How to Make Your Home Cozy for the Holidays

By Marina Case

The holidays are here, so it’s time to kick those cozy vibes into high gear! I don’t know about you, but for me these months are all about creating a home environment where I feel enveloped in warmth, peace, and the love of family and friends. Even the smallest of touches help to get me into the spirit of the season, and they can help you as well. No matter what your budget or style, here are some great ways to fill your home with comfort and cheer.

Warm Fires

There’s nothing like a fire to make a space feel cozy. Whether you prefer the multi-sensory element of a wood-burning fire – the smell of the wood burning, the warmth it emits, the colorful flame, and the soothing crackling sounds – or the ease of hitting a button to control a gas fireplace, both naturally evoke feelings of relaxation and add a warm touch to a room.

Photo Credit: Tammy Duncan of the Colonial Farmstead via Williamsburg Brand
Photo Credit: Laura Moss


Soft, flickering candles are the perfect way to create a comfy mood particularly during the chilly months. There is just something about the way the flames gently illuminate a space that is instantly calming. I like to incorporate vintage candlesticks in a variety of shapes and sizes, staggering them at varying heights to add visual interest. While candles placed on a tablescape should be unscented so as not to interfere with the food being served, warm scents like cinnamon, cloves, pine, and pomegranate can add a festive layer throughout the rest of your home.

Plush Throws and Pillows

Pack away the light colored cotton and linen textiles and break out the heavier, chunky textures like velvets and knits. Accenting your living areas with throws and pillows in warm colors and patterns like plaids is a simple way to add a cozy, holiday pop to your home. They make your home feel visually and physically warmer. These additions don’t have to break the bank. You can find plenty of options at stores like Home Goods, HomeSense, and Target.

Photo Credit: Laura Moss
Photo Credit: Laura Moss

Bring the Outdoors In

Natural elements are the ideal holiday decor as they are both festive and grounding during these sometimes hectic days. I like to incorporate fresh evergreens along with pine cones, holly, and berry bushes, which I enjoy cutting and collecting myself. If you don’t have these in your garden, simply pick some up from the market. You’ll love the warmth and fresh scent they add to the room. I first like to start with a layer of faux greens to add volume, then intertwine the fresh greens.

Angel Lights

I don’t think you can have enough fairy lights during the holidays. They just create such a pleasant glow when wrapped into fresh greens or tucked into vignettes. My favorites are angel lights. These are tiny, twig trees that embody the hygge principle, which is a cozy Danish/Scandinavian concept that focuses on atmosphere, presence (the ability to be focused in the now), pleasure, gratitude, comfort, and togetherness.

Photo Credit: Laura Moss

Intimate Seating Areas

Bringing in the Christmas tree usually means moving around the furniture. Each year, I take advantage of this shift by creating intimate seating areas for a more family-oriented, community vibe that encourages conversation and togetherness.

Scents of the Season

Cozy vibes are all about layering the right elements, and that includes scents. Aromas of baked goods or roasts in the oven harken feelings of the comforts of home. I also like to simmer a DIY holiday potpourri of oranges, cranberries, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, which awaken the senses. If you’re not up to creating your own culinary scents, let some candles do it for you.

Photo Credit: Williamsburg Brand with


The right music can hit all the cozy notes. Create a playlist of all your holiday favorites. I enjoy quietly streaming calming tunes when relaxing by a fire and cranking up the volume with more lively songs when I’m in the kitchen cooking – Taylor Swift’s “Christmas Tree Farm” is a personal favorite. Pick the tunes that fit your mood.

These are all just suggestions. I can’t stress enough to not stress yourself out over the holidays. Be moved with energy and spirit to make your home a cozy place – but don’t overdo it at the cost of your sanity and peace!

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There are so many ways in addition to pattern to breathe fresh life into a home. View my Portfolio to see more examples of my interior design projects and follow us on Instagram for more interior design inspiration.


About Marina Case

Years of experience and understanding of the history of design provides Marina with the ability to read each client so she can create spaces that truly reflect who they are. Marina, who has been honored as one of the Top 50 New York Designers, as well as a Houzz Influencer, has her pulse on the interior design industry. She stays on top of the latest trends, participates in a leading collaborative national network of designers, and frequently shares her creative and professional ideas with trade professionals.