Creating a Comfortable and Relaxing Home

What makes a comfortable and relaxing home? We all have items and rituals that we do to feel comfortable at home or relax after a busy day. What are yours?

My lake house living room has been almost 2 years in the making, even though it is pretty much complete, it will never be done as I like to update and refresh seasonally.   It started with the fireplace makeover. Yesterday, the two pieces of furniture I have been waiting for have been delivered, so I can finally give you a glimpse.

I have to warn you in advance… this post is not Pinterest pretty or styled to achieve “Likes” on Instagram or Facebook. Far from it.

Instead, what I am about to show you rarely shows up on blogs about decor and/or lifestyle. I am not exaggerating when I write this, not one bit!!!

In the world of decorating and design there are three items that are considered well… not “design-worthy”. It is the best way I can word it. My house now has all three…. popcorn ceilings, ceiling fans and now I can add… two leather recliners. 🙂

I agree that what I added may not be as pretty as a stylish upholstered chair in a colorful fabric, but they sure do “up the comfort factor” quite a bit in my living room.

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They are the seats I know everyone will want to sit on when we have family and friends over.

My only regret… I wished I had added them sooner.

A few years ago I wrote a post titled, How To Decorate So You Feel At Home.  I refer to this post as my decorating manifesto.  In the post, I write about how I enjoy my home from the perspective of all 5 of my senses and plan it first and foremost for function and comfort.

 

The recliners deliver on both. They rock when we need a little thinking time. We can watch movies when the chairs face forward, but they swivel when we want to gaze at the fire or out to the lake.  A motionless chair just doesn’t come with these factors. We would forever be trying to shift them to accommodate our needs.  The room is small so these chairs have to do it all.

The chairs are from Southern Motion. Model name: Shimmer. Real leather in the color Toast.

When I refer to my house, I speak about the walls, fixtures, flooring and the studs that make it stand. When I refer to my home, you will read words such as haven, comfy, cozy, and personal.

Home for most of us is more than just a house. When you have a home, you know the feeling… it is the only place on earth that you feel TRUE COMFORT.  You know it every time you walk through your front door. No fancy hotel or perfectly styled room we see on Pinterest or Instagram will ever offer us the same feeling, EVER!

In this fall season of nesting, comfort is what it is all about. It breaks my heart to see so many people without a place to call home after theirs have been destroyed by the winds and flooding brought on by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.  All their possessions and furnishings gone. No place to find true comfort until they can remodel or find a new place to call home.  It could take months and or years for them to find this true comfort in life again. I think of this every time I open the door to my home and don’t take any part of it for granted.

After the recliners were delivered yesterday, I smiled and sat on them with glee. I spun around, rocked and reclined. Last night while watching a re-run of Fixer Upper, I fell asleep in the reclined position. Pure bliss… 🙂

No that I am in comfy cozy mode, I thought I would share a few more ways I like to up the comfort factor in my home.  I am sure you have some, too.

10 Ways to Create a Comfortable and Relaxing Home
1. Find the Perfect Seating

Before we had the recliners, we had a sofa and two outdoor chairs. The sofa was comfy and we recently bought a new one from Pottery Barn that is even larger that adds to the comfort factor in the room. The chairs on the other hand, didn’t recline and felt too stiff to sit in when binging on Netflix or reading a page turning best-seller late into the night.

My advice… don’t purchase any chair or sofa without sitting in it first. Seating can look beautiful and styled for a photo in a magazine or catalog to entice you, but the bottom line (no pun intended) to ask yourself…  Is it comfortable when you sit on it?  Do your feet touch the floor? Is it deep enough to put your feet up under you? Does the fabric feel good against your bare skin? Is it good quality?

You also can’t rely on the reviews of others since we all come in different body types and sizes.  I thought I had the perfect recliner chosen at La-Z-Boy. It was perfect for me and my personal style, but when Ed sat in it, he didn’t find it comfortable. It also could not be made up to both glide and swivel. He then began to try all the recliners in the furniture stores in our area until he found one that he found super comfy that could do both. Luckily, I found the chair comfy, too.

2. Dim the Lights

When the sun goes down, having the ability to dim the lights in your living room or any room for that matter is the fastest way to make a room feel more relaxed and comfortable. I have dimmer switches installed in almost every room. Don’t forget your bathroom. It is the ideal place. Think of how nice a soak in the tub would feel with the bathroom light dimmed and candles all around.

Replacing a wall light switch with a simple dimmer switch is inexpensive and one of the easiest home improvement projects you can do. If you can’t do this, consider lamps that have a dimmer switch already installed. The lamp in my living room has this feature.  You can find them at places like HomeGoods, Marshall’s and TJ Maxx where they sell higher end lamps at a discount.

3. Light a Candle

No dimmers?  The soft glow of candlelight always makes my home feel instantly comfy-cozy. I especially love the effect more in the fall and winter.

4. Make a Cup of Tea

Drinking something hot in a warm mug you can wrap your hands around is a sure way to make you feel more relaxed.  This is even more true when you are at home. I drink a lot of tea, but at the end of a long day, I don’t need any more caffeine. Herbal tea is soothing and calming and gets me ready for bed. Sleepytime is one of my nighttime faves.

5. Putter

Taking time to simply putter around your home does not require any special furnishings. It is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable things you can do at home.

What is puttering? It a nutshell, it is time wasted wisely. A term coined by author and decorator, Alexandra Stoddard back in the 1980’s.  Her definition was not the same as defined in the dictionary that states that puttering “is not busying oneself in an ineffective way”. Alexandra disagreed with this, she found puttering was a time to make new discoveries, time to be alone, to dream and to get in touch with yourself. When you unwind alone, un-pressured, you see things differently than when you are trying to cross off a to-do list.

When you putter your mind is free to make all kinds of associations, and whether you’re paging through magazines you’re not yet willing to discard, or sorting through your linen closet on a whim, you enter into a sort of fantasy world – one where you are free to let your mind travel to new thoughts and ideas. Plan for this kind of essential unstructured time alone. It will allow you to be influenced by your private feelings and in turn makes your life better at home and elsewhere.

Here is an online read I found over at NY Magazine with a fun take on the joy of puttering:  Why Women Love Puttering?

Some of Alexandra’s books will stand the test of time, Living a Beautiful Life and Feeling At Home are my favorites.

6. Have a Beauty Night

When I was growing up every so often my sister’s and I would have what we termed as “Beauty Night”. The 3 of us shared the master bedroom that my parents gave up since it was a bigger room that would hold 3 beds. When we took over this room, we also got another benefit…the master bath became ours alone.  We had it filled with all sorts of lotions and potions that claimed would make us look like movie stars. When we had a beauty night we would put a facial mask on, paint our nails, trim hair, etc. I may not have my sister’s by my side anymore, but I do still enjoy having a “Beauty Night” on my own. It is a relaxing way to unwind and take care of yourself after a busy day.

Now that I have a super comfy recliner to relax in when I put a facial mask on, I will feel like I am at a spa.  The mask paired with any of the other items on this list will surely make you feel comfortable and relaxed.

7. Become Unplugged

Part of being a blogger requires me to be online all day. Over my summer slow-down, I realized I didn’t need to be on social media as much as my blog and blog readers are my number one focus and where my energy lies. I find when I try to be on every social platform, I get too stressed out and don’t enjoy life, even in the comfort of my living room.  Unplugging from all of it once in a while grants me the time to live my life and persue my dreams and not spend hours scrolling watching others live their lives.

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8. Listen to Light Classical Music

When I want a lift, I listen to show tunes and pop music. When I want to relax, I prefer to listen to instrumental music, usually light classical is what I like best. It helps me clear my mind since there are no lyrics.  This paired with #9 below is my quick and sure fire way to feel comfortable at home in no time.

9. Enjoy a Glass of Wine

After a long day and I have closed up my computer, a glass of red wine always helps me transition into my comfy mode. Sip it slowly and combine a few more of these relaxing elements to the mix! Just keep it to one glass though, having too much wine may end up making you feel tired, not relaxed.

10. Freshen the Air

There is nothing worse than to come home and find your home smells stale, like wet dog or a litter box that needs to be cleaned. I sneeze at most home fragrances and don’t like scented candles, but I have found that diffusing the air with essentials oils always makes my home smell good in a healthy and subtle way.

I like the way lemon, grapefruit, lemongrass and orange make the house smell and buy the inexpensive brands that they sell at the health food store to diffuse in the air. I found my favorite blend, called Clean Home at TJ Maxx for a few dollars. I will probably never find it again, but it was mostly lemon and perhaps peppermint in the blend.  Lately I have been trying out a few diffuser recipes. I especially like this one called Brisk Air. It is perfect for fall:

BRISK AIR  Essential Oil Diffuser Recipe

  • 4 drops orange
  • 3 drops lemongrass
  • 3 drops fir

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How do you make your home comfy cozy? What items do you add or rituals do you do to find your bliss at home?