There is something very appealing about a house that is sleek and modern with minimal decor. I like cleanliness and orderliness as much as any of you...but in my opinion, these houses lack that crucial feeling that makes a house feel like home....they have no personality...nothing to tell me about the people who live there.
And while it's fun to walk through a home that feels like a museum, those houses seem too sterile for daily living. They're missing that sense of home...that feeling of comfort and familiarity we all crave that makes us want to unpack our bags, put up our feet and stay awhile.
Your home may not be sterile or ultra modern, or even messy... but it may be lacking personality. Perhaps you just moved and are not sure how to create a cozy home...or maybe you just cannot figure out how to add warmth with the accessories you own.
I'm sharing my top 5 tips right here to help you achieve warmth and personality in your own home.
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No matter what your design preference (farmhouse, modern, eclectic, etc), every home can benefit from the addition of texture. Some of my favorite items to use are baskets, wood, metal and burlap.
Baskets not only add a lot of texture and interest, but they're functional too and can corral magazines, blankets, plants, extra pillows and more. Wood pieces add a feeling of warmth too...and shelves provide a great surface to display favorite items.
Here are a couple examples of texture in my home...
My burlap smocked curtains have been the source of numerous questions on my blog and in real life! Everyone loves them. While these exact ones are no longer available, look for burlap curtains to use in your own home. The texture is amazing, and the neutral tone is warm and inviting! This little corner of my office is full of texture and is a favorite seat in our home.
My kitchen is layered with texture and even though the furniture is largely black, it doesn't feel oppressive. There are baskets and burlap, stenciled drop cloth curtains, ruffles, an ironstone jug collection and a fun bamboo mat. It all works together to create an airy, collected look that makes you want to pull up a seat at the table and ask, "What's for dinner?".
Layers of texture add warmth!
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My next tip to creating a welcoming home is to personalize! There are numerous ways you can do this in your home...
- Decorate with your family's monogram
- Showcase your kids artwork
- Add a sign with a favorite family saying, or a subway sign of family rules
- Hang large family pictures in a gorgeous frame
- Decorate with mementos (seashells from a trip to the beach, frame your child's jersey, etc)
In my own home, I've done this abundantly! We've moved a lot, and I wanted a way to remember where we've lived. I created a custom subway sign with all the places we've lived. It's totally unique to our family and personalizes our space!
Monograms are used liberally in our home (not only the letter 'L' but also the number '5' as that's how many people are in our family), as well as custom artwork like this hand painted laundry sign.
And you might notice that I've hung some baby items from when my kids were small. Mounted on burlap in framed shadowboxes, these tiny items make memorable decor.
If you want your home to reflect YOU (your family), add some custom art pieces to really make it special.
Some other ideas you might consider:
- Display your children's art in gallery frames
- Paint a canvas with your favorite colors
- Add a favorite phrase to a piece of wood and hang it up
- Create a subway sign of all the places you've traveled
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If you are really stuck and you want something created just for you, please contact me! I'd love to work with you to create that perfect piece!
This next tip has more to do with updating the builder grade (shelving, cabinets, lighting, paint, flooring) than updating your furniture, although if that's what you need to do, by all means start working on that!
Nothing is more boring than a builder grade home. It feels aloof and bland, completely without personality...just like the one next door. Changing those boring features to reflect your style can be done on a budget!
Here are some ideas for updating your home:
- Look for cabinetry on clearance, or shop the local Habitat ReStore until you find something that will work in your space
- Add tile in a playful pattern on linoleum or vinyl floors
- Change out the light fixtures for something that reflects your style. No budget for a new fixture? Paint the one you have!
- Even a little change like switching out the cabinet knobs or door hardware can make a big difference in making your house feel like your home
- Fresh paint makes a huge difference!
Here's a little before and after of our living room. What a difference a new color of paint can make!
Another change we made, that was less than $200, was to completely redo our laundry room from its boring builder grade (and messy) beginning. We added a ton of farmhouse charm, character and storage to this tiny space, and saved money by doing the work ourselves and thinking outside the box. It's a totally updated space and those updates have added value to our home.
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Creating a home should be fun and a reflection of you. To make it feel relaxing and to achieve a great flow from room to room, I recommend neutral wall colors (there are some beautiful greiges - gray/beige that look great with any color). If you love color, add it by all means! Your accessories, including curtains, pillows, throws and artwork will look even better against neutral walls and will really stand out.
Know your style and maintain it throughout your home. Our home is an eclectic mix of antiques and updated farmhouse with a kick of aqua in every room. It works because each room reflects the same style. Some rooms have more color than others, but the general feel is the same. Choosing one to three accent colors to use throughout your home will make it all flow seamlessly from room to room.
You can see in the examples below that the shades of turquoise in my home vary in each room, but it's a consistent theme, and adds cohesion to our home...the flow is uninterrupted and it feels homey!
This last tip goes along with all the ones I mentioned above; add a little unexpected in every room. Pick something that makes you happy. It could be a focal wall with great texture or a brightly painted door or an unexpected piece of art that you or your children painted. It might be a color you use in an unexpected way. This little surprise in every room adds more personality to your home, infusing it with comfort and the feeling that YOU belong there!
Many of the unexpected items in my home are my turquoise pieces - like the antique door opening into our laundry room, the craft cabinet that I repurposed and painted to display my iron stone collection, and a bright stenciled coffee table in an otherwise mostly neutral room.
Something unexpected could be a favorite collection that you display (I love to collect and display white iron stone, and sea shells in big glass bowls). What do you love?
One of the best compliments I ever received was when someone, walking into my home for the first time, exclaimed, "I feel like I've walked into Pinterest!". My home is filled with items our family has made, painted, collected and it reflects us and our style.
Discover what makes you happy and infuse your home with those things.
I hope these 5 Tips are helpful as you embark on your own journey to creating the feeling of home in the house where you live!
See you back here on Friday when I'll share my homemade Pico de Gallo recipe.
bringing beauty to the ordinary,
Sharing with: The Happy Housie, French Country Cottage, The Pin Junkie, Design Dining and Diapers, Confessions of a Plate Addict, Blesser House, houseologie, Tatertots and Jello,