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10 Ideas to Make Your Home Feel Warm and Welcoming

When a home is warm and welcoming, you can feel it the instant you walk through the door. You’re put at ease, like you’ve just exhaled a breath you didn’t even know you were holding. But what is it that makes a home inviting? If you want to feel more comfortable and cozy at home, these 10 thoughtful touches — including swaying porch swings, neighborly front yards and cushy couches — can help.


Twist Tours Photography


1. Sway on a Porch Swing
Can you think of anything quite as welcoming as a good old-fashioned porch swing? Sway on yours while waiting for a friend to come over for dinner, or take your morning coffee out to the porch on a summer morning. Even if no one is sitting in the swing, neighbors strolling by will appreciate the cozy scene.

Living Gardens Landscape Design


2. Add a Neighborly Front-Yard Feature
Hanging out in the front yard is a great way to meet your neighbors. But if your yard is like most, there’s probably nowhere to sit! Make your front just as appealing as the back by adding a pair of Adirondack chairs, a picnic table or even a fire pit. When surrounded by lush plantings, your front-yard hangout can feel both welcoming and just private enough.

KuDa Photography


3. Strike a Warm Note at the Threshold
The entry is the first part of your home visitors see. Set a warm and welcoming tone by making sure the entry is well-lit and clutter-free. Supplement an overhead fixture with a table lamp for more even lighting, and provide a seat for setting down bags or taking off shoes.

If clutter tends to build up in this area and you don’t have a closet, consider adding a chest of drawers where you can stash mail, papers and other get-out-the-door essentials. Finally, add a personal touch — a framed photo, vase of flowers or small painting — to give visitors a taste of your decorating style.

Heather Banks


4. Put Family Photos on Display
What you choose to put on your walls tells a story, and while artwork you adore certainly has its place, it’s the family photos and kid-made art that will really give your home a personal touch.

Hallways and stairwells can be ideal for family photo galleries, since it’s easy to stop and get a closer look. And don’t be afraid to include some candid and imperfect snapshots on your photo wall. The feelings and memories a photo calls up are more important than having a perfectly staged shot.


Rikki Snyder


5. Warm Up Your Kitchen
The kitchen is so often the central gathering place of the home. Make yours more pleasant for cooks and guests alike with fresh flowers on the table, a comfy spot to sit, colorful tea towels and small speakers so you can stream music.

And don’t be afraid to add color: Paint the cabinets, walls or kitchen chairs to give your room some joie de vivre.

Matthew Bolt Graphic Design


6. Channel Cozy Bed-and-Breakfast Style
It’s so easy to let clutter collect in the bedroom: a pile of books here, a basket of laundry there, and pretty soon it’s a mess. Reclaim your bedroom as a peaceful, cozy space to recharge in by channeling the look and feel of a charming bed-and-breakfast. Remove the clutter, make the bed with fresh linens, hang an art print on the wall, launder the curtains and open the window to freshen the air.

If you’re looking to do more than clean and declutter, consider repainting your bedroom a calming or cozy hue. Then treat yourself to a few little bedside luxuries, like a water carafe, good-smelling candle and bud vase.


Chroma Home


7. Invest in Cushy Couches
In the living room, comfort is king. If you have the space, consider a big, comfy sectional — these modular pieces can seat a crowd and instantly make a space look more inviting. Or pair a sofa of any style with an upholstered ottoman that invites kicking back and putting your feet up. No matter the size of your space, opting for the most comfortable couch you can afford is a wise place to prioritize in the budget.


Chris Snook


8. Choose Materials That Improve With Age
Good-quality natural materials such as leather, solid wood, woven baskets and pure wool blankets tend to age well. In fact, the dings and scratches that come with their normal wear and tear actually put guests at ease — instead of worrying about where to sit or set down a cup, everyone is free to relax! If you’re shopping for new furniture, consider going with reclaimed wood, vintage leather or new pieces that have that imperfect, wabi-sabi look.


Berggren Hörle Fastighetsmäklare AB


9. Book Yourself a Reading Nook
A warm and welcoming home isn’t just about welcoming family and friends — it’s about creating spaces that make you feel completely at home and at ease too. And what could be better for solo comfort than a cozy corner filled with cushions and a shelf full of good books within reach? Perk up your favorite reading corner with a comfortable chair or daybed (in case your reading turns to napping), good lighting and a snuggly blanket. Then pile on the books and tuck in.

Whitten Architects


10. Create a Warm Glow Indoors and Out
If you change just one thing about your home to make it more warm and welcoming, let it be the lighting. To create a warm, welcoming glow, aim to have lots of soft light sources rather than a single bright one. Indoors, put dimmers on overhead fixtures, and supplement them with table and floor lamps, ideally with at least three light sources per room.

Outdoors, make magic with string lights above seating areas and candles or lanterns on tables — you can’t help but be tempted outdoors with light this lovely.

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