4 Tips and Tricks to Make Your Home Cozy

In the words of theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Most people have forgotten nowadays what a house can mean, though some of us have come to realize it as never before. It is a kingdom of its own in the midst of the world, a stronghold amid life’s storms and stresses, a refuge, even a sanctuary.” 

Cozy cottage designed by Krister Allen – Straight Line Building Design

More than ever, we need our homes to be places of refuge within the disorder of life. How you decorate your space will make a significant difference in your mood and quality of life.

Add Natural Textures

Natural textures add depth and comfort to your home.

For instance, touches of wood connect those inside to the outside world. You can mix wood tones in your design,  just keep to either warm or cool undertones, and pick one kind of wood for your dominant feature.

Grasses are also a perfect textural addition, as are organic cotton elements and knitted throws. For your knitted throws and pillows, choose larger weaves that are more visually interesting and are popular right now in interior design.

For a comfortable room, add some pattern to the walls and bring in living plants. You don’t want a jungle, but some living greenery brings an oasis of life (and oxygen) to your  home. We now have our designs on Wallpaper as a collaboration with Mitchell Black both in premium matte paper and easy peel & stick so that you can do it yourself.

A buttery, leather armchair is the perfect, cozy add-in texture for a room, especially when there are lots of books nearby. Designers are also making wonderful creations with vegan leather these days.

Add Something Plush

A few luxurious accent pieces will add a plushness to your textures and bring in an element of coziness. A velvet chair or a faux fur throw pillow is all you need.


Green visors became popular in the late 1800s. Worn by accountants, editors, and telegraph operators to reduce eye strain from overhead lighting, they’re still sold today. This invention shows us just how hard overhead lighting can be on our eyes, which keeps any room from being a cozy retreat. 

In a feature in the Style section of The New York Times, it was reported that “while several studies show that the angle, intensity, color and quality of light can have a profound impact on perception and mood, lighting remains an oft-neglected aspect of interior design. “People just don’t realize how much lighting affects them,” said Robin Muto, an interior designer in Rochester, N.Y. “Even if you’re not in a bathroom looking at yourself in the mirror, if you’re looking at other people in lighting that makes them look dreary, drawn and horrible, you start to feel that way, too.”

To counter this problem, think less overhead glare and more soft, golden glows from table-height lamps. Also, light sources that direct lighting to the ceilings rather than downward softens a room.

Use overhead lighting when you’re looking for your keys or mopping the floor and need to see hidden dirt in the corners. Otherwise, “find fixtures that can be angled so light bounces off the walls and hits people at a side angle. Also effective are so-called wall washers — fixtures designed so light bounces off baffles or reflectors inside the housing, which then directs the light out more horizontally than vertically.”


Art is deeply personal, and we can’t dictate what kind you should collect for your home. However, for areas that you long to make particularly tranquil, consider softer colors and subjects. 

Look for something that brings a holiness to quiet places, calms your mind, and comforts your heart. For instance, consider art that focuses on natural themes.

“Human beings are naturally drawn to vastness in scenery,” says  renowned artist and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History David Chang. “Landscape throughout history has served the rich and poor, it’s given that quality of nature brought home. The vastness is the ever-infinite sky, it’s the depth of field, it gives human beings this calming quality. Artist or not, rich or poor, we all have that response. I’ve met very few people who would open the window on a beachfront hotel or house without saying, ‘Wow.'” 

As always, we wish you the best in creating a sanctuary for you and your family. Thank you for letting us be a part of your journey.

Andrew Churchman – Album Cover Design

As digital music services such as Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music compete for our attention, as an artist and musician I often lament the slow disappearance of physical media.  Sure, I love my Spotify Premium subscription as much as anyone but do you remember what it was like to go into a record store and browse through the racks of LPs, CDs, or cassettes?  Over the last few years there have been plenty of reports proclaiming the resurgence of vinyl records (even Whole Foods has begun to sell LPs) but 2016 has in fact been the worst year for overall album sales since 1991 (via Spin.com).

What we gain from the immediate satisfaction of streaming a song, we lose in of the enjoyment of the physical packaging of recorded music.  Have you ever taken a chance on an album just because the artwork struck you?  I have.  While it’s been said that you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can judge an album by its sleeve.  For me, an album cover enhances the listening experience and colors the music.  I want to highlight three designers that I feel have elevated the medium of album design not only as a result of their unique visual aesthetics but also the quality of the music with which they were involved.

Peter Saville:  As a young art student in Manchester, England in the late ‘70s, Saville would define the look and feel of the lauded record label Factory Records.

Home to groups such as Joy Division, New Order, and A Certain Ratio, Saville broke away from the raw, Xeroxed look of first wave punk albums and began to appropriate highbrow influences such as classical imagery and modern typography into his album designs.


His dedication to his craft has reached mythical proportions, with stories of the artist delivering posters for gigs after they occurred, because he was not yet happy with the finished product, and designing an album cover comprised of sandpaper.

Vaughan Olivier:  Like Peter Saville at Factory Records, Vaughan Oliver’s design work would become synonymous with the London record label 4AD.

While Factory incorporated additional designers aside from Saville, Oliver was essentially 4AD’s exclusive designer throughout the entirety of the 1980’s.  What this meant was that each record released by the label bore Oliver’s unique, dreamlike aesthetic.  A customer could identify an album as being released by 4AD just by looking at the sleeve.  For groups such as the Cocteau Twins, Pixies, and Red House Painters, Olivier created a visual world that was almost inseparable from the music.

Mark Robinson:  A musician, designer, and founder of Teenbeat Records, Robinson was influenced by both Saville and Olivier but put his own distinctively American spin on his work.   From his home in Washington, DC in the mid-‘80s, Robinson’s designs for Teenbeat Records began as Xeroxed tape covers and evolved into magnificently quirky and engaging artwork.

The designs for his own groups Unrest, Air Miami, and Flin Flon are pillars of American indie-rock design.  A dedicated archivist, I encourage you to browse the Teenbeat website, a massive design achievement in itself, where Mark has documented an exhaustive amount of label ephemera (including toothbrushes and drink coasters).  When not making music or releasing records, Mark can be found designing book covers for Houghton Mifflin.

Andrew Churchman


Andrew Churchman is a musician living in Cambridge, MA.