Outside our homes a pandemic rages. Epidemiologists have urged us to stay home as much as possible. It has been nearly a year with no sign of this deadly virus abating.

And so we need our homes to be more than a roof over our heads. We need it to be a cozy haven where we not only feel safe, but also content.

So how can you create a cozy space that you enjoy calling home?

Re-Evaluate Your Rooms:

The first thing I would suggest is to re-evaluate every room in your home.

Is the room serving a necessary purpose? Or has it become simply a place to store things?

Do you need something? Order it online. I do.

The rooms in your home don’t have to remain what they were built to include.

For instance, a dining room could be an office. An extra bedroom could become an art studio or craft room.

Or if you live in a small space, you could create a room within a room. Like I did with my office niche.

Many of us are working from home. And sometimes that means we end up working from the dining room table.

Working From Home:

So that means you need a dedicated space in which to work. This will do the trick.

I added a cupboard in an open space against one wall. And then put a desk on the other side of it.

The cupboard effectively hides my little office niche, while also providing storage.

I feel like this basically added square footage in some ways. Just by adding a “half wall” between my living room and dining space.

They are actually one big space.

So after you’ve resolved having a space to work from, look at the rest of your rooms. Clear the clutter so you can see the bare bones of your furniture.

Decide what you must have and what you really don’t want anymore. Donate what you no longer love or want.

Dining Space:

Since it’s just me and my occasional daughters and grand kids when they visit, I don’t need a big dining table or space.

Every couple of weeks my daughters come here for lunch. One of us sits at the desk just across from this little table.

Rearrange The Furniture:

This might be a good time to rearrange the furniture and freshen things up. Sometimes rearranging the furniture fits your current needs better.

But furniture alone does not create a cozy home. What creates a cozy home is what your personality and style dictates.

How a bookshelf is styled. What is on the walls. Personal items that have a special meaning out in view for you to enjoy on a daily basis.

You don’t have to put paintings on the wall. You could do something a little different like tack up a quilt.

Consider The Wall Decor:

Get creative. Shop your home for items that might serve another purpose to hang on your wall.

Bring the walls alive with something that makes you smile.

You can also use your walls for storage if you live in a small space.

If you don’t have a fireplace but always wanted one, consider a portable fireplace. I bought this one about a year ago and I just love it.

In the winter the faux flames look so real and makes the indoors feel cozy.

Also it puts out a lot of heat. I have to turn it off frequently because it gets too hot!

Your Kitchen:

What you do in your kitchen depends on whether you own or rent your home. I rent, so I am somewhat limited. But I have tried to make the most of what I have.

Consider taking the cabinet doors off and storing them.

Or you could decorate the front of your cabinet doors.

If you have an ugly refrigerator, you can buy decals to change the look. Or you can use contact paper to cover it.

I got tired of decorating the ugly fridge and finally, after living here 6 years, bought one myself. It isn’t fancy and fancy wouldn’t fit in the space. But at least it is clean and new looking.

Add rugs to define certain areas. Provide adequate lighting. Lighting is an easy way to bring a sense of coziness to your spaces.

Add Plants:

Bring in house plants. They not only look pretty. But they also clean the air you breathe.

It’s okay to mix real and faux plants. I do. But I really prefer the actual live plant. Because I want cleaner air in my home.

And in the wintertime, it provides a sense of nature indoors.

Is Your Bedroom Welcoming?

Oftentimes people skimp on their bedrooms because others don’t always see it. But it’s actually one of the first rooms you should consider decorating.

You spend a good 8 hours a day in this room. So make it as cozy and conducive to sleep as possible.

During these times it’s wonderful if you have any amount of outdoor space. This keeps you from feeling so “hemmed in” during a pandemic.

Outdoor Spaces:

I have an enclosed patio that is actually the main reason I rented this one bedroom apartment. Because I knew this space would be a main feature of my home.

This is my special place. My happy place. It is where I grow flowers and herbs and even trees in containers.

I am never more content than when I’m in my garden space.

Merely digging in the dirt is calming. It distracts you from the pandemic.

You can feel safe in your garden because you are alone and outdoors.

Add seating and lots of plants and decorate your outdoor space any way that is pleasing to you. Consider planting herbs that deter flying insects.

There are so many ways to use herbs. Cooking with them is one.

I grow vegetables as well. So I get to enjoy fresh produce in the summertime.

Add a rose bush that smells heavenly.

I’d always yearned for a yellow rose bush. And so I have one in a container that provides lovely blooms every spring and summer.

Provide a bird bath to lure in birds. I love to watch the birds from inside as they flit about my patio and fly up into the overhanging tree.

If you consider all these things, you will have a cozy home to ride out this horrible pandemic.

And when it’s eventually over, you will still have a place that you love coming home to.

Note: Some of you said the blog is loading slower, and it’s probably my theme. If I want my blog to look pretty, what I choose always seems to slow things down. Just know that I am working on this and the slowness is temporary. I will find a way to make it faster.

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13 Comments

  1. Today your blog was just what I needed. I’ve been trying to clean and decorate my house but have been very discouraged lately. It was your words were written just for me. Thank you so much!!
    I have been having issues with your blog loading slowly. Thought it was just me.

  2. I love your pretty patio and awesome fence! I had lots of pots on my patio last Spring, but the deer eventually ate all of them. That fence would definitely keep them out.
    Your home is so warm and inviting.
    I love reading your posts every day. They cheer me up in these difficult times.

  3. My living room has become my “ nest”, my sofa bed stays permanently open, I love to relax here, with a ton of pillows, a book, a magazine, a seasonally appropriate candle burning, sometimes the kitties will cuddle and purr.
    The tv stand/ fireplace is going on a chilly day and I’m just in 7th heaven!
    Wouldn’t work for everybody but it’s my little slice of peace in this sometimes chaotic world:)

  4. Brenda, you’ve created the ultimate cozy living space in your home. I struggled to decorate my previous home and find myself struggling with my new home. I have done some things in my home that make me smile but there’s still so much I’d like to do. I know exactly what’s holding me back but I can’t seem to overcome it.

    I have not noticed any change in the way your blog loads.

  5. You are so right, Brenda, that we need to feel safe, sheltered, and comfortable in our surroundings, turning them into our havens of comfort and security. Those of your fans who live in states where the weather gets cold and drives us inside know the season is coming (it’s here now in SE WI) for getting projects done indoors, because it’s just not practical to be outside for hours on-end as we are during the summer in our garden/patio/balcony havens. I spend the bulk of my time in my den/library/office, which is the smallest of my bedrooms and has an awkward layout – not conducive to a guest room with a full-size bed. It’s due for a massive overhaul this winter. Lots of wonderful videos can be watched for inspiration and practical information on “how to” on Youtube where people create office spaces out of the tiniest little nooks and crannies and open spaces. Highly recommend checking out Alexandra Gater, the Lone Fox and Monica Mangin’s most recent series for Lowe’s, where she created a small but dedicated office/work space for people working from home in the corner of a living room. She’s full of ideas, as are the other two I mentioned. Can’t say I’ve noticed any slow down in loading your site, other than a few days ago but it may have also been due to my laptop downloading the latest Windows 10 updates, which seem to never end! No problemo, I just re-visited your link later in the day and it popped right up.

  6. I like the arrangement of books and items on your book shelf. I want to find a clock like yours.

    After six+ months of working from home, I moved all the office hardware out of the dining area, which has no window, to the spare bedroom next to a window. The natural light has been such a wonderful change; wish I had done it sooner. Even though I had to give up room on my sewing table for it.

  7. My daughter is converting one of her small extra bedrooms into her own personal gym for the winter. She is gradually making her investments in what she uses but what a savings already for her versus gym membership, not to risk infection and timesaver not out driving.

  8. love your home Brenda and the way you change things around. My home isn’t bland but is understated I think you would call it. I like to spend so much time in my craft room that the rest of the house doesn’t seem to matter much as long as it is clean. I cook every evening and Simon cleans the kitchen every morning, he does such a good job, far better than me because again I would be thinking how can I get out of here sooner to get back to crafting! I do make time for gardening in the spring and summer and just as you can shop your home to change things around a gardening blog I follow said ‘don’t forget to shop your garden for different plants that may have sprung up’ I never thought of that so I went looking and found a butterfly plant and a salvia plant that I certainly didn’t put there. I found that exciting.

    By the way I haven’t noticed any difference in your blog, (slower loading) or anything else recently.

  9. Hi Brenda,
    I have learned living small that you have to utilize every inch of living space to work for everyday. I am always amazed at how you have everything you need neatly organized and cozy. Your place is a beautiful sanctuary especially now with Covid. Have a great week.

  10. Such a great subject today. My daughter and I are in the midst of redoing things in the house. She’s painting a bookcase and a little chest and covering up that dull
    Brown! It’s her venture into furniture refinishing under my guidance.

    We have shopped the house and giving things new life. We even threw out our old very uncomfortable leather couch and are putting a daybed in it’s place in the great room. We have one in the dining room and really enjoy them.

    We may not be able to have anybody over at the holidays but our house will be clean and fun. I love that little chest you put by your desk.

  11. Brenda, You are so right. We need an oasis at home where we feel warm and hugged by our surroundings. I love all of your decorating ideas. I enjoy going back and seeing your changes over time. I’m sorry you lost so much of your original blog posts. I still see some of those pictures in my mind. I’ll keep coming back for new ideas. Sandra