About catherine
Catherine is a CPA-turned-creative entrepreneur. She is the founder of Beginning in the Middle. an interior designer, photographer, writer, and business schemer.  She loves being cozy at home, miniature everything, and has a not-so-secret dream of living on an island one day.
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6 Effortless Ways to Create a Cozy Home


You know that thing about autumn? The thing that makes us feel warm inside, has us lining our doorsteps with brightly colored mums, and consuming every artificially flavored pumpkin thing we can while we still have the chance?  We know about the thing, too.  The thing about autumn is that it brings a renewed sense of excitement, hope, and possibilities.  When autumn finally arrives, there is something about it that feels like coming home.  

We love bringing those delicious fall feelings into our homes with every opportunity we have.  Today, we’re sharing 6 simple ways to create a cozy ambiance in your home, without adding to the collection of dust-collecting knick knacks sitting in the basement!


Josephine from Dolores Wares shown at our Historic Townhome

Autumn is the perfect time to add a beautiful area rug to your home.  We especially love vintage rugs for fall and winter because they tend to have deep colors and patterns that make us want to get cozy.  Our two favorite rug shops are Dolores Wares, based in Columbus, OH, and Mesa Vintage, based on San Diego, CA – they’re both reasonably priced, have a great selection, and ship nationwide.  We also love layering cowhide rugs on top of neutral rugs – they’re thin, soft, and really durable.


Just because you may not have a built-in nook in your home doesn’t mean you can’t create one.  Pick a chair, any chair.  The deeper you sink in, the better.  Throw a plush blanket on top, and pull up a side table.  Top the side table with a reading lamp, your favorite book, and a coaster for a warm chai or hot apple cider.


Create depth and an instant cozy factor in any space by layering textures to existing decor.  Place a few extra pillows and blankets on your couches, chairs, benches, and beds for you and your guests to cuddle up to.  Don’t be afraid to mix it up – chunky knit throws, patterned cotton pillows, and flannels can all work cohesively if you stick to a simple color palette.


… specifically, this pumpkin bread recipe from the Delightful Desserts cookbook that our friend, Allie Lehman, photographed.  We discovered this cookbook while we were sitting in a business coaching / website review meeting with Allie and her husband, Adam, at The Wonder Jam.  The book was sitting out on the table, so we started flipping through it and stopped in our tracks when we came across this pumpkin bread recipe.  We tried it, and it does not disappoint.  The fragrant rosemary salt compliments the fall flavors of pumpkin pie spice and maple syrup.  Not only does it taste good, but the scent of this bread cooking in the oven is sure to give you the warm & fuzzies.


Author: Jane Soudah | Photography: Allie Lehman


Pumpkin Bread
1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
½ cup (110 g) dark brown sugar, packed
½ cup (96 g) granulated sugar
¾ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp (4 g) pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs
2 tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup
1 cup (180 g) canned pumpkin purée
⅓ cup (79 ml) vegetable oil
½ cup (60 g) pecans, toasted

Rosemary Salt
1 tsp flaked sea salt, such as Maldon
¼ tsp chopped, fresh rosemary

Preheat the oven to 350∞F (177∞C, or gas mark 4). Grease a 9 x 5 x 3-inch (23 x 13 x 8-cm) loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Combine the eggs, maple syrup, pumpkin and oil in a medium bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture. Stir well with a rubber spatula, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated. Fold in the toasted pecans and pour into the prepared pan.

Mix together the salt and chopped rosemary, rubbing them together with your fingertips to release the oils in the rosemary.

Sprinkle the top of the batter with approximately ½ teaspoon of rosemary salt. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until a cake tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes outclean. Cool completely before removing from the pan.

PS, a delicious addition to this bread is ½ cup (75 g) of raisins mixed in with the toasted pecans.


Trade harsh, overhead lights for floor and table lamps.  Better yet, create a soft autumn glow with candles.  The perfect design accents, candles can go anywhere to add calming ambiance fit for any chilly night.


At the end of the day, home isn’t about things.  It’s about love.  Nothing warms an interior space like filling it with the presence of those you enjoy spending time with.  The cooler weather is a perfect excuse to come together to celebrate good people and good food.  Set the table and create a simple centerpiece with greenery and fall candles.  Have everyone bring a dish potluck style to keep it stress free, and enjoy some quality time with your closest friends and family.

5 Simple Ways to Create a Cozy Home

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  1. Alisa Canter says:

    I don’t bake, but I think I will start after seeing that recipe for the Pumpkin Bread with Rosemary. Yum! And thank you for sharing your rug sources, our den desperately needs one to up the cozy factor!

  2. kddomingue says:

    Yep, heading to the pantry to see if I have pumpkin puree!

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Catherine & Bryan Williamson moved from NYC to Columbus, OH in 2013.  Beginning in the Middle is a journal of the couple's design and renovation projects, real estate investment and Airbnb hosting journey, travel, and other life happenings.



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I grew up in New Jersey and always had a dream of living in New York.  There was something about the energy of the city that drew me inOur journey started unexpectedly in 2012, when we decided to make a big move from New York to Columbus. The glamour of climbing the corporate ladder was wearing off, and we knew that renting an expensive small apartment and dealing with crowded subways everyday was not going to work forever. We wanted to start creating something for ourselves, and although we didn’t know exactly what that something was, we knew NYC wasn’t the place for it.

We decided on Columbus because Bryan grew up here, and we were intrigued by all of the development going on in the downtown area at the time. We drove through many of the neighborhoods and admired the boarded up old houses, most of which were built in the early 1900s, and started dreaming about the things we could do here.

I'm Catherine, and I'm the founder of Beginning in the Middle.

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