If you have a minimalist style but still want a modern, cozy and inviting home, this post is for you! Here are 9 tips to achieve a cozy modern home style that can stand the test of busy families!
I always get asked what I call my home decor style. It’s hard to put a label on it- it’s just a collection of what I like! It’s a little scandi, a little minimalist but with a lot of stuff, boho with baskets and plants and classic colour tones and contrast loving. Over time, I’ve started calling it ‘Cozy Modern’.
Today I’m going to chat a little bit about how to get a cozy modern home style. That’s what I call my style, anyway! I am drawn to anything minimalist and modern BUT I also have a family of six and a dog, which is sometimes difficult to combine with minimalism!
I don’t like cold and empty spaces either. My home should feel warm and inviting and cozy, but at the same time not cluttered or overly full. It’s a balancing act for sure! Let me show you how I mesh all these different style elements, and give you some tips so you can get this look for your own home!
1. ADD WARMTH
OK, I love white walls and I think they work really well with both modern and cozy styles! I do think that it’s important to warm up the white though, so it doesn’t appear too stark and cold.
So that’s my first tip: use wood and other natural materials like rattan or leather to add warmth.
Take a look at my green kitchen as an example. It felt really stark in here, even though the lower cabinets are green and the floor is a warmer colour. This was a tricky space, since we couldn’t add much artwork due to the layout. So, what we ended up doing was adding faux wood valances to the windows over the sink. The texture and colour really warmed up the space beautifully!
I used the same approach to warm up the living room. You can see I own leather couches in a really warm, rich, natural colour, and some rattan baskets that are holding plants. These elements really warm up the space, even though it’s essentially just a white box! It’s a very simple and effective method.
2 . Add Plants + Foliage
You will notice that I have plants in every single room. There’s just something about the greenness, and they are so full of life! Adding plants to a space makes it feel alive and instantly more cozy and warm. A room can’t feel stark and cold when there are lots of plants growing in it. Plants also help fill empty corners or spaces and add some life when a space feels ‘unfinished’. Really… just try putting a plant there ;)
If you aren’t into caring for real life plants, faux plants have gotten so much better! You can definitely opt for some faux plants like we did in our basement bathroom that gets no light.
Beyond plants, think foliage! Branches, faux or foraged are a wonderful way to add some of that greenery and life into your space without having a potted plant. These are a great way to add height to a vignette. Check out my fireplace for example.
3. Add Texture
Adding texture is another great way to cozy up a space! You can do this by adding multiple pillows with different textures. On my couch for example, I have pillows made of canvas, velvet, and wool. I also added a rug, an ottoman, and some throw blankets. The window coverings also add texture. I talk more about how I do this here! This is an easy way to achieve a textured, cozy look for your space.
Our primary bedroom is another example. It’s painted black and white, which are not super cozy colours on their own. But we’ve got texture in the bedding, the throw blanket, and the decorative wool pillow too. We even added some macrame to the wall which is a beautiful element full of texture! We chose a REALLY textured area rug for under our bed too.
4. Layer UP
This tip flows naturally from the previous one. Layer these elements for a bigger impact. Layering texture is huge right now, and you can see that’s what we did with our bedding! Our window coverings are another great example. If you’re really interested, you can check out the full video I did about layering bay window coverings. In a nutshell, I find that hanging a curtain over a wood blind just cozies up a space SO MUCH.
5. Think Black for Contrast
You’ve already seen how we used black walls to add interest and contrast in our bedroom! That’s my next tip: incorporate black or a similarly dark colour for a high contrast feature in your neutral-coloured spaces to make them more modern and less traditional or farmhouse. It doesn’t have to be paint! In this high contrast bathroom I used black light fixtures, picture frames, hardware…you get the idea!
You can see the black we used in the rest of the house too, for the same purpose. A black framed mirror and railing in the small entryway, some black doors, a black table, and a black vase all add pops of black to keep our house looking modern and to ground a mostly light, neutral space. You can see my favourite black paint colour right here and how I use it!
6. Stick to (Mostly) Neutral Colours
OK guys, I am NOT saying you can’t have colour in your home. I think colour is a great idea! But if you take the colour you are interested in and mute it a bit, it can make your home appear modern and cozy automatically.
For example, our green cabinets in our kitchen are such a soft green that in some lights they almost look grey. In our boys’ bedroom, we have a lot of blue, but because they are muted blues the room comes off looking modern, cozy, and serene, even though it’s actually full of colour.
7. Look for Warm Undertones
Another thing to remember when you’re looking for colours for this style is to look for warm undertones. So, instead of a cold grey with blue or purple undertones, look for a grey with a greige tint with more brown undertones for a warmer, cozier look.
For example, we bought this vanity when we were renovating our bathroom in 2020, and it was a cold grey colour. It’s new, modern, and we really liked its style, but it just felt cold. We wanted a black and white bathroom, but of course we wanted to avoid it feeling, well, cold! So we painted it a greige colour, called Grey Mist from Behr, and I think it really keeps the bathroom looking modern but cozy. It’s hard to make bathrooms feel cozy, because of all the shiny, tiled surfaces with very little texture. So paint colour becomes important there.
We used similar greige colours in our $100 playroom makeover. The paint on the walls is a soft greige too!
8. Mix Up some Shapes
Another way to achieve a cozy look is to avoid having only sleek and modern lines by mixing in some round shapes and softer edges. You can see in the living room, I’ve added round furniture and soft textured pillows to balance the very rectangular sofa and avoid a modern-only feel.
This tip is not just for living rooms! In our dining room, we have a live edge table for a cozy organic element against the colder rounded plastic chairs. Natural organic shapes like this are a great way to cozy up a space. If you can remember to always include one item like this in a space where everything else is angular and modern-looking, you are well on your way to a modern but cozy casual home!
9. Go for Clutter-Free, Not Empty!
The last tip I want to give you comes from my modern minimalist attraction! I love clear, clutter-free spaces, but when there’s nothing in a space at all, it feels empty, sterile, and not super lived in.
So, my favourite way to make sure spaces have life but not clutter is to group things in vignettes. This is how I achieve clutter-free but not empty in my own home. If you’re interested in learning more, I have a whole video on how to decorate seasonally without adding clutter.
One of the things that I suggest in that video that definitely serves a cozy modern home style is having specific areas on your counters, shelves, mantel, or wherever else you want to display things, where you have decor vignettes that you swap out when the seasons change. This gives you a way to add character without adding more stuff! Mostly clear surfaces add to the modern look I’m going for, and the vignettes add the warmth and coziness I also crave. Balance achieved!
Rather watch these tips for a cozy modern home style? See them all in a YouTube video here! And if you are a video fan… make sure to subscribe to my channel!
That’s it! I hope these tips have been helpful and have given you some ideas about how you can bring this cozy modern home style into your own home by adding, subtracting, or playing with different elements as you work with your own preferences. Modern and cozy, and exactly how you want it! Happy decorating everyone!
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Looking for more clutter-free ideas? Check this post where I show you all of my best home organization tips.