Cozy is the mood you want to create when family visits at the holidays, when friends gather around a fire pit, and when your little one wants to curl up and read a book in your lap. The feeling of these moments can be translated through colors, and we'll show you how to use them in your decor with cozy paint color picks, plus room-by-room tips.
Cozy colors are the ones that make even a bright, big space feel intimate and snug. They seem to jump off the walls in an embrace instead of receding faintly. Cozy colors are saturated tones, and they tend to be dark shades of a warm hue, such as red, orange, and gold. A cozy color also can be a neutral, such as chocolate brown, caramel, fawn, or charcoal. And even tones from the cool side of the color wheel, such as blue and green, can feel cozy when you pick the deepest iterations, like navy and moss. These colors work well with warm-metal accents, such as oil-rubbed bronze and antique brass. They also like cozy textural elements, including woven baskets, braided rugs, and chenille throws.
Decide how you want to dive in and start with our cozy paint color picks to help you create your look. Note: Actual colors may appear differently than on screen. Always consult paint color chips. Palettes designed by Khristian A. Howell.
A fireplace is a natural focal point in a living room, but you don't have to actually have the architectural feature to enjoy its warmth. Pick hues from the ingredients of a blazing fire, such as bark brown, glowing ember orange, and flame yellow. Use these colors to inspire pale gold walls, a sofa covered in supple brown leather, and orange velvet pillows.
When you host friends and family around the dining table, you want the mood to be warm and welcoming, and wall color will set the stage: red is dramatic, pumpkin is tantalizing, and sunflower yellow has the old-world quality of a Tuscan farmhouse. Add furniture that's dark and hefty, and use accents like gold chargers and a brass chandelier to complete the cozy scene.
Bedrooms are cozy spaces naturally. But you can enhance the mood with deep, intense colors taken from the richest end of the spectrum. Stain the wood floor chocolate brown or black and unroll a cranberry rug. On a cognac-color mahogany bed, pile bedding in deep indigo and denim blues. For window treatments, stick to dark wood tones for blinds and shutters, and add curtain panels of olive-color silk.
Comfort foods yield a bounty of cozy color inspiration, and you can look to your pantry for ideas: crusty bread brown, butternut squash orange, and basil pesto green, for instance. Choose one of these for paint colors to pair with dark-finish cabinets, like antiqued black, espresso, or walnut. Terra-cotta tiles or rustic brick pavers are flooring that is warm to the eye and suits the scheme.
A cozy-decorated bathroom takes away the chill of the air when you step out of a warm bath. Start with the floor and sprinkle deep plum rugs by the bath, shower, and vanity -- anywhere you will stand for a bit. Illumination is helpful in a bathroom, so keep walls in the lighter range of a cozy hue, such as cappuccino or creme brulee. Finally, choose faucets, towel bars, and cabinet hardware that's in the warmer metal tones, such as antique brass or oil-rubbed bronze.
Make guests feel welcome as soon as they cross your threshold with a palette of cozy colors. Rich tones, such as sepia, bordeaux, and harvest gold, will provide a cocoonlike effect. For a lighter take, consider pale neutrals, such as driftwood gray or antique white. Use materials such as wood finishes, warm metals (think antique brass, not chrome) to enhance the colors. Since entryways are functional, rather than a space you linger, texture can be a little tricky to include, but a durable, yet plush rug underfoot, a wool or knit pillow on a chair, or even a pretty tapestry can take the utilitarian edge off the space.