What makes a house a home? It’s great to have a house or apartment that’s in good condition and contains all the furniture that you need, but for most people, this is not enough. That sense of home doesn’t develop until we form a bond with a place, and that can only happen when it starts to feel personal. It’s this that enables us to experience that deep sense of relaxation and the feeling that we’re exactly where we need to be. If you’ve recently moved or if you’re worried that your home feels soulless, what can you do to speed up this process?
Add some color
Neutrals are all very well for selling houses and they’re hard to get seriously wrong, but they don’t have much character. Bringing bolder colors into your home is a great way to start making your mark. It has never been easier, with recent developments in dye technology meaning that there are more and more paint colors available with a range of distinctive finishes, including some striking metallics. Online tutorials mean that you don’t need to be an artist to create fascinating and beautiful effects with them. In addition to this, wallpaper has been getting much more varied recently, with bold patterns and prints that you can use to make a statement in your home.
Explore your favorite themes
Are there particular themes or styles of interior decor that appeal to you? You can mix and match, or choose to decorate individual rooms in different ways. You might be attracted to modernism, Art Deco or Victorian styles, or you might be interested in a rustic, naval or Classical theme. There are all sorts of options out there, and once you’ve determined what you like, you can search online for interesting bits and pieces to help you develop those ideas within your home.
Have you ever been a collector? Gathering similar ornamental objects can be a great way to infuse something of your own personality into your home. A good place to start is with a favorite animal – some people collect owls or bears, for instance, in many different forms and made from many different materials. Alternatively, you could collect items with naturally decorative qualities, such as large sea shells, scented candles or porcelain dolls.
Showcase your photos
Displaying family photographs immediately creates a domestic atmosphere, so why confine them to the mantelpiece? You could create a photo wall with pictures in lots of different frames – the side of a staircase is ideal for this as it lends itself to diverse shapes and you don’t need to put furniture up against it. Alternatively, you could have a favorite picture blown up to giant size so that it becomes a feature all by itself.
Choose your favorite art
Do you have favorite paintings or sculptures? These days, it’s possible to get a decent copy of almost anything at a fairly affordable price – why settle for mediocre landscapes when you could have a Rembrandt or Picasso print on your walls? Whatever your tastes, you can make bold design statements in this way and even theme rooms around them. Don’t just look for pretty things – seek out art that stimulates your emotions and your intellect.
Make room for messages
In among all the things that you’ll want to keep, it helps to make room for the ephemeral. In a busy household, a noticeboard is a must. You could choose a corkboard to pin things to, or a type of chalkboard or whiteboard with multiple colors of chalk or pens – a chalkboard is a particularly good choice for children as they’ll love being able to scribble directly onto it, but chalk won’t cause too much damage if they also scribble on other things.
Everybody get creative
When you have children in the house, it’s great to get their contributions to decoration. They could draw, paint or make collages, but so could adults, who often neglect their own skills, and the best forms of decoration and ornamentation are often those that the whole family makes together. Even those without much skill can come up with ideas and can act as assistants so that they have a sense of ownership over the results.
Adding personal touches to your home is an exercise in imagination. It takes a bit of courage to break the mold and experiment with things that you may always have wanted to try. You can’t guarantee that they will all work, but you can guarantee that when they do, all your efforts will feel worthwhile.