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These Instagram Famous Animals Taught Me How to Set Up a Cozy Home

These Instagram Famous Animals Taught Me How to Set Up a Cozy Home

It was either a needlepoint pillow or neon sign that said it best: We have much to learn from animals—particularly where design is concerned. In their kingdom, coziness is as much about creature comforts as it is a timeless aesthetic.

Marvel at the duality of a tortoise’s mobile retreat: Can your mosaic-tiled backsplash protect you from a coyote and simultaneously outlive the next big kitchen trend? Or take the garden snail, whose wearable cabin keeps her lovely sluggy body safe while teaching us a lesson in visual restraint. Her living room: a cozy calcium carbonate spiral inspired by the Ionic volute. Mine: covered in pine needles and glitter (yes, still), all of its coziness dependent on a dying tree covered in lights.

A mother kangaroo, as I’m sure you know, keeps her joey away from danger by carrying him in her pouch. Hers is a primordial cradle of millennial pink skin that keeps Joey snuggled cozy and close. Of course, it is not merely a warm color palette that soothes our young aesthete’s soul; it is the physical and emotional sensation of warmth. At the Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs, Australia, where orphaned roos are rescued, rehabilitated, and eventually returned to the wild, pouches made out of pillowcases and group cuddles keep motherless joeys feeling cozy.

While we may not be able to craft our own human-size pouches (although we tried our hearts out, remember Snuggies?) we can always look to the enduring comfort and surprising addition of a hug-worthy stuffed animal. This suggestion is not entirely fueled by nostalgia, after all, if a joey at the Kangaroo Sanctuary can’t be put with others, the sanctuary will pair him with a stuffed animal. And Jill, the most famous squirrel on Instagram and prolific thought leader of the cozy movement, is often photographed clutching a tiny teddy bear who appears to be the size of a walnut. “I’d read an article about a bat rehabilitator using teddy bears as a comfort tool during baby season,” says Jill’s human mom, Stephanie. “Adults snuggle together for warmth in their dreys, or squirrel nests.” Inspired, I propped up a life-size stuffed cheetah named Margaret next to my desk and would hug her in times of emotional desperation.

The only animal who understands and demands coziness more than a joey, squirrel, or a bat, of course, is a rabbit. They line the interior of their nests with rabbit fur. Can you imagine! Fur-related luxury notwithstanding, they have a few key needs in order to feel truly at ease.

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