They say home is where the heart is. But maybe we should really say, home is where the comfort is. After all, if there’s anywhere in the world where you should feel comfortable, it’s inside your own home. And no matter where things currently stand, there’s always room for improvement.
Why a Comfortable Home Matters
Comfort is a unique idea – one that researchers have spent decades studying at multiple levels of psychology and mental health.
As life coach Owen Lloyd explains, “The human brain is wired to seek comfort and avoid stressful, intimidating, and disagreeable situations. Our brains release stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline to encourage us to flee from anxiety-arousing circumstances.”
In some sense, this is a negative. It can prevent people from taking risks and trying new things. But in another sense, it’s something we should lean into – particularly in our own homes. Here are a few reasons why having a comfortable room is beneficial:
- Safety. Comfort and safety are closely tied together. The pursuit of safety is programmed into our DNA as a tool for survival. So, naturally, when your home feels comfortable, it feels safe. This makes you happier.
- Relaxation. Comfort is also directly tied to relaxation. When you’re comfortable, it takes some of the edge off things and allows you to unwind and recharge. This is crucial to both your emotional health and physical well-being.
- Inviting. Homes aren’t just for hoarding – they’re for being hospitable. A comfortable home is a much more inviting space, which allows you to do more hosting and entertaining.
- Value. The vast majority of people will eventually sell the home they’re currently in. Having a comfortable home adds value to your property and makes it a more enticing listing on the open market.
While you don’t want to spend your entire life in a perpetual “comfort zone,” it’s perfectly fine to have a comfortable home that puts you at ease. In fact, we recommend it. Now the question becomes, how do you achieve the optimal blend of comfort and beauty in your own house?
5 Tips for a More Comfortable Home
Creating a more comfortable home starts with having a plan. As you plan, here are several tips that you should consider:
1. Start With the Entrance
First impressions are everything. Anytime someone walks into your house, they create a first impression within a matter of seconds (usually 15 seconds or less). The more inviting you can make your entryway (which includes both the area outside of your front door and immediately inside of your front door), the more comfortable people will feel.
A comfortable entryway is one that puts people at ease and makes them feel welcome. While the precise aesthetic will depend on your own stylistic preferences, you’ll want to focus on elements like lighting, wall art, and area rugs.
2. Create a Cozy Living Room
While the kitchen might get the most use out of any room in the home, the living room is usually the place where people relax and unwind. Thus, you want to make it the coziest it can possibly be.
The fireplace is usually the heartbeat of the living room. If you don’t already have a fireplace, consider having one installed. According to eFireplaceStore.com, it’s a lot easier to add a fireplace to an existing home than most people realize. For example, the latest electric fireplaces can be wall-mounted on any existing wall – even interior walls – without the need for a chimney or extensive ventilation.
The area around the fireplace is important as well. A tasteful mantel and fireplace surround can make this an area where you want to spend time.
3. Design a Relaxing Master Suite
Your master suite is like your own personal retreat within your home. Outside of the kitchen and living room, there’s no other area in your home more worthy of spending on upgrades.
Your master bathroom is usually the place where you start and end your day. If you want heated floors, spend a little extra to install heated floors. If you want a clawfoot tub, get one! Don’t feel guilty about spending on luxurious additions that will make you feel pampered.
4. Pay Attention to All of the Senses
Comfort comes in all shapes, sizes, and senses. Make sure you’re not just focused on visual style or aesthetic appeal. Everything from the aroma of your home to the touch and feel of furniture and throw blankets contributes to the comfort of your home.
5. Get Rid of Clutter
Stress is the opposite of comfort. If you feel stressed in your home, you’re going to be a much more anxious person. Having said that, there are several ways to reduce the amount of stress you experience inside of your own home. The most effective option is to get rid of clutter.
You don’t have to be a minimalist to get rid of clutter. It might be as simple as going through your cabinets, drawers, and closets every six months to donate or trash things you no longer need. It’s also a good idea to remove as much clutter as you can from physical surfaces like counters and shelves. Most of the time, these items do nothing but create visual distractions.
When it comes to making a decision between keeping something and getting rid of it, ask yourself the question popularized by best-selling author and designer Marie Kondo: Does it spark joy? If the item doesn’t serve a functional purpose or spark joy for you, then it should go.
Find Your Comfort Sweet Spot
Contrary to what some may tell you, seeking comfort isn’t bad. It’s merely part of your human nature.
“A comfortable home is the number one mission of most humans. We want to come home from a day of stress and unwind, play, and relax in comforts of familiarity,” MyMove explains. “From the décor you choose, to the climate you keep, your home can evoke a sense of calmness or excitement. However you choose to live, it is what will keep you comfortable and content in your home.”
But here’s the thing: Not everyone values the same types of comfort. And it’s entirely possible that one person’s version of comfort is actually uncomfortable to you. So while you can certainly draw inspiration from others, don’t feel like you have to take every page out of their home design playbook. Get creative and choose a look and feel that works for you.