It’s turned colder here and that means it’s time to turn on the fireplace. Yes folks. Hop on the Cozy Train. We’re heading indoors and we’re not coming out til May.
Creating, and being enveloped by, the perfect cozy experience, is one of my continuous quests. It seems reaching the state of perfect snug-in-a-bug-ness is a never ending enterprise. There are always more ways to be cozy and one must continue striving toward nestling nirvana. But where, short of living inside a duvet, does one draw the line? What is the pinnacle of cozy?
I have compiled a list, by no means inclusive, of things one must do to achieve ultimate cozitude. That is not to say that one can not be cozy without these things. But we are talking about ideal situations here.
A fireplace is pretty much the key to cozy-town. A stone hearth and wood fire is best, but gas will do in a pinch (or electric fireplace combined with a very very good imagination and some booze) are essential for achieving cozy excellence. An array of candles can be a good option for those who do not have a fireplace (neverleaveaburningcandleunattended).
Candles like these:
Not like these:
The Fireplace channel is a last resort and you will probably feel ashamed for not having made more of an effort. It would be like standing in a snowbank outside of the world’s coziest house looking in at a cozy real fire. Not cozy.
Overheard lighting is right out. Get a table or floor lamp, preferably old-timey, with a non-white shade. Lighting is key to creating the right ambiance. Without the appropriate lighting, you’re just a loser in a Snuggie.TM
Anything other than soft lighting will result in a completely non cozy experience and will look like this:
|Do you want to hang out in this room? Do you? Well?|
Soft music - classical (but not opera), jazz or heartbreak ballads are the best option for your snuggly soundtrack.
Avril Lavigne is not cozy music. Nor is The Hold Steady. Or anything punk. Sorry Scott M.
|Oh My God this is so not cozy music.|
Beverages of choice include hot chocolate,
hot cider, tea
or if you’re a man with a moustache, scotch.
Snackage should be comprised of cheese and Carr’s Water Crackers, a few grapes or figs, shortbread and/or nuts. Here is a photo of the perfect snack, but it’s from Starbucks™, so it would entail going out to get it. I urge you to create one just like this one from Starbucks™.
Activities are an important part of the Cozy Life, and there is a good variety of options here. Reading, or course, is best,
followed by crafts such as needlepointing or knitting.
Whittling is good, but dangerous and only good if you’re a senior. Scrapbooking is not cozy, nor is decorative wood burning (leave that for the fireplace) nor model making. Model making is good, but is under a separate category of awesome activities called “Nerdery”. We shall visit that topic another time. Anything with multiple parts and/or that requires a glue gun does not qualify as a cozy time activity.
Companionship is not necessary, but can be a nice element. Husbands are fine when they aren’t farting. Dogs can be cozy, but you’re better off with cats. Even kittens can be cozy, but with dogs, it’s kind of a crap shoot, unless they are super mellow or just old. If, like me, you have a farting husband and two less than relaxing dogs, you must rely on your cat to make up for all the fruckace caused by these other jarring elements. Other pets, such as hamsters and reptiles are not cozy. Cute, interesting - maybe. Cozy, no. Cats will up your cozy quotient by tenfold.
Attire should be comfortable, but other than that, I see room for a range of choices here. Itchy clothes, regardless of snuggly factor, are right out. You may opt for pyjamas, or sweatpants and your favourite sweatshirt. Or, if you’re a little more formal, a cashmere sweater and soft trousers. Socks are a must.
I am not a fan of the Snuggie ©.
They are too hard to get out of in order to pee or get more snacks. Then it’s all just awkward. While I agree that it is pretty much as cocooned in comfort as a person can get, it also just looks wrong (sorry Sarah, even the Wheezer Snuggie is right out) and taints the mental state of coziness, to which we now turn.
The cozy state of mind requires, of course, total tranquility, a contentment with oneself in that moment and the abandonment, for at least a time, the cares of the day. You can’t be cozy if you are mentally balancing your cheque book or having an internal argument with your spouse about the lack of expensive gifts received lately. Let it all go.
I spend a lot of time trying to perfect my state of cozy. Here is my oasis of twee, where I feel most calm (unless the dogs are bugging me, which is usually).
I hope that wherever you are, you too can create and experience ultra cozification.
It’s a long winter. Settle in.