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Make your home cozy on a budget

By on January 14, 2011

The Christmas decorations are packed away. You miss the festive flair for a while afterward. You want your home to have that same cozy feeling throughout the year. Maybe your budget hasn’t recovered from holiday splurging. Warming up your home decor is as simple as adding personal touches that appeal to the senses. Often, you can rearrange or bring out items you already own, or buy home accents that aren’t very expensive. How do you make your home cozy?
Here are a few suggestions.

potpourri

AROMA:

Have your home smell nice. Air out your home a bit even in the dead of winter. Clean your carpets and upholstery to remove any bad odors. Clean (using natural cleaners) and disinfect your home. Next, bring in scents through candles, essential oils, flowers or simmering potpourri. A crackling fire makes a home cozy, too. Use dried herb bundles for added scent. To make the bundles, use dry herbs and natural materials, such as rosemary, lavender, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and eucalyptus. I’ve seen some bundles made with raspberry canes and pine cones added to various dried herbs. You simply cut them to about 10 inches and bundle them together with the stems facing the center of the bundle. Tie the bundles using raffia. Place them in the fireplace as fire starter or when your fire is smoldering for fragrance.

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE:

Display a bowl fresh fruit and vegetables or candy or nuts. Grow some herbs in your kitchen. Add a few home, garden and food magazines or your favorite hardcover cookbook to your table, or create a designated space to use as a reading/hobby/game area. Cook and bake at home more often. Have cookie cutters put away in a drawer? Bring them out and place them in an apothecary jar or any clear glass jar and show them off. Add softness with afghans or toss pillows made from fleece, chenille, cotton or velour. Or change out placemats, towels, throw rugs or your shower curtain.

SOUND:

Play more music on a regular basis. Add a water element to your home, such as a table or wall fountain. Have an old fish aquarium stored away? Bring it back out. The sound of the filter and the sight of the fish and plants add a soothing element to your home.

VISUAL:

Sight is the most popular category to focus on, and many of the above suggestions fall under this category.

Additional ideas include:
– Declutter your home so you can appreciate the items you own.
– Rearrange a room or two.
– Add a few natural accents such as a wreath, dried flowers, terrarium or houseplants. Ask for cuttings from family and friends to add inside or outside your home. Or shop smart and purchase plants that propagate easily, so you have plenty of new plants to give as gifts or trade with others.
– Frame a few of your favorite scenic photos or family artwork. Or get creative with shadow boxes.
– If you sew, make chair slipcovers or new curtains and embellish them with ribbon.
– Shop secondhand stores. Look for home accessories such as a vintage tablecloth or lamps. Improved lighting can give a stark room a lot of warmth.

photo by saebaryo

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About Sara Noel

Sara Noel owns GenXZ, Follow me on Twitter

One Comment

  1. Mama Kelly aka Jia

    1/15/2011 at 5:12 pm

    I love having afghans or lap blankets on the backs of chairs and couches around the house. Not only do they add a splash of color but its so much more frugal to cuddle up under one when its cold rather than to bump up the thermostat

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