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What constitutes cozy?

Posted by kitykat (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 28, 09 at 11:29

I'm an occasional poster, usually during winter. Last night I was reading, and paused to consider just how cozy and comfy this little cottage is. I began to wonder what specifically makes one home feel welcoming, so peaceful and restful, while others, despite being beautifully decorated, can somehow feel hollow and lacking warmth. Any ideas on what that 'certain something' might be???


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What constitutes cozy?

Good question, and welcome kitykat if we haven't met before. I've been wondering that too. My den doesn't feel cozy, even to me. I think a lot of it has to do with the type furniture, but in my case, the arrangement and adding more fabric to the room. I don't have any curtains or anything on the windows except blinds. Just never have gotten around to it.


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

Hummm Interesting. I think when a space is loved it shows and feels warm and inviting.

The house we had before this was a nightmare for me until I finally saw it as a small cottage like house instead of just a small house that was making me crazy. When I started decorating and thinking light and breezy cottage but not too cutsie it made me rethink the use of a lot of my furniture. THEN the house started to work. I actually started to like the house and in the end when we sold it it was only because the yard was too much for me at 8 acres and two of them being yard that needed constant upkeep. The house became great.

Welcome kitykat. Great thought provoking question.

Chris


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

Having the things loved or with meaning surrounding you? And even more, special places where one can snuggle, feel creative and dream.

Does it really have to do with decorating? As in "Interior Decorator"? I've visited some wonderfully well decorated homes and not felt cozy. But the owners loved everything and it was home to them.

Ralph Lauren's rooms feel cozy to me and they are huge. But he always has these wonderful smaller areas in each room which creates warm and cozy. One of those smaller areas would fit in one of my rooms. I'd love to pull of some of his interior deco.

Am thinking cozy reflects nesting for me. I'm more of a home gal than having to socialize or run all over the place. Coming home when out is returning to my nest.


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

Some beautiful responses, thank you.

marti8a, I bought my home almost seven years ago, and used 2" blinds on 8'wide, west facing double window in the living room, looking out to the garden I would create. They controlled the sun. Last year, these were replaced with pleated shades and a ceiling height valance and fixed side panels. INSTANT CHARM framing the now outdoor paradise.

"When a space is loved"... what a gratifying sentiment! I prefer softer colors, uncluttered rooms, comfy furniture, ALWAYS geared to the view outside. Mother Nature (with a little help from moi) provides the best focal points...

"nesting"... yes, emagineer, the word itself invokes comfort and the ultimate meaning of home.


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

A space is cozy when it is where people want to spend time. Our house is an open-plan MCM with lots of glass -- not your typical cozy house. But last night we had a fire going, watching the game, with all the animals curled up nearby. It was definitely cozy.

Perhaps my constant construction of (24!) IKEA cabinet drawers throughout the duration of the game put a kink in the peacefulness of it all, but cozy it was!


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

What a charming thread! I completely agree with shades of Idaho... how you view your home just makes all the difference in the world. Our 12000sq ft 1950 cape cod made me feel ridiculous against the gigantism of homes on tv and houses of friends when we first bought it. Ironically, my husband and I watched "The Quiet Man" (my favorite movie of all time, if you haven't seen it you really should!) with the beautiful Irish cottage of White O'Morn...for some reason afterwards I realized how ungrateful and ridiculous I was being. After thinking of it the way it really is, as an incredibly charming cottage, instead of what I thought I was supposed to want I can't believe how much I love this house. We have put our little touch everywhere and appreciating it as home makes it as cozy as I can imagine.

After all, 99% of life is attitude, maybe that's the key to cozy :)


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

enigma I've had the same thoughts in the past. I live in an old 1960s house and my area is going through a lot of redevelopment with huge new houses replacing the old ones + relatives building big houses over the last few years. I started feeling embarrassed about how small our house is and I guess I would like maybe an extra 200sq ft or slightly bigger rooms so they are a bit more comfortable to move around in, but I love our little house.

Ive been actively working on making it function much better, getting rid of stuff, moving furniture around and coming up with new ways to hide and store things and it's such a challenge but I get really excited when I come up with a new storage idea lol


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

trance, I agree :) It is so much more fun and challenging to re-think/design these little places. Also, you can have that small satisfaction when your neighbor re-roofs for 3X what you will have to or has double your heating bill :)

Here's to cozy! I was thinking kitykat, maybe it's...walls that make a room cozy! Or maybe it's just me, but I can't be comfy and cozy if I've got a gaping room behind me, I really prefer the more sectioned off, older homes though.


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oops!

wow, sorry, I meant 1200 sq ft...yeah big difference :)


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

I don't know if any of you have read 'A Pattern Language'. It's an interesting take on home design, although some of it is odd and it contradicts itself sometimes. One thing stressed is having different zones for different activities, and how to set the mood for those spaces. For instance- bedrooms should have lower ceilings than the main house (if possible). It creates a cozier atmosphere. One idea I've toyed with is dividing the master bedroom into two spaces; a sleeping chamber, and a dressing room. If you think about it, really large bedrooms are kind of 'anti-cozy'. I was looking at a plan the other day that had a master BR that was 30' long! How much nicer to have a small, quiet, cozy little nest to sleep in!


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

my cottage is 1100 square feet and the smallest house on my block. I think my house is ADORABLE. what makes it sooooo cozy for me? Now that I've started furnishing and adding area rugs in all the rooms, I love sitting on my LR rug and playing with my dog. That and I have two scrumptious throws on my sofa which is my favorite place to cat nap. Unless it's warm weather. Then my fave cat nap place is my screened in porch. I love my tree lined block out front and my tiny but lush garden out back. No matter where I look, I see beauty. Even the end of my block with the Long Island Sound views. So lovely.

marti8a, I only have blinds and shutters and my place feels cozy, to me. I'm sure many others would want to see drapes over the blinds but I like them simple. I love sitting at my dining room table with the shutters open to the back yard. Sweet view. Makes my heart sing.


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

Buddyrose,

We had a house that was 1100 SQ FT and it lived very large for us. The three bedrooms were small. We lived there over 4 years and the only problem we had at times was it was only one bathroom. Sometimes a person just needs two.

I also love to not have curtains but we have to have them in the winter to keep put the cold and in the summer to keep some of the heat down. Sigh. I do try to keep them open as far as possible weather permitting. Hopefully the honey suckle will grow up fast on the front of the front porch to shade it and then we will be able to open the curtains more in the summer.

Still loving your house and saw your yard picture in the winter thread and it is so pretty.

Chris


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

Really appreciate the recent responses. Expanding on the cozy theme, and surrounding ourselves with things we really use and love, here's something to think on... how much 'stuff' do people really NEED? Small, cozy rooms create limitations, or should.

True story: I have several friends who maintained very large homes long after kids left the nest, filled to the brim with furniture and accessories. Room after room, going unused, requiring regular maintenance. When finally downsizing, they were each shocked to find the kids had absolutely no interest in the stuff... furniture, artwork, china, crystal, none of it. Sad, all those years spent storing and caring for things no one wanted!

Enigma, your comment about walls... how true for me, as well! Rooms without walls, open spaces that echo, high ceilings that collect the heat... been there, done that, never again. My little 50's cottage envelops me... what more can anyone want?


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

I like the vaulted ceilings of our house. They are not super high like some Great Rooms I have seen. I can stand on 6 foot ladder and easily reach the highest spot.

Still I feel very cozy in our house. It is not all that small at 1300 SQ FT , compared to some of us here. We do use every bit of it. Even today I took time to put the sewing room back together after our company left ,last week, so I can start sewing again. I wanted to wait until I got a new mattress pad for the futon before putting it up. And I have been totally swamped with work for the last week +.

I do think I am guilty of keeping too many things. I just can not seem to part with them. Seems they all have meaning to me. Not a hoarder kind of keeping things. I even took two BIG boxes to donate Tuesday on one trip to town. Woo hoo Loving the space I cleared out. Maybe someday I will be able to let go of some of my oh too special things. Sigh.

Chris


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

Chris, I tried going through my precious things (for me it's handmade books) and I can't do it! I understand though, even weird random stuff is hard to part with because I always think I might use it "down the road" :).

kitykat, echoing rooms are the WORST! How do people live with it?!

I think if you love your home it will be cozy :) I'm all curled up on my favorite couch all warm and snuggly in my tiny den, which is technically a bedroom, with the DH. I think appreciating your own space for what it is makes it cozy, what a sweet, contented thing to be happy in your home! :)


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

I have always thought that plants and books are very helpful in creating a 'home' out of a 'house'. They just add something warm and welcoming.
I think some 'real' wood somewhere really helps too. It doesn't have to be a lot, but I think even something small brings warmth.
I also love fabric and think it can definitely add a softness to a room, but it's such a personal taste thing that 'cozy' for one person may not work for someone else.
~Missy


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

jacabedy says:

Perhaps my constant construction of (24!) IKEA cabinet drawers throughout the duration of the game put a kink in the peacefulness of it all, but cozy it was!

OH GREAT!!! Now I know someone to ask about the IKEA kitchens.
I'm trying to figure how I'll get the cabinets I want when the nearest store is 400 miles away and they won't sell the stuff online.

PLEASE let us know how your cabinets work out!!!!


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

This is a thread that I think needs bumping up again.
Cosy is what smaller homes are all about. It can be cosy and not be crowded. I think cosy relates to the way a house FEELS when you approach it.


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

Thanks, moccasin, being new(ish), I hadn't seen this thread.

We have all the elements of a cozy home--low ceilings, books in every room, plants, my favorite earth-tone color schemes. When the evening sun hits our west LR window, everything glows with contentment. Yes, I know inanimate objects can't glow with contentment, but that's how it feels to me--the room is like a lazy calico cat, curled up and purring. I am reminded of Tasha Tudor's description of her small rooms--'like chipmunk nests.'

And to answer another of kitykat's questions: Yes, I have way more 'stuff' than I need, I just don't decorate with it all at once. I try to keep open floor space--hardwood floors (LR,DR, stairs) help with the open and uncluttered look. That said, I'm sure my style is too cluttered for a lot of folks.


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

Great question and great thread. For me cozy is softer edges, soft colors, creature comforts (fireplace, pillows and throws), upholstered pieces, organic accessories, a couple of dogs (or kitties) and a garden outside each door. :)


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

I love this thread :)


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

Equimaquandry- I love the Quiet Man! It's one of my favorite movies and one reason I want to live in a cottage :)

Where I live now is in a manufactured home, but it feels a lot like a cottage to me, with the way we've decorated it.

Sarah Susanka (Not So Big House) talks about making cozy spaces within larger rooms. One of her favorites is a windowseat, with bookcases on both sides and a slightly lower ceiling above the windowseat...making it a cozy spot to sit and be part of what's going on, but a little protected, at the same time.


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

I wish I had the courage to incorporate a 'sleeping chamber' in our next house. In 'A Pattern Language', they describe sleeping chambers just big enough for a bed, as opposed to the sometime gigantic master suites being built today. The idea is to have a cozy place to sleep, and a separate place for dressing.

One of the things that makes things cozy for me is lighting. I'm wondering how we're going to make things cozy with the new compact florescent bulbs, as opposed to the old incandescent ones. Candlelight?

I also like comfy, well-worn antiques. Not the kind of stuff that you're afraid to touch, but the lived-in look of well-loved furniture. Our current house is really kind of sterile, with mostly white walls, and no architectural detail to speak of. But we have it packed with antiques and family photos, so between that, and the love of family and smell of good cooking in the air, it's very cozy to me.


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

Jay a friend did a crown molding around her bathroom but lower than the ceiling. Maybe a foot down. Not sure how they did it. She said not hard. THEN they just laid a rope light strand in the trough the crown molding created.They also added electrical outlet at time of remodel for this rope light.

I will say when I put the rope light strand in my china cabinet in our sort of non dinning room it does make a wonderful light in the evenings. I do not ever turn it off and will be sure to buy a couple more for replacements should this one burn out. Do not remember how long they are supposed to last. I know people used to do this kind of lighting up on top of kitchen cabinets too.

Chris


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

Jay, I've visited the original Chinese house (over 200 years old) imported and rebuilt in Salem MA as part of the Salem-Essex Museum. I liked it so much, I've visited it twice. They won't allow cameras inside, bummer.

But in that culture, the bedrooms were very small, the beds had all sorts of fabric hangings around them like a 4 poster does. In a place where fuel is costly they conserve body heat by having small sleeping cubbies.

Then another culture which has the sleeping chamber raised to its highest and most beautiful level, IMHO, is the Scandinavian style built-in beds with the drawers below, and a heavy curtain to led drop when you want to get cosy and private. What designer/artist named Larson (I think) designs Scandinavian style? Nils Larson or Larssen? I'll have to look it up. Gentle colors on the walls, and like whitewashed woodwork and flooring. Perhaps a good thing for their hard long and cold winters.

I like a small bedroom myself. A bigger one looks nice, but I really do not use much of the space. Maybe if I had a large number of kids and needed a private space more often, I'd use a reading nook or....what else...I cannot even think of anything else. I think the bed chamber concept is one which gives a lot of peace. You enter with one objective, and that is to SLEEP, without distraction.

Of course we do have a wall mount TV opposite the foot of the bed, a couple of floating shelves with family personal photos on them, and a couple of live plants in another corner. That is the Master up in Mass. Bedside tables are 12x12x34h, and they are wood plant stands. Wall mounted swing arm lamps. I love it.

Here in Mobile, my new queen storage bed is flanked by two wicker white chests with glass tops and 2 Stiffel bronze lamps. (These lamps are very traditional style, which is not really ME, but Tuesday Morning had them on sale.) Across the room beneath the wall mounted old white TV, is another white wood chest with a nautical scene painted on the drawers. There are a couple of picture ledges on one wall, the closet bifold doors and the entry door to the bedroom are all on one wall, and then two walls with the 2 sets of double windows are covered floor to ceiling, wall to wall, with big grommet hung drapery panels in light chocolate and white. It is super comfy, and super simple.
This room will become the study/guest room (inflatable bed) when the current project of tub and closet is finished.
I cannot wait.

To me, that is cosy. Both bedrooms are 12 x 12 feet. Maybe if we wanted a king size bed, 13 x 13 would look good. But I like to have a space with more than one wall for the bed.

I've also put the bed well away from the wall, so that a large (wide and high) chest could be pushed against the headboard, and a dressing area created between the chest and the wall.


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

We have been told more than once that our little cottage is cozy. Of course the size has something to do with it, a little over 700 sq ft, but I think it's got to do with what we have. Pine ceilings, antiques, old oriental rugs, paintings and other artwork, books galore in every room (but the bathroom), and color. I also think cooking/baking odors make a home feel cozy. I love using my bread machine and coming in from outside to the aroma of fresh bread baking.

I think collections that people have make a home feel cozy, lived in and personal.

Happy small living ~ FlowerLady


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

This is such an interesting question, and I was just thinking about this before I came across this thread!

We will probably build a house, or substantially renovate our old one that we still own, in 5-10 years. I have been looking at various house plans, both modern "spec" ones and antique house plans.

I was driven mad by all of the new plans. I like Schumacher Home's website so I have looked through all of their plans...and out of over a hundred plans, only 2 or 3 don't have "open concepts". This drives me crazy because we don't want an open concept. I think this is part of what makes new homes feel much less "cozy" than old homes. There's no division to the space at all and it just feels like one giant cavern to me. Not to mention I HATE having to walk through the dining area just to get to the kitchen.

Also, cathedral ceilings don't help...a lot of times they make a room feel decidedly un-cozy. And giant windows can also make things feel not so cozy at times.

But these are just generalizations...there are quite a few new homes that feel cozy.

I love a lot of older homes layouts...the good ones, anyhow. Our Parlor/Living Room, dining, kitchen, and family room are all separated, yet somewhat open, so we don't feel closed in, nor do we feel like we are in a giant reception hall.

An important part of being "cozy" to me means that the rooms are reasonably sized, and you have areas to "retreat" to. To me, I feel so happy when I can retreat to the parlor/living room when I don't want to listen to the TV, or our spare bedroom with the chair, or our small sun porch. All kinds of areas where you can just curl up and feel cozy. Especially nice in the winter.

And "lived-in" always helps, too. Perfect houses that look like museums never feel cozy to me...they feel like...museums. It's weird when I go over to someone's house and it looks immaculate. It's like, are you ever home? Do you do anything while your home? It can lend a sanitary feel to things.

Anyhoo, that's my spiel and I'm stickin to it.


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

Krycek, when you mentioned that you were looking for a floor plan that was not too open and not with cathedral ceilings, that your present home felt open because it had good FLOW, I began thinking about my DH's Cape cottage. I now realize that one reason it works so well is, it too has FLOW. I did not even think about that before. In fact, before I started working on it, the rooms were so over stuffed with furniture, it felt totally inhibited, you might say.

Now, you can come into the house any of three ways, and it feels every room is accessible to you. The front door is of course the best. No entry, but the living room is laid out to create one (kind of), to the right is the doorway (no door) that leads to all bedrooms, 2 upstairs and the master suite downstairs. Then across the living room beyond the fireplace is a doorway (no door) so you view the dining table, and what used to be a door from there to the kitchen was removed so there is just a continuation of the space into the kitchen which continues to the back door and the huge family room which DH added on many years ago. That family room is carpeted, but the other space is unified by granite tiles. A door from the dining room opposite the kitchen leads to the study over the garage by going up only two steps. Other than the sunporch, which is on the south end of the house beyond our master bedroom, this study on the north end of the house is my favorite cozy place. It could be used as a bedroom, because it has one humongous wall-to-wall closet, but we don't need a fourth bedroom. So the place just sort of flows, leading you into the charm and comfort of the spaces. I will be very sorry to sell this house next year.


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

krycek, I'm glad for your comment about windows. My cape has two medium sized windows in each room, but because of all the flora outside them they don't let a ton of light in (which, admittably it WOULD be nice to have a LITTLE more light) but I've always been happy they are small. My friend has a cape similar to mine (but with the open, can go in a circle around the stairs layout with a much better designed upstairs) but with HUGE windows that go almost floor to ceiling, with many of them. Granted, her house is always FLOODED with light, which is gorgeous, but I always feel a little creepy and "unprotected" there at night with so much of the house exposed. I feel like it's almost a sin to say that you wouldn't want bigger windows...so I'm glad you mentioned its "cozy factor" :) There are definitely charms to having it both ways!


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

I'm another one who thinks lighting matters a lot. I've always had many more table lamps and floor lamps and relied less on overhead light, I think that ups the cozy factor. My mom's house is virtually lampless, as she has ceiling fixtures and recessed lighting, and to me it doesn't have the same charm as little pools of light cast by lamps with shades. Even though she can opt to turn on just some of the recessed lights, it has more of a commercial and un-cozy look to me.

Another thing that says cozy to me is things not being too perfect. Whether it's the garden being a little bit blowsy or a little bit of clutter or rumpledy-ness indoors, I think it takes a little imperfection to make a small space cozy and not just small.


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

I'm glad you brought up light!

Many newer homes are literally bathed in bright light. I guess it's just what people want nowadays, but it really cuts down on the "cozy" feeling. Big time.

I'm not sure where the movement came from to desire so much light but I'm not sure it's an entirely positive thing. Lighting is one of the most important components of the house. In our parlor, there is no overhead light, and we are fine with that. We have a few lamps and what not, and that's OK. The parlor isn't, and traditionally hasn't been, an overly lit place - it's meant to be softly lit. Some people's houses feel like there's floodlights inside!

Our kitchen is the only space where we have a ton of light for obvious reasons.

I'm not to sure where this desire for giant windows came from. In a lot of old houses, ours included, there are bay windows and/or ribbon windows to let in a lot of light and it seems to work, at least to me, without making it feel like a cathedral, and keeping some semblance of privacy.

It just goes to show you how important light is. I'm glad you brought that up, leafy.


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

Leafy, you make a good point there. I will never turn on an overhead light. I usually opt to unscrew the bulbs to keep my DH from using those lights. A ceiling fan on the switch, that is fine, but for some reason, a ceiling light bulb is sort of depressing. I am into lamps and dimmers. Task lighting is the way I like to handle raising the level of light in a room, not a general bulb somewhere. That is, except for the kitchen, where I like to have it bright and cheerful, but able to have only mood lighting too.

Some people in the winter time have depression brought on by lack of natural light. So it is an important element to us human beings. And I do love filtered light where it seems to come in the house through a green filter of my garden. I always maximize the amount of light available by placing curtains (IF I use them) outside the window frames. But I cannot deal with the big black holes that uncovered windows create without some kind of covering. If nothing else, the sheers give a nice effect without blocking the view. Yeah, some views at night are fantastic. I bet that Gryane has a view on that mountainside of hers, and nobody to peek in either.

I'm eventually going to add up/down lighting low voltage to the New Orleans courtyard corner of my back yard. I see it from the pair of windows in the dining room....where the future window seat will go. Dinner will be very romantic with that background outside and us dining by candlelight.
That says cosy to me.


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

It's a good point about light and some people need it for mental health reasons.

In our next house, I would like to build a Sun Parlor/Solarium off the family room to enjoy the little light we get in winter. Here in Cleveland, and usually upstate NY and Michigan (anywhere that has lake effect), we get very, very few sunny days in winter (especially December and January before the lake freezes), so a solarium/Sun Parlor would be a very good investment here. Also, it would be nice to have a space where we could sit and watch the beautiful snow (without getting cold and wet!). It's a good way to get a lot of light without having 15x10 windows.


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

Perhaps I'm over simplifying "cozy," but the first thing that comes to mind when I think about what makes me feel snuggly is a room rich in textures and simple in color/pattern. It leaves my mind clean but awakens my senses.

I've also found that my own sense of a cozy room really changes with the seasons. I need different surroundings in the hot months than I do in the cold ones.


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

Just thought to re-visit this thread I began a year ago. Had not read the Sept entries re:windows and such. Funny thing... so many people have huge windows that were a certain selling point when purchasing, yet ALWAYS keep their blinds/shades/shutters closed, day and night. Others, never close anything. Driving around during evening hours shows the rear of large homes, all lights blazing on three floors. Talk about a fish-bowl!

As an avid gardener, I both need and want light and open views to outside during daylight hours. The garden, if well-structured, shines even in winter. But when nighttime arrives, blinds are drawn, lamps go on and that whole 'cozy thing' begins.

My 50's cottage had broad yet high windows in several rooms. When replacing windows, I opted to do a number of "cut-downs", whereby the 64" width remained, but the windows were enlarged downwards. Talk about a dramatic change. Window to the countertop in the kitchen, window to the desktop in the office, view of the front garden from the bedroom. No longer needing tippy-toes to see out. It literally brought the outside in. (Big smile here!)


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

Somehow I missed this post first time around.

I think there is something intangible associated with cozy. Sure, size, scale, color, light, texture all come into play but in the end it is how you feel in that space that determines cozy. Remember the cardboard box you would curl up in as a kid? Wasn't that cozy? What makes a good kiss? It's different for everyone and you have a hard time describing it. It either is or it isn't.

Scott


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

A warm throw
Pillows
Candles or ambient lighting(40 watt bulbs)or dimmers
Books/bookcases
Collections
A fire in the fireplace
Drapes/curtains on windows
The TV out of site(armoire)
Art hung on walls
Family pictures on tables
...and #1, someone you love sitting beside to share it all. ;o)


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

How did I miss this thread!!! Gracious me!!

And JAKABEDY, I really need you to discuss those IKEA drawers a little, because I have a problem envisioning how to order and put them together.

If you can do a Youtube video, that would be fantastic.

At night, the wall colors might look cozy with lamp light, but I think in the daytime the softness of filtered light, and even warmth of sunlight in patches on the floor. A place to sit down and drink your tea or coffee and meditate in your own space, set up to satisfy just YOU, and not anyone else. (my computer is doing strange things of cutting off sentences like I had set up a shortcut, so I gotta stop again.) back tomorrow.


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

I think cosy is a function of putting things you love and cherish in your home. We have always had open floor plans, but these were not huge homes nor huge rooms. Each room had it's own distinction though connected. The only rooms that had doors on them were bedrooms and bathrooms.

We basically have a living room, kitchen, and hopefully a "library area" again where I can sew or read. We've never had a formal dining room or formal living room. No media rooms, away rooms and such. Actually those terms annoy the heck out of me.

A comfortable open plan is all about the details. Vintage homes and old plantation houses have wonderful detail, and have given me loads of ideas. Many of their rooms are open to one another, but have half walls with beautiful spindles, or other types of detail to give each area a separate feel.

We will have slightly vaulted ceilings, but only those created by our natural and simple roofline. The walls start at 8 feet and peak at 12 in the center. No convoluted vaults that are so common today. No windows that need a fireman's ladder to ever reach for cleaning.

I dislike cavernous open floor plans, and floor plans where one is basically cooking in the living room.

Lots of windows to look out at nature and catch breezes is important to me. A window seat somewhere would be cool. One of the men working on our home kept trying to talk me into all this wall space in which to put "things", and not many windows. My reply was that I don't want to fill my house with things I don't need....I want to look outside at gardens and our land! Maybe even a horse someday.

We looked for two years at stock floor plans until I wanted to jump off a cliff. Never found one that was really very good. We wasted money on an architect and a "floor plan designer". Neither one listened. In the end, we developed our own, based on how we wanted to live, and as each room gets framed, the next one will evolve. We're keeping our minds and options open as we go.....a luxury when you are your own contractor.
When I walk into my house now, it already "talks" to me and feels warm and happy, and it's only in the shell stage. It basically showed me exactly where my sink and stove should be, even though initially, I had different ideas. I guess it's from watching sun angles and such, as well as the views. We've walked through our "rooms' many times, and some changes got made along the way.

Cosy comes from making the home warm and comfortable while filling it with love. Homes built to impress, or based on what others think you should do, are not cosy. Cosy is from the owner putting their personality in it, rather than some fashion magazine or interior decorator dictating what should be done.

Candles, quilts, soft lighting, curtains, pillows, some displays of "treasures", books, pets, good food, soft breezes coming through the windows, some music....all shared with my husband (and children and grandkids, and special friends when they visit). I had soft garden murals painted on many of my walls in my last house. I never tired of it, and we sold our home 8 months after putting it up for sale. In a horrible nothing is selling anywhere market. Goes to show that all this talk about what one "has" to do for resale is garbage.

Sandy


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

"Cosy is from the owner putting their personality in it, rather than some fashion magazine or interior decorator dictating what should be done."

Oh, sandy... do those words speak! Let me tell you all. In 2006 we remodeled our tiny kitchen, on a serious budget. Did everything ourselves other than Formica counter-top and sheet vinyl floor. It turned out so pretty. An acquaintance knew the local representative for a huge national magazine and brought her over to see. Turns out they wanted to do a photoshoot and feature my kitchen. Very cool, right? Well, it was a totally fun experience, but...

Everything was removed from the room, including contents in glass door cabinets. I am talking empty counters, wall art, my 'tumble' of baskets and greenery over the uppers. Only the dishes on open shelving (edited, as I have too many) remained. They brought in color complementing pottery, herbs in pots, plates of fruit, a throw rug. The whole scene was 'staged'. Special lighting and draping the outside of the window created certain effects. It was nice, but no longer my kitchen. When published, even the electric receptacles were Photo-shopped out.

So, when you see all these beautiful rooms in feature articles in magazines, those perfect room settings... sofas and chairs all with exposed legs with tiny wheels and the "new, modern" drum shades on lamps, exquisitely arranged do-dads on shelves and mantles, understand how these things are done!!!


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

Sandy, hope you are taking photos of the different stages of your rooms as they near completion. It will remind you what is behind each wall.

I knew you were silent for a long time, figured you were hard at work on your house, and decided to be patient until you showed up again. I feel a sense of peace and contentment in what you write these days. Honestly, you were about a basket case until you found your "sweet spot" with this house.
Good going, lady.


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

Shades of Idaho, they make several types of rope lights. The one which lasts longest is the LED variety. I've done an online search for the rope lighting available and you can get spools of it in various colors. Like cool white, clear, blue, green, whatever. I personally want the clear and have several strands of that to put behind the ceiling/floor length curtains. At Lowes/Home Depot, Lutron has a remote wall switch that can be mounted anywhere on the walls, with the other half of the unit plugged into a socket somewhere. Then you can turn it on/off with the surface mounted wall switch. I've used one already in the sun porch for rope lights around it up north. My only problem is, I did not secure the rope lighting straight enough with the plastic brackets to make it appear straight. I learned my lesson with that.

But the friend who dropped the crown molding low enough to sequester the rope lighting back htere has the right idea. Only the LIGHT will be visible, not the STRING of rope.

In our new master bath, I had the electrician also add a switched pair of wall plugs up high on the wall near the ceiling. That will be where I plug in my rope lighting too.


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Book A Pattern Language

Flgargoyle says,"I don't know if any of you have read 'A Pattern Language'. It's an interesting take on home design, although some of it is odd and it contradicts itself sometimes."

Jay, many years ago, I read a lot about pattern recognition. It interested me that the government had used women to analyze aerial photographs for objects that the military wanted to find. This was before computers were widely used, around the WWII era.

They said that women were better at recognizing patterns. And so I'll probably read the title you mentioned. But could that explain why women are more attuned to decorative arts? They appreciate pattern more than the majority of males? It is of course a broad generalization, not true of every male or every female. But....interesting.


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RE: What constitutes cozy?

Lamps vs overhead lights and soft lights vs bright lights. There are some lightbulbs that are sold for their warm feeling. I think they are blue. They do make it seem cozy, but hard to sew by.


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