They say home is where the heart is. Your home should be your castle, your safe haven, a place where you can let your personality shine. Your home should be a happy place where you can kick back, relax and breathe. Brian Boals, a top agent in Colorado Springs who works with 86% more single-family homes than the average agent in his area, believes your home should feel like you.
“A house feels like a home when you can go in and personalize it. It should meet your needs.”
If you’re wondering where to even begin to make your home a happy place, we have a few ideas to inspire you.
1. Lay the groundwork
The very first way you can start making your house feel like a home is by painting the walls!
Paint has a lovely way of uplifting your spirits and makes the home feel more inviting. You can paint your rooms any color you’d like, but there’s a theory that certain colors evoke particular feelings.
- Blues are ideal for bedrooms because they promote sleep
- Reds are great for home offices because it promotes ambition, willpower and energy
- Yellows are great for kitchens because it’s energizing and welcoming
- Greens are good anywhere because it evokes feelings of comfort and togetherness
- Purples have a luxurious feeling, so powder rooms and dressing rooms are good choices
- Neutrals can be used everywhere and act as a good background for accent colors
“You have to think about how long you’re going to be in the home. If you’re going to stay in the home for less than three years, you might want to stick to a neutral color palette so you don’t have to redo it when you sell. If it’s going to be a long term home, you can do anything you want and have fun!” Boals points out.
Flooring is another way to make your house feel like home. If your home has dingy carpeting, consider replacing it with a different type of flooring, whether hardwood, laminate, tile, or new carpeting.
You can also add area rugs, runners, and welcome mats in front of the entryways to make the home feel cozy and welcoming.
2. Add personal touches
Now comes the fun part! The personal touches you add throughout your home can really show off your personality. “You can have a lot of fun with the right furniture, unique art pieces, unique art on the wall, fun chandeliers, and anything that adds personality,” says Boals.
If you have a lot of things that you absolutely love but don’t know what to display, put items in rotation.
One season you might display your favorite elephant figurines. In the spring and summer, you might put out your collection of vases so you can put flowers in them. In February you might want to display artwork that evokes feelings of love and romance. You get the idea.
3. Tantalize the senses
Color isn’t the only way you can change the way you feel when you enter a room because smell affects much of how we think and feel. When a room smells good, either due to candles, essential oil diffusers, incense, or even fresh cut flowers, you more than likely want to spend more time in that room.
For example, soothing aromas like lavender and sandalwood can be used in the bedroom to help you fall asleep. Cinnamon and other spices are great for living rooms or great rooms because they make you feel at home.
Oh, and don’t forget to open the windows when the weather permits. Fresh air is invigorating and so refreshing!
When it comes to lighting, the more lighting there is, the better! Dark rooms are great for sleeping, but a lack of light can be quite depressing otherwise.
Throw open the shades and let the natural sunlight flood your living spaces. Replace your incandescent light bulbs with LED lights, which are brighter and more energy-efficient. Add a few more lamps and floor lamps to brighten the darker corners of a room.
Another good way to make a house feel more like home is by filling your home with different textures.
Put some fluffy cushions on a leather couch. Layer different textures to add depth and visual interest.
Place items with a matte finish on or near something shiny like a mirror or a glass vase, or use woven baskets on shelves to add a natural element as well as extra storage!
You could even get furniture with different textures, like a bench with metal legs and a fluffy cushion.
Although some people enjoy being in a silent house, it’s unnerving to others. If you’re someone who needs background noise, you could install a sound system throughout the home. If you get a Bluetooth-compatible system, you could connect your smart device to it and play your favorite music, podcasts, or audiobooks.
You can also add white noise machines or water fountains to fill your rooms with soothing background noise while blocking out noisy neighbors, a busy road, and other sources of noise outdoors.
4. Share your home with other living things
A fantastic way to make your house feel like a home is by adding other living things — namely plants (of course, animals and roommates could work as well).
Plants and flowers add quite a bit to your living spaces because they bring color, texture, dimension and even aroma! Talk about a versatile way to make your house happy.
You can also use planters, pots and vases that compliment your decor to add that extra something special.
5. Create a space to indulge in your hobbies
It doesn’t matter if you have a spare room or just a spare corner, you need to have a space where you can indulge in your favorite hobbies.
When you have a space where you can do what you really enjoy, you look forward to spending more time at home. You can turn the radio up and lose yourself in your latest project. Plus, when you have a designated space for all of the supplies you need for your hobby, it helps you to stay organized and tidy!
6. A clean home is a happy home
We get it. We lead busy lives, and keeping up with the housework can sometimes feel like such a hassle. Who really wants to spend their only down time deep cleaning the whole house? We certainly don’t!
Hate to break it to you, but if you want a happy home, it needs to be a clean home. It just won’t feel like a happy place when you’re surrounded by clutter, dust bunnies, and mayhem!
Here’s how you can tackle the ever-growing list of cleaning tasks that need to be done.
Schedules and lists are a fantastic way to stay organized and get things done. The best part of a cleaning schedule is that you can do small tasks that only take 15 minutes! Here’s a few ideas of things you can put on that list:
- Vacuum the carpets and rugs
- Disinfect high-touch areas (door knobs, light switches, appliance handles, and so on)
- Bleach garbage and recycling cans to get rid of odors
- Do a load of laundry
- Sort through the junk mail
- Clean small appliances like air fryer, toaster, microwave and coffee maker
- Go through the fridge and toss expired food and leftovers
Declutter all surfaces
Clutter has a lovely way of collecting throughout the home. You don’t realize how quickly it piles up until you’re searching for something and you can’t find it due to the clutter.
To keep the clutter from accumulating around your house, go around your house regularly and pick up anything that shouldn’t be there. This includes:
- Grooming products left on the bathroom sink
- Shoes left in the living room or on by the door
- Clothes sitting in the dryer
- Books, remote controls, magazines, and other bric-a-brac left on tables
- Pet leashes, waste bags, and toys left anywhere
Tackle the your pet peeves first
We all have things that just get under our skin. It could be cobwebs in the corners of the ceilings. It could be dust bunnies collecting under furniture. It could even be pet hair all over furniture, empty water bottles left on counters, or toothpaste spittle not cleaned up in the bathroom sink.
You can add these tasks to your 15-minute cleaning list, or you could add them to your children’s chore list.
Use cleaning products you love
You might not think cleaning products are a big deal, but you’d be surprised by how differently you’ll feel when you find products that you actually enjoy using.
For example, some cleaning products work better than others. Some products are more eco-friendly than others, and some smell better than others.
Once you find the products that you enjoy using, put them in a cleaning caddy to keep them organized and ready to go.
Purge, purge, purge
It’s hard getting rid of things, especially when you think you’ll find a purpose for them in the future. But you have to be honest with yourself and come to terms with the fact that some things just won’t get used.
Take some time to go through the stuff you own and decide what you could part ways with. Let’s say you have a large wardrobe. Sort through your clothing and think about when the last time you wore that piece.
If it’s been more than a year, get rid of it. You can donate it, give it to a friend, or even sell it online.
You can do this with books, movies, toys, knicknacks, cooking supplies, dishware, and so much more.
Have an organization system
Have you ever watched a “tour my house” type show and notice how organized everything looks? They have custom closets, bins for a single pair of shoes, individual cubby spaces for each member of the family by the door… Some people even go so far as to remove products from their packaging, putting them in clear containers and canisters, and label everything!
While you don’t have to go so far as using canisters and containers for your food, an organization system is a good way of making sure things go back where they belong. The only challenge you may face is remembering to put items back in their designated spot, but after a little while, it’ll come naturally.
7. Treat outdoor spaces like another room in your house
Outdoor living spaces, like patios and decks, are a fantastic (but underutilized) extension of our homes. More often than not, people use bland patio furniture for seating and then maybe buy a grill for outdoor cooking. A setup like that doesn’t really make you want to spend much time outside, does it?
That’s why you should put as much effort into designing your outdoor space as you do the interior of your home.
Choose comfortable patio furniture that is stylish and it fits the space (if you go too big or too small, it’s not going to look right). If you have a pergola or canopy over the seating area, you can decorate it with outdoor fairy lights, hanging plants, or even sheer curtains to create a romantic setting.
Outdoor decor doesn’t just stop with the seating area! Landscaping is a fantastic way to add color and visual interest to your yard. Not only that, but landscaping boosts curb appeal and increases your home’s value.
Ask for help if you don’t know how to make your house a home
When all else fails and you are still unsure about how to make your house a home, ask an interior designer for help! Even real estate agents use interior designers to help decorate their homes!
“We had a lady come over and she gave us suggestions about our living room and kitchen of what we could do. We had a small arrangement in our great room and we wanted to buy new furniture but we didn’t know how we wanted to set it up. The interior designer told us what we needed and how to maximize our space. The ideas she gave us never even crossed our minds!”
Buying a house feels like an uphill battle from the get-go. It’s one thing after another and once those keys are in your hands… Boy, it’s your chance to make your new house, your new home. You can take your time and plan out exactly how you want to look.
Your house should reflect you, your family, your interests, and your life’s journey. This is your home, your sanctuary, your happy place!
Header Image Source: (Sarah / Unsplash)