up the heat or starting a fire in the fireplace.

The following are just a few tips and tricks on how to make your home feel soft and comfortable.

1. Use warm colors

The right color palette can instantly warm up the room, but that doesn’t mean you need to start painting your walls red or yellow. In fact, although we think of red as a warm color, there are cool reds and warm reds, so choosing the right hue is important.  No matter if you prefer a monochromatic palette or prefer a more varied color design, focusing on the warmer portion of the paint chip can lend a warmth to any room. Pair paint colors with warm tones of metal and fabric for a more even appearance to the space. If you’re worried about your room seeming too bland, you can add a few splashes of brighter colors to help make it really pop.

Pro tip: Afraid of making a color mistake? Stick to neutrals that both blend and go with a variety of styles, patterns, and materials. 

2. Create a tactile space

Textured walls, bedding, upholstery and graphics around your house can really help cozy up a space as these layers add warmth and variety. Think about layering textures, such as an open-weave throw on the couch, a twill sofa and a chenille pillow, using the same hues. Even your decorative objects can create a sense of warmth and dimension.

Pro tip: Not sure how to layer textures? Focus on the pillows, throws and area rug for the easiest way to introduce texture to the living room.

3. Fill the room with sentimental objects

Items that make you feel better, like pictures of family and friends or artwork, a warm couch or even the fireplace are all things that should be highlighted in your home. Adding little touches of personal decor can increase visual appeal as well as drum up happy memories. Draw attention to these features, such as placing them in the center of a table or on top of the fireplace mantle, to bring a natural homey feeling to the room.

Pro tip: Add a lighting fixture above your piece of art or picture on the wall to draw attention to your decor. 

4. Bring outdoor elements inside

Flowers and fresh plants help bring oxygen inside your home and can make it feel more comforting. Using natural objects, with warm colors and varying textures, helps create a sense of cozy warmth. If dried flowers make you feel sneezy, simply add botanical prints, wood sculptures or other natural materials.

Pro tip: If you don’t like having flowers or plants inside your home, try incorporating other outdoor elements like seashells, rocks, or wood decorations.

5. Use warm light

A warm and cozy room is one that has a pleasant light configuration. Shades are the easiest way to shield the eyes from bright bulbs and a colored shade can actually warm up a cool light bulb. Place dimmers on lamps and lights to have the most influence on the amount of light output. If you receive too much natural light through windows, consider hanging both window sheers as well as drapery so you can filter the light better.

Pro tip: Light bulbs are sold in a varying array of styles. For a warmer look, find one that says “warm, soft light.”

6. Keep your feet warm

Having a room be physically warm obviously helps make your living room feel cozy. If you are trying to save money on your heating costs, having a rug underfoot greatly helps your perception of warmth. The “fluffiness” of the rug (also known as the pile) can also affect our perception of warmth; a high pile rug immediately feels warmer than a looped, low pile rug.

Pro tip: Can’t afford an area rug? Try visiting a carpet supply store and ask about getting a carpet remnant cut and bound to the size you need.