Creating Cozy in a Temporary Space

Spoiler: texture and colour are your friends

Read this post on Substack.

You know when you keep meaning to do something and then somehow almost two months have passed and you still haven’t done the thing?

Well, that’s why I haven’t posted since the end of February. So, my bad if you’ve been wanting more of my minimalists musings.

Between a busy month of work and freelancing, settling into our new apartment and trying to take care of my self, writing sort of fell to the wayside.

Part of it is that I honestly didn’t have anything to say. The world has been loud enough lately without me pretending that my life is interesting enough to write about.

But, what I’ve actually spent the last almost two months doing is getting our new apartment to a cozy level where I feel at ease, no matter what room I’m in.

Creating a cozy space for us, even though I know this apartment will not be a long term place for us was a high priority for me. Here’s how I did it.

Stop Procrastinating

We lived in the house that we owned in northern Ontario for two and a half years. It probably took me until the last year to finally get around to hanging art on the walls and decorating spaces the way I wanted.

Part of my personal approach to home interiors when moving is really taking your time to feel into the space and get a sense of what you want and need out of the space. I took that a little too far in our house to the point where I spent a bunch of time being stressed about by the lack of ‘doneness’ in the space.

Pretty much immediately after moving into our new apartment I went to work hanging art I’d owned for years that I never put up (Command Strips truly are the stuff of legends), bought and installed curtains and curtain rods and purchased some decor flourishes like plants and a blanket ladder to showcase my favourite ‘stuff’.

The difference all of this has made to how I feel in our space is truly incredible. I’m surrounded by things that I love (not suffocatingly so, but intentionally so) and it is very calming.

If you’re procrastinating from making your space the way you want it to be. Just stop and get it done already. There is no time like the present to feel at home wherever you live.

Pillow, Blankets, and Texture - oh my!

I am not a minimalist who loves all white everything. Actually, after living in our all white apartment for two months, I can say that it hurts my eyes and I don’t care for it.

I am very much a colour and texture person - the more, the merrier. When we moved into the apartment, I pulled out every pillow and blanket I had been harbouring over the years and went to work adding some cozy corners to the space. This was actually a necessity because our apartment has all white walls and colour and texture has really helped to warm up the space and make it feel inviting (even though my partner and I are the only two people who have ever been inside the space).

We have an incredible window seat that now holds pillows from all over the place, from pillows I’ve made to outdoor pillows we can’t use anymore because we don’t have an outdoor space.

Our cat has taken a liking to sunning herself all day in that nook and it warms my heart.

I come from family of crocheters, and quilters and it’s been so wonderful to be able to showcase some beautiful family pieces in our space that I’ve never had out in the open before because I never had a dedicated space for them (blanket ladders are the best).

Orange Corduroy is Back

Our new apartment has some very interesting dimensions. The space is long and narrow, with the kitchen and living room sort of butting up against each other and fighting for space. Because of this, we had to buy a new couch when we moved, something small that could be configured in a bunch of different ways. Basically, something as unique as the apartment.

The added challenge was colour. There was no way I was putting a neutral couch in that all white walls and grey floor space. White would have made the space feel so cold, and grey would have blended in with the floors.

Did I think we would land on a rust orange corduroy couch that is even more orange than our ginger cat? No, I did not. But I’m so glad we did.

Beyond the functionality of the couch (which is truly incredible and deserves a post all on it’s own), the piece itself is beautiful and really anchors and grounds the space.

Matching is so 2018

I am not a stylish person as a general rule. I don’t really understand fashion nor do I understand what looks good on my body.

But, I love every single piece in our apartment right now. Some of it is hand me downs or family heirlooms. Some pieces I purchased used, and some I recently purchased new. They span all colours and textures. But they all kind of work together. Everything has a slightly vintagy feel to it and that is what I would say I am most drawn to style-wise.

I think the fact that everything works in the space is also because I just love each piece individually, on it’s own. So together, they represent my favourite things.

Calm and Cozy

Taking the time to sort our space out has really paid off in ways I didn’t expect. This isn’t something I’ve prioritized before in my adult life, but I think I’ve realized the impact my living space has on how I feel.

I’ve felt a lot more… at ease in our apartment since adding these more homey elements. I no longer gaze around the space wondering how I can improve it, nor do I feel the sense of restlessness I did when we first moved in and everything felt unfinished.

It feels like home now, even if it will probably only be temporary (you know me, moving is my middle name).

Do these musings matter right now, given the state of the world? No, probably not. But, considering this is the only thing I have going on in my life and it’s brought a sense of normalcy to the chaos, maybe it’s exactly what I needed.

How have you been? Leave me a comment or reply if this is in your inbox. I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time, keep living the tiny life.

- Britt