How to Create a Cozy Space Through Scent and Sound

Hint: There’s not an app for this.

The idea of being cozy rightfully evokes thoughts of fuzzy socks, warm blankets and a giant mug of one’s preferred hot beverage, but as any cozy enthusiast will tell you, the experience is just as much about scent and sound as it about feels. This makes perfect, ahem, sense. After all, who can get truly cozy if there are funky smells in the house and someone else’s phone is constantly making noise?

That’s why incorporating one’s favored scents and sounds throughout the home is so important to keeping a cozy feel—and there are quite a few ways in which to do so.
When it comes to using scent to create a sense of coziness, Roxanne Kwiecinski of The Honeycomb Home blog is all about burning candles and baking desserts.
Creating a cozy home through scent is easy with candles,” Kwiecinski said in an email. “Something as small as that can set the ambiance in and of itself. I also love baking on a cold day. Nothing is cozier than the scent of freshly baked desserts after coming in from the cold!
Furthermore, according to Kwiecinski, soft music is key.
“Soft music in addition to candles can also set the scene for coziness,” Kwiecinski said. “Soft music subconsciously slows you down.” Slowing down, she added, is “something we could all try more of in our fast-paced lives.”
Kwiecinski is also a fan of doing something that might give pause to the average Netflix binger.
“This may not be a popular idea for some, but I highly recommend removing as many TVs as you can live without,” Kwiecinski said. “I rarely watch TV anymore. I find it to be a distraction from more productive things.”
Decorator and photographer Julie Lancia, who runs The Design Twins blog with her twin sister, Jodie Kammerer, is all about creating a cozy space through scent and sound. With each season, for example, Lancia gets out her preferred scented candles for that time of year.
Lancia is also a big fan of plug-in fragrance warmers and chooses them on a seasonal basis as well. Right now, she is doing an apple spice-scented plug-in and is “absolutely loving it,” she said. She uses a plug-in in every room and chooses one scent at a time, which gives the house cohesion. The effect is “very seasonal and delectable and it does override negative smells,” she said.
When it comes to sounds, Lancia is a fan of crackling fireplaces as well as crackling candles, such as WoodWick candles, to help add sound to a room. She said such candles are all “crazy awesome for coziness.”
Outdoor enthusiasts who love water sounds might consider installing a fountain inside of their homes.
“It’s so relaxing and so soothing,” Lancia said.
And it doesn’t even need to be a large fountain. Even just a small tabletop fountain will do the trick and provide pleasant sounds, she said.
“You don’t have to go spending a ton of money,” Lancia said. “That’s another way to bring coziness inside any room.”
When it comes to sounds throughout the house, Lancia is very discerning. She has an all-house stereo system and is selective with what she plays on it.
“I wouldn’t personally allow a music station that had advertisements,” Lancia said. “It disrupts my train of thought. I have to have a playlist or a source that is going to be ad-free.”
She especially enjoys playing music that matches her mood that day and helps provide inspiration. And sometimes, all she wants is that crackling candle sound.
“I really do insulate my sound,” she said. “I’m easily distracted so that’s why I choose to have other sounds like running water or the sound of my soft music so that other sounds can’t disrupt me.”
Electronic devices, while useful, can seriously pollute the air and take away from a cozy atmosphere. Lancia and her family have found ways to combat this.
“We have a policy of consideration in this house where we try to keep our cell phones in our personal rooms so that we are not annoying each other and we can have family time because if you don’t, technology can take over,” Lancia said. “Don’t forget: It’s your home. You can set the stage. You can have a family meeting and say ‘Let’s do this together’ and take charge.”
So there you have it. Cozifying your home doesn’t need to be an expensive or time-consuming enterprise. Sometimes, it’s as simple as incorporating scented candles or having a carefully selected playlist. And maybe calling a family meeting.