When designers talk about “creating a warm space,” we aren’t talking about turning up the thermostat or even decorating with warm colors like red, orange, and yellow. In this case, a “warm” room is all about making a room inviting.
Think about someone with a warm personality – it’s someone you’re immediately comfortable with, you feel like you’ve known them forever. When a room has a warm personality, you’re guests immediately feel at ease and comfortable, it’s a place people naturally gather.
So today, I’m so excited to share how you can make a room warm and inviting, and how you can turn even a drab or sterile feeling room into the coziest spot in the house!
Color is one of the quickest ways to add warmth to a room (but it’s not the only way as you’ll find out!). But even if you have icy blue walls with crisp, cool white trim and cool white upholstery, you can easily warm it up with accents of color (or by incorporating tips below, but we’ll get there!) using throw pillows, rugs, window coverings, artwork, and more!
Love the look of white-on-white but afraid of creating a cold, sterile environment? I totally understand! White gets a bad rap sometimes when it comes to creating a welcoming environment, but it’s totally undeserved.
I LOVE white-on-white spaces – they’re bright, airy, and feel so sophisticated! But it’s all about choosing the right shades of white and the right accents to go with it. Consider creamy shades of white and cream like:
Creamy White by Benjamin Moore – a clean but soft shade that creates a warm backdrop and works beautifully with other shades of white
Linen White by Benjamin Moore – perfect for modern rustic looks and pairs with soft neutrals
Simply White by Benjamin Moore – a truly neutral white, this is clean and crisp, but is never glaring. There’s a reason it was Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year!
And even if you don’t want your pops of color to be bold or vibrant, think warm neutrals like taupe, beige, and linen. They work beautifully in almost any color scheme and immediately add a cozy, soft feeling.
The white walls, white bedding, and black and white photography should make this room feel frosty, right? But the addition of warm leather headboards, a soft beige and brown rug, and some additional elements gives it an immediate welcoming feel.
Texture adds feeling and depth to a room, making you want to touch, explore, and sink into to the space! I encourage you to go beyond the basics of just a few throw pillows and a toss blanket and really explore layering your textures.
While the neutrals add warmth to the white-on-white look, what really makes this room so irresistible is the textures of the space – the woven rug, the wood table, the linen-cotton comforter, and can we take a moment and consider that blanket? Wouldn’t wrapping up in that be absolute BLISS?
This space makes you want to sink into it and revel in the textures of the room, so while the colors may be cool, the space feels warm and snug. I’m longing to curl up in that space on a rainy afternoon and take a nap, aren’t you?
Fabric and Upholstery
Going deeper into the idea of texture, your fabric and upholstery can also provide the warmth you crave to make your room feel instantly more inviting!
In your living room, use natural, high quality fabrics for your upholstery, especially for your couch, and consider adding a buttery soft, aged leather chair. For your bedroom, switch out your headboard for a soft, upholstered one.
However, as I always say, “Design is in the details!” and that is especially true when it comes to making those shifts from a cold or drab room to a warm, welcoming space! Think of the fabrics that envelop you in softness – A knitted blanket, a luxuriously soft leather, soft linen bedding, light, airy fabrics in a sunroom, wool rugs you want to scrunch your toes into…add those and you’ll be in design bliss!
In this room, while the paint color sets a lovely stage, it’s the fabrics that really whisper the promise of warmth, softness, and that rich cozy feeling that you’re longing for, especially in a bedroom! That rug, the plush pillows, that fluffy bedding, and the richness of the curtains – even in pristine white and neutral colors this room has an intimate feel that you crave in a bedroom.
As you’re putting together your warm, inviting space, you’ve got the warm colors, you’ve added rich textures, and your fabrics are divine! But your room still feels closed off – the exact opposite of what you want! You step away for a bit and come back and you realize the problem – your room is DARK!
Light is VITAL to creating a lovely space where you want to spend time – who wants to curl up in a cave?
If you have access to natural lighting, let it stream in, or filter through sheer curtains to add immediate life to a room. Here, you can just feel the sunlight streaming in over the loveseat!
However, if you prefer to keep the curtains closed, you can easily add warmth through different lighting. A reading lamp on a table next to your favorite chair is a delight, but overhead lighting casts a lovely glow across a room!
In this lovely entryway, you can welcome your guests into a delightfully inviting home at any time. While during the day, the light from the large windows is beautiful, but in the evening, the soft overhead light blankets the entry in a golden glow!
One of my favorite ways to add warmth to a room is by getting back to nature! Throughout the blog, I’ve talked about linens, cottons, and other natural fabrics and materials, but adding rich woods, greenery, and flowers makes a room feel less formal and sterile, and so much warmer and more comfortable.
In this gorgeous living room, it’s the natural, rich wood on the ceiling beams, the mantle, and the mirror that gives the room life! From painted woods in a cottage or coastal space to a more natural, rustic weathered wood that’s perfect in nearly any decor, choose this over metal or glass to immediately transform your room.
Uniqwa Collections; https://www.instagram.com/p/BNhzLkfAU65/
Andrew Brown Interiors; http://www.andrewbrowninteriors.com/point-william-residence/
Jenny Keenan; http://charlestonmag.com/features/the_art_of_summer
Fox Hollow Cottage; https://www.instagram.com/p/BPjUmbyA5bY/
Tillman Long Interiors; https://mydesignchic.com/2013/09/home-tour-atlanta-guest-house/
E.F.Chapman, Circa Lighting, https://www.circalighting.com/darlana-medium-lantern-chc2165/
Martin Lawrence Bullard; https://laurelberninteriors.com/2014/09/04/seen-popular-living-rooms-on-pinterest/
Lily Pad Cottage
South Shore Decorating