Cozy Minimalism: How to Add Clutter-Free Comfort to Your Home

Guess what?  A minimalist home doesn't need to be all white, with chrome and glass furniture and one piece of modern art.  Minimalism is about owning what you use and love, and it's not confined to a particular decorating style.  A home can be uncluttered yet warm, inviting, relaxed, and personal.

cozy minimalist home

7 minimalist ways to add coziness and character

1.  Choose natural materials.

Natural materials are attractive and comfortable.  Possibilities include a wooden table, rattan chairs, a leather ottoman, a wool area rug, a cotton quilt, or pure beeswax candles.

2.  Let there be light.

Open the blinds during the day to maximize natural light, or hang sheer curtains if you need to screen an unattractive view or maintain privacy.  Make sure your windows are sparkling clean and the sills uncluttered.  A mirror will reflect light and visually expand your space.  In the evening, avoid glare by using task lamps instead of ceiling lights, and burn a candle or two for a warm, romantic glow.

3.  Include color.

Even if you love the purity of white walls, you can add depth with pale yellow, blush pink, or warm gray paint.  Add more color with wall art, a lamp, a rug, or a pillow.  Or surround yourself with neutrals and earth tones such as ivory, cocoa, and cinnamon.

4.  Bring nature inside.

Decorate with green plants, a polished geode, or a piece of driftwood you found on vacation.  Press flowers or leaves to create your own botanical art, craft a eucalyptus wreath, or simply fill a bowl with fresh fruit or garden vegetables.  

For the holidays, add an evergreen wreath, a blooming amaryllis or poinsettia, or a bowl of pine cones.

5.  Use vintage furnishings.

Not only is this more eco-friendly than buying new, there's a special charm to something with history and patina.  My husband and I love using my parents' classic Ethan Allen dresser, and our son-in-law has a wonderful mid-century modern desk passed down from his grandparents.  

Perhaps you have a few Christmas tree ornaments you inherited from your aunt, or even a vintage nutcracker or nativity set you can display for the holidays.  I love to bring out the pair of choirboy angels my mother purchased the year I was born.

6.  Delight your senses.

Don't just focus on the look of your home:

  • Listen:  When weather allows, open a window for fresh breezes and birdsong.  Hang a wind chime.  Play your favorite music.
  • Smell:  Diffuse essential oils such as lavender, lemon grass, or rosemary.  Bake bread or brownies.  Treat yourself to a bouquet of roses.  During the holidays, simmer a pot of water with a sliced orange, several cinnamon sticks, and a tablespoon of whole cloves.
  • Touch:  Enjoy different textures such as distressed wood, stone, brick, tile, metal, glass, a cuddly woolen blanket, crisp cotton or fuzzy flannel sheets.

7.  Highlight personal items.

A favorite holiday photo, the family caricature portrait drawn by a San Francisco street artist, your husband's carved wooden chess set, or a few of your all-time favorite books are so much more interesting than big box store d├ęcor.  Display just a few special items to give them the spotlight they deserve.

Adding comfort isn't about adding stuff.

Comfort comes from choosing your belongings with care, so that your home is a welcoming haven for your family, your guests, and yourself.

Updated December 2022


  1. One of my decor items is a motorhome made of Lego bricks which represents two of my hobbies.

  2. Thanks Karen, I really love reading your blog. Im going to go and add some eucalyptus leaves to my front door Christmas wreath now.

    1. Thank you for your kind comment! I love the scent of eucalyptus.


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