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Comfortable and Cozy Granny Decorating

by Nikki Willhite

A few months ago I realized my home was not feeling as warm and cozy as I would like it to feel. After giving the matter some thought I realized why. There is nothing warm and cozy about our modern day décor. Hard black electronics and large screens strip the warmth out of our rooms. Stone counters and steel appliances do the same to the kitchen.

In attempt to make my home contemporary and avoid the Granny Home label, I realized I had taken away much of my home’s charm. I needed to find a way to warm up some of the areas in my house. So I set about trying to dumb down my home, and bring in a little vintage charm.

Unfortunately retirement income and decorating are not always friends. Vintage items can be hard to find and somewhat pricey. I needed to tweak my décor the best I could, using what I already have.

I used to own vintage accessories. I made them! I looked around in vain for the macramé wall hangings I made in the 70’s, my hand hooked rugs and  granny square afghans from the 80's. I guess they got old and worn, but you’d think some of them would have survived.

Items like old macramé have become popular vintage décor. The most talented designer ever to appear on HGTV, Luke Caldwell, uses them on The Boise Boys when he stages his houses. They look great.

After beating myself up for my anti-clutter strategies that led me to discard things I now wanted, I set to work moving stuff.

Here is a list of 5 things I did that made a big difference to me and my feelings about the warmth in my home.

#1 The Kitchen

I had a small kitchen island upstairs in my sewing room. I took it downstairs and put it right in the middle of my kitchen.  Then I put a small rug under it.  Can you see the warmth in the wood? My cold and sterile kitchen went up a notch on the cozy scale.

# 2 Dining Room

The china cabinet in the dining area was stiff and formal. I took out the dated dishes, storing them elsewhere, and then filled the shelves with books and other fun accessories. Much nicer and pleasant to live with.

# 3 Table Runner

My dining room table is a dark wood. I am in the process of making a very large, informal table runner to warm it up. When it is done, it will cover the table top and fill the room with its warm Autumn colors, patterns and prints. Quilts have tons of casual personality.

#4 Family Room

I dummied down the bookcase by adding a family piece on the top. In this case it is a display of the flag that was given to my husband’s mother at the funeral of her veteran husband. Meaningful,  sentimental and personal items always have charm and character.

#5 Coffee Table

Finally, I got rid of the glass topped coffee table in our living room. What a relief to let that go. No more running into the edge and hurting myself, or worrying about someone else doing it. I took a trunk I previously used for storage and put it in front of the sofa. Texture is casual and warms up a room.

It wasn't much, but it made a big difference to me. Any decorating decisions or purchases I make in the future will be similar. Think about comfortable and cozy Grandma Deco for your next deco style. It is a happy style suited to the thrift conscious frugal homemaker.

About the Author: Nikki Willhite, mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing articles on the topic of frugal living for over a decade. Visit her at - where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal Happy Families- more than just money! 


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