4 Things People With Warm Homes Always Have in Them (Space Heaters Not Included)

We've asked an expert for her expert tips on curating a warm home in both temperature and vibe using only interior design. Prepare for cozy season with her tips

modern living room
(Image credit: Getty Images / CreativaStudio)

Temperatures are dropping while heating bills are rising and we're just as pressed about our cold homes as you are. But there is more to warmth than your radiator — decor and design can just as easily evoke a cozy and snug vibe as a tiny appliance can emit heat, and it's the perfect time of year to remind the average interiors aficionado of such.

That's why we spoke to Jamie Young, an award-winning home furnishings designer and founder of furniture company Jamie Young Co, which specializes in high-end but cozy and lived-in pieces. Using her expertise, Jamie outlined for us a few color and design suggestions you can use to create your perfect warm home, both in temperature and in vibe. Read on for more — then shop some of the best home decor stores to stock on up.

Jamie Young
Jamie Young

Home furnishings designer Jamie Young has worked across the US for over 25 years, having set up her lifestyle brand Jamie Young Co in 1997. She specializes in decor that has a relaxed, Californian air to it, and knows how to create spaces that feel like they're filled with sunshine.

1. The right color palette

The right colors can change the energy of an entire room. What was once drab is now exciting; what was once cheap now looks expensive; and, most fittingly in this instance, what was once cool or cold is now warm. 

Happily, current color trends are pointing to richer shades. So when looking to warm up your space, try working in "warm, earthy tones like deep reds, rich browns, and warm neutrals," which offer "a foundation of coziness and comfort," Jamie says.

2. Warm, diffused lighting

Just as color can change a room's energy, lighting can change its mood. If you want to feel cozy and comfortable in a space, the light in that space should either match or contribute to that mood; harsh, overhead pendants might not be the best in this instance. 

"People with warm, cozy homes always have just the right amount of warm, diffused lighting," Jamie said. "You can have as many throws and pillows as you want, but if the light is too direct, stark, or cool-toned, nothing is going to feel very cozy."

To that end, "warm-toned lighting fixtures and strategically placed table and floor lamps can foster a soft ambiance and enhance the overall warmth of the space," she added.

3. Use throws, pillows, and rugs

So long as you have that last step down pat, you can move on to the simplest of Jamie's recommendations: adding in "throws, pillows, and rugs." These moveable, easily attainable (and storable) pieces protect your guests from cold drafts while simultaneously adding cozy pops of color or tone-on-tone energy to your room. For instance, the best rugs have a high pile might insulate and protect your floor from heat loss, but it also livens up the space from a design perspective. You're killing two birds with one stone.

4. Candles

For those of us in a city, a cozy fireplace might be a bit out of the realm of possibility. Not only is it a fire hazard, it's just ... not possible. So if you want to capture that fireplace vibe without the inherent danger, candles are your best friend. 

You might lean toward a scented candle if you're trying to erase any unsavory bits from a room's aura, but otherwise, unscented pillar and taper candles will get the job done. There is nothing cozier than a night enjoyed by candlelight.

Style Editor

Brigid Kennedy is a Style Editor at Livingetc.com, where she is responsible for obsessively combing the internet for the best and most stylish deals on home decor and more. She was previously a story editor at TheWeek.com, where she covered both U.S. politics and culture. She describes her design style as colorful and clean, and in her free time enjoys reading, watching movies, and curating impossibly niche playlists on Spotify. She lives in New York.