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How to Make a House a Home - 5 Simple Steps

How to Make a House a Home - 5 Simple Steps 

How to Make a House a Home - 5 Simple Steps

Moving into a new house can be one of the most exciting chapters of your life. After making the purchase and finally getting the keys, design inspiration is often at its highest when you first move in.

The problem is, making a house feel like a home can also be overwhelming. Whether it’s because you don’t know where to start or because you’ve started with the wrong approach, it’s easy to lose interest in home decorating as time goes on.

But what if we told you there are some easy ways to make a house a home, without overexerting yourself? 

Using our 5 simple tips to improve the look and feel of your apartment or house, you can instantly capture what ‘home’ feels like and inject some design inspiration back into your life.

First things first — do you need to start with a particular space?

The difference between a ‘house’ and a ‘home’ is the feeling of safety, comfort, and love you get when you spend time there. Your home environment should feel like more than just a place to sleep at night. It’s a place to create memories, grow, rest, and feel good.

Trying to encompass these feelings is always a great place to start when making a house a home. It doesn’t matter which room you want to tackle, it’s all about adding details that give your overall space a ‘feeling of home’. 

If you don’t currently enjoy spending time at home, or you see your house as a place to ‘eat, sleep and repeat’, here’s our tips on what makes a home feel special:

1. Home feels comfortable & practical

The first step to feeling more at home in your surroundings is to always choose comfort. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean it can’t be pretty too! It’s just a case of knowing how to strategically balance comfort, aesthetics, and practicality.

Especially in settings such as Arizona, it can be easy to fall into the ‘ultra-modern showhome feel’, but this aesthetic won’t work long-term for most people.

For example, if you fall in love with a piece of furniture that is pretty but uncomfortable — it’s not the one for you! Think of home furnishings in the same way you think of shoes; if you only buy shoes for the look, you won’t use them, and they’ll add no real value to your life.

This is why it’s important not to choose beauty over comfort or practicality. Good furniture is furniture you enjoy using, even if it becomes a little worn over time.

At Sesshu Design Associates, the most common examples of ‘aesthetics over functionality’ we see in Arizona homes include:

  • A half-glass door for the shower that looks stunning but makes your entire bathroom floor wet — Not only can this impact your enjoyment of that particular space, it can also lead to other issues such as damp or mold!
  • A couch that is only comfortable when sitting upright — You want to settle in for the night comfortably. If not, your sofa can become a big waste of space in your living room!
  • Cramming a large computer desk and chair into a tiny office space — What’s inspiring about a space you feel cramped and uncomfortable in? Make sure the furniture you’re choosing is also practical for the room it’s in

Following on from the last point, to maximize the comfort level in your home, you’ll also need to be honest with yourself about what type of furniture is worth investing in. In some areas, you may even require custom-made pieces that will optimize your use of space and improve your quality of life. 

From turning an unused nook into a desk area to purchasing a bed with hidden storage, the right furniture can transform your space… and your life!

Three key pieces of furniture worth investing in:

  • A dining table and chairs — Make sure your dining table not only fits your space (meaning you can pull out all chairs when necessary!) andalso look out for padded seats for extra comfort
  • A bed and mattress — As nice as some modern beds can be, it’s all about finding the right bed to accommodate a great quality mattress. Don’t scrimp on investing in a good mattress, the right one can last for years if cared for!
  • Sofa and armchair — The right sofa instantly makes you feel more at home. Or how about a plush armchair in a corner you like to read in? It’s all about creating environments you enjoy using
How to Make a House a Home - 5 Simple Steps

2. Home feels… bright and airy

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again — good lighting is a key element in helping you create the right atmosphere in your home. For you, your family, and even guests that visit, the right lighting can make all the difference to how cozy and homey your space feels.

Natural lighting

To start, we suggest adding as much natural lighting as possible. This will help bring harmony and energy to the room while also decreasing your stress level. Lighting can affect your mood and wellbeing, so start with a blank canvas in your home by introducing as much light as possible.

To maximize light entering through your windows:

  • Try to keep your windows clean
  • If you currently use heavy curtains, consider new tie-backs to encourage you to keep them open
  • Consider a valance-style curtain for areas such as kitchens or dining areas where you want to avoid direct sunlight in your eyes but want to keep the window unobscured 
  • Use woven grass shades to maintain privacy as needed, while still allowing ample light

Artificial lighting

After tackling natural lighting, some simple changes to how you approach artificial lighting can also elevate the feel of your home and add a cozy balance.

Artificial lighting can also have an impact on how people feel. This is why for indoor lamps, it’s important to choose warm and even lights to make everyone feel comfortable and safe. 

If you want to go one step further, add a control system to manage the intensity of the lighting or alternate your style of lamps.  

For example, some of our favorite types of ambient lighting include:

  • A small lamp on a table for reading
  • A  wall light behind the TV (there are even TVs with in-built ambilighting these days!)
  • Bathroom lighting that can be integrated into mirrors with both warm and cool options

Practical lighting

Overall, the most important thing to remember is that lighting in your home needs to be practical. Each room will have its own function, so be sure to keep this in mind when making your lighting choices.

For example:

  • If you want a large chandelier over the dining table, make sure it’s high enough for people not to hit their heads
  • If you want a reading corner with a bookshelf, you might need a more subtle floor lamp for reading and a brighter lamp or strategic spotlights to help you select the right books
  • If choosing lighting in a bedroom space that you want to feel romantic, you’ll also require more practical lighting in the area you get dressed to ensure you don’t struggle to match your outfits on dark mornings!
How to Make a House a Home - 5 Simple Steps

3. Home feels… personal to you

Minimalist interiors are great for many reasons but that doesn’t mean your space needs to lack personality. Your home is unique to you and your family. When someone walks in, they should be able to recognize your personality and style. 

To start, choosing colors that speak to your heart is always good. Even without painting or decorating, you can still inject color into your home with furnishings and objects you like having around you. 

Bought some unique items while traveling? Why not have them on display? It’s all about having fun with your décor and ensuring it represents your identity. 

Another great way to make your home feel personal is to hang pictures of your family and friends around your home. You can even frame unique memories such as album covers and event tickets to remind you of happy times!

Gallery Walls - How to create one for your home If you’re creating a gallery wall to make your house or apartment feel more personal to you, don’t forget to follow these tips:

  1. Plan your layout first — Lay out your selection of frames, prints, and photos on the floor first to see what kind of shapes you’re dealing with
  2. Make sure you have everything you need before you start — Whether that’s command strips or a hammer and nails. 
  3. Play around with different frames — The great thing about a gallery wall is that you can mix and match styles to suit your specific taste
  4. Don’t be afraid to change your mind later — What works now might not work in the future. Even though we don’t advise carelessly adding holes to your wall, it’s also important to not be afraid to try new things in your home and change your mind later (that’s what these DIY tips are for!)
How to Make a House a Home - 5 Simple Steps

4. Home feels.. like a place to be lived in

As much as we all love to protect the value of our homes and keep it looking like a showhome forever, the reality is that a home should feel like a space that’s been lived in. 

How to Make a House a Home - 5 Simple Steps

However, there are still ways to make your house feel like home without looking ‘messy’. 

For example, try removing the plastic containers you use for soap and instead, use reusable soap bottles in a durable material. As well as being more aesthetic, it’s also a great way to help the environment by buying refills in bulk and using less plastic.

It’s also a good idea not to leave things like toilet paper rolls hanging around in their plastic packaging. Instead, purchase or upcycle a basket and stack your toilet paper rolls neatly in that!

Making a house a home is about finding small ways to make your home more practical, while still making it look and feel more like you. From storing all your spices in cute little jars to choosing a pretty glass bottle for your tap water, these details will make your home look extra cozy and show that you care. 

Here are some retailers that sell functional AND attractive containers:

5. Home feels… welcoming

From an outside perspective, how welcoming do you think your home feels? From making your space feel less sterile to adding soft furnishings that people naturally want to settle into, making your environment more welcoming is all in the details. 

That said, we live in Arizona, so it’s not always easy to incorporate things like blankets and extra thick duvets into your home all year round. Instead, try playing around with different fabrics and select materials that work for both your home, and your local climate. 

For example, consider investing in some new pillowcases and soft blankets that are light, but still comfortable. Clean, soft, good-quality comfort is key to making you, and your guests, feel more at home. For best results, choose colors and prints that match your interior and your personality — after all, it’s your home!

Here are some of our favorite brands for home linens:

How to Make a House a Home - 5 Simple Steps

How Sesshu Design Associates can enhance your home further

Feeling inspired to transform your house into your dream home? Don’t forget to walk around your space and note all the things you’re unsatisfied with and how you could improve them step by step. A few minor changes really can make all the difference!

Looking to make some bigger changes and need help? Our team would love to hear from you! As Arizona’s premier wellness interior design firm, we’re experts in making you feel comfortable and proud of your home. Contact us today for a design consultation or Request a Design Review of your home or office.

You can have the beautiful and luxurious eco-friendly interior you deserve.

Schedule your Design Discovery Conversation today!