I am excited to announce that pretty soon my family and I will be moving into a new home, quite possibly a home that is ours.
Although it is super exciting, I am also focusing on making sure that we have a home that is comfortable and inviting. We have lived at our current home for three years, and although it is a part of us, it has become a place that, upon reflection, needs some improving.
Improving the home situation means an energy boost for everyone around us. Therefore, my goal is to create a home with the purpose of being cozy and inviting.
After researching, I have determined it is best to include the senses and follow a few guidelines that will help reduce stress for my family and myself. These include:
Ways to Make Your Home Comfortable
1. Eliminate Clutter
Eliminating clutter can be considered the main part of a more comfortable home. Having a home with too much stuff is stressful. Messy kitchens can even cause you to eat more!
This is a big one for me. My husband loves cars and right now it is taking over our home. We have the entire two car garage full, a portion of our living room, a section of our dining room, and one of the bedrooms is his sewing area.
Don't get me wrong, he's amazing at what he does, and he brings in a nice income so I don't complain too much. That being said, having a shop that is almost as big as our house, if not bigger, will be a big relief for us, and I know it will eliminate a lot of the stress of our home being too cluttered.
As we are packing, I am taking a look at the items in our home and asking the age-old question, “Does this product serve a purpose or make me happy?” If the answer is no, I am sending it to goodwill to serve its purpose with someone else.
Even if you are not moving, look around your house and ask yourself the same question about some of the things in your home. Start in one room and make your way throughout the home. If the answer is no, give it away.
2. Start at the Front
Now that the clutter is gone, having a comfortable and inviting home starts at the front of the home. I remember when my mother-in-law brought us our first wreath. It was in the fall and it felt so cheery.
The wreath says a lot about you and your family. Do you celebrate Mardi Gras? Create a Mardi Gras mask wreath, complete with beads. Maybe you're a Dallas Cowboys fan, then display that. This wreath is your first chance to impress someone else.
The personalized wreath is also a subtle high five to yourself, reminding yourself that you are awesome in your own, unique way. Which is what your house should ultimately be about!
Look at it like this; the front door is a sneak peek at the inside of your home. For example, my blue and silver wreath is a reflection of our living room tree that is… you guessed it, blue and silver.
3. Think About Your Walls
Since we have been looking at homes that have foreclosed, one of the first things I noticed was how many of these bedrooms have wild colors.
Those wild colors would be the first thing I would change as they cause a bit of unrest in me. I prefer lighter colors, yet the trend towards grays have me intrigued as well. From doing my research, the grays would do well, as long as I have a lighter shade on the ceiling.
At our current house, we have white walls on three sides of the living room and one accent wall that is a shade darker. It is beautiful and really brings out the room. This works well in our current living room, though, because it is very big. We might have to change it up if our next house is different.
Each home has its own personality and one that you bring to it as well. The colors of and decor on the walls should reflect that.
Another thing to point out with walls is the need to clean them at least every six months. It is amazing what clean walls will do for one's spirits.
4. Add Pictures of Things That Make You Happy
This would seem like an obvious one but sometimes it's not. Our current house has, for the most part, barren walls minus the one in the dining room. I plan to add a picture section down the hallway (if we have one) at our new house.
The key here, though, is to add pictures that make you happy, not other people. Do you like traveling? Add pics from your travels. Are you a car person? Add photos of cool cars to your house.
Make your space inspire you!
One really neat benefit is that you can add these pictures in multiple different ways. For example, you could just do a collage, have the pictures in a frame individually, or get them done on canvases.
5. Fresh Flowers
My co-worker bought me a bushel of flowers and a few days later so did my husband. They made me feel so good!
Without the clutter on the table, having a lovely centerpiece adds to the ambiance of the space. Not to mention, they bring natural beauty into your home. Besides, you deserve it! Add these three things together, and it just makes sense to go out and purchase a pretty bunch of flowers and a vase to make your day. Or if you're like me, just throw them in a mason jar.
Or maybe you're nervous about arranging the flowers? You could take a fun class or get a few good tips here.
This does almost seem too simple but, hey, you have a clean kitchen and flowers on your dining room table. Why not make a great meal to enjoy?
Everyone needs to eat as well. If cooking is not your thing, then invite people over and have everyone cook. Save the leftovers. This allows you to have comforting smells and comforting foods when you need it. Plus valued time with friends and family.
Being able to bring it all together, no matter if you are indoors or outdoors with family and friends, just puts a smile on everyone's face. Cooking and spending time with family and friends is what puts the pictures we talked about on the wall!
I'm a big fan of string lights and I know I'm not the only one! Adding lights to areas like the outdoor table area just makes the area feel prettier. Hung around a bed and it is almost dreamy.
It doesn't have to be string lights though. When we first rented the house we are moving out of, we changed the lighting and it made the place feel cheerier and more ours.
Lighting also has the advantage of having a certain character. Once you figure out the layout and the feel of the house, you can pick illumination that matches.
This is a tricky one. If it is super hot or super cold turn your blinds and close your curtains. Use the electric lighting and the fireplace (if it is cold).
If it is decent weather, such as the fall and spring, then I recommend bringing natural light in as much as possible. Natural lighting is good for photography as well.
If you can open the doors and windows, this adds the natural scent of the outside. Combine these three things when the weather allows.
If you have kids, I highly recommend a rainbow fan as well. We are moving ours from the rental to the new house per our children's request. It is so fun and brings out the color of the rug they have on the floor.
Another aspect of lighting is candles. Candles have a double benefit of giving off light and smell. It is amazing what a few candles can do to an area to make it feel extra cozy.
8. Don't Be Afraid of Fire
Fire comes from the candles, creating a cozy feel.
But what about those cold winters when the perfect place to be is in front of the fire, under a blanket, cuddling or reading or… well, anything involving the fire.
And then there is every other time of the year when being outside next to a bonfire brings a great feeling. S'mores are pretty much a year 'round food, and bonfires typically equal friends and family.
9. Add a Nook Area
Adding a nook area to the home can bring that “ahhhh” feeling after a long day.
The great thing about this area is it can be anywhere in the household, from a nook table that is used for breakfast and the occasional computer work session, to an L-shaped couch full of pillows and blankets where you can read.
Just make the space yours. Make it comfortable. You're “go-to” when you need some time away from the hustle and bustle that happens even inside the home from time to time.
10. Make the House Smell Good
Cooking brings in a pleasant, homey smell and having flowers brings in a fresh smell.
Coming back home to a good smelling house is a great feeling, one that transfers even outside the home. It takes your mind off of the negatives of the day and reminds you that you are lucky to have a house to call home.
Haven't you ever been up to someone and thought, “Man, they smell good”? A lot of times this is a transfer from the home to the person.
11. The Element of Water
If you are building a house or remodeling, spend a little extra on your bathroom – no matter if you are choosing to have just a shower or a bathtub. A shower head that works well for you can make all the difference. Likewise, the perfect soaking tub might even become your nook!
I spend a lot of time in my bathtub, especially in the winter time when it's super cold outside. When we do get our house, I am investing in a tub that will last even after a million (or more) uses.
12. Get some comfy pillows
Not just for your couch, or as we recommended in the nook area, pillows are good for all different aspects of the home. From the bed to the outdoors, investing in good pillows is one way to make the home feel more relaxing.
The pillows should be different. There are pillows like you would have on a bed, pillows that are long, throw pillows for a couch or love seat, and even pillows that sit at an angle so you can watch movies.
The picture of the pillows laid out – Fort style – while watching a movie is just perfection. Living for moments like those in your own home is many people's dream!
It Seems As If…
It seems as if these things can all be bundled into making a house a home. You want it to be a place where you can create memories based on what you love.
If your an outdoor person, include an outdoor area that fits you. If you prefer to sit by the fireplace while the snow falls, then create a nook surrounded by that.
Use each of your senses when designing a home that brings comfort. What smells do you like? What feels good to you? What do you want to see? These things matter. Your house matters.
And your house should reflect that.