About 9 months ago, Matt and I moved from his tiny apartment into a house that offered us more space (and freedom from the cat-calling parakeet across the way, but let’s not get into that right now). Ever since then, we’ve been very slowly making it feel like our home by incorporating a variety of new elements. Just a couple days ago, I hung a piece of art on the wall, and I was really excited about it. This, along with the fact that my sister and brother-in-law have been fixing up their newly purchased house, has inspired me to write a post outside of my normal theme of healthy living.
More than ever, this house has started to really feel like our home. Despite its flaws, it seems the littlest things have made a huge difference in creating a cozy atmosphere. In case any of you are just moving into a shell of a house, or you simply want to make your house feel more welcoming, I’ve compiled some simple ways that can make a house feel like a home.
1. Condense what hasn’t been unpacked.
Even if you’re not done unpacking boxes or situating belongings, I highly recommend gathering it all into one, low-traffic area, so there aren’t reminders that your place is “new” and still being broken in. I finally did this a couple days ago with a bunch of wall art and a box of randomness, and it’s so refreshing to have our entire living room area clear.
2. Establish a “home” for everything to live.
By “home” I mean have a place where everything belongs. This can be such a pain because there’s all that little junk you just…don’t know what to do with. If you want to avoid disarray, making sure all the things have a home to go to is super helpful. Whether you have a junk drawer (guilty), or maybe a catch-all (Freeing Imperfections shared this tip awhile ago that I enjoyed), it makes a big difference in cutting down on clutter.
3. Put pictures/art on the wall.
Putting nails in the wall is such a difficult thing for me to do. I hate committing to pictures or art and also find it complicated to create arrangements I like. However, the more I hang new pieces on the wall, the happier I am with how the room looks. (I have a picture on deck for our bedroom, which is kind of groundbreaking, because that’s the room I care the least about making presentable.) If you’re hesitant like I am about this, don’t put it off forever! It seriously has made such a huge difference. (P.S. Please ignore the crooked frames in the above image.)
4. Add pieces of decor around the room.
Just like art on the wall, I straight-up suck at decorating rooms. And yet, at the same time, I love doing it! I guess I’m just picky. But after finding some fun things at Home Goods, I’ve discovered that the random pieces of decor make this place feel way less bare. Sure, you want your house to be functional, but don’t underestimate the power of purely decorative pieces.
5. Make it smell pleasant.
I grew up in a house where we very rarely lit candles. Ever since moving into places of my own, I love them. (Don’t worry, Dad, they’re never close to anything and are always monitored.) It’s probably the easiest way to make a room feel cozy because they create such a pleasant ambiance. If you’re not a big candle person, you could always whip up a batch of healthier chocolate chip cookies to get a magical aroma going on. I want all the scents!
6. Add some plants to liven up the place.
It’s astonishing how a bit of greenery can refresh a room. Whether it’s the vivid colors or the presence of a living thing, I love how a plant can transform a space. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, I’ve become a fan of fake plants as well. The illusion of a plant is almost as pleasing to the eyes as a real one. And now that I think about it, I should probably add plants to more rooms (sorry, Matt; but not really sorry).
Ok, this might not apply to a lot of people, but when I start cooking in a new place, I feel like I’ve marked my territory. (Yes, I realize how awkward that sounds.) It not only adds the pleasant smell element mentioned above, but it makes the kitchen feel like my own workspace for gourmet creations.
8. Customize with personal touches.
Feeling “at home” is subjective—we all have our own design preferences or pieces of memorabilia that make us happy. I personally love the addition of sentimental objects, like pictures of family/friends, a display of race medals, or souvenirs from favorite places. Another idea to customize a room is to paint the walls, get a furry rug, or incorporate other design elements that fit with your personality.
9. Keep it clean.
A clean house (kitchen, especially) makes me feel at-ease. When there’s crap everywhere, it makes my mind feel all cluttered as well. No me gusta. In my opinion, keeping a clean house (or at least attempting to; let’s be real) can make the environment feel a bit more relaxing.
10. Bring in love.
AWWWWWW, I know. How cliché of me. Even if you ignore me on all of the above tips, this is the most important. Whether you have someone living with you or you simply invite family and friends over, sharing your house with the ones you love makes all the difference. (Side note: I felt like such a girl making that collage above.) And that’s it! Hope these tips help you make your house a little more homey. What’s one of your favorite ways to make a house feel more cozy?