Buying a new house is a stressful yet exciting experience. But even after you become the official owner and all the moving boxes are unloaded, the new house still feels vacant. In other words, when you move into a new house, it can seem a bit impersonal with a lack of character.
So how do you make it feel more inviting and personal? From breaking out cherished heirlooms to bringing in the outdoors, here is how to make your new house feel like a home.
Update the floors to suit your decor tastes and to accommodate your family’s lifestyle. Plus, when you install new flooring, it immediately increases your home resale value. If you are a big, busy family, consider something more durable like laminate or vinyl planks and tiles that are easier to maintain and made to last.
Once you have new flooring installed, be sure to roll out the welcome mats all over. Roll out some area rugs to add a soft underfoot, as well as texture and color. Area rugs can also protect your new flooring and keep it from getting scuffed and dirty from foot traffic.
When you move into a new house, the walls can be quite bare. But to make a house a home, one of the easiest ways to add some color and character to walls is to hang decorative artwork and family photos.
Decorative artwork, whether you prefer minimal and modern prints or traditional oil paintings, is proven to reduce stress and make your brain happy. While art is subjective to the viewer, hang what you find beautiful and something that fits your family’s personality. Do you prefer a collection of small prints that are fun, casual and quirky? Or do you prefer an elegant focal piece?
Even if you’re unsure how to arrange a gallery wall, you can place a few framed family photos on a nearby living room console table or bedroom nightstand or dresser.
Another way to make your new house feel like a home is to display cherished items and collections. If you have heirloom furniture passed down from generations, display it proudly! A special item doesn’t have to be a single thing, either. It can be an entire collection that you accumulate over the years. Bring out your book collection or a collection of trinkets and chotskies. Pick items that have significant meaning to you and display them proudly, even if it’s in a private bedroom. If you have kids, keep a shelf of favorite board games close at hand for family game night.
Another way to make your new house feel like a home is to grow the family living inside it. If you are a young couple who has purchased your first house, chances are you might already want to grow your family. Bringing home a little bundle of joy can make many new parents feel complete. It doesn’t have to be a baby, either! Consider adopting a pet from a local shelter instead. Raising a baby or taking care of a pet means lots of responsibility, but they exude tons of love and happiness inside a home.
If you’re not quite ready to bring a child or pet into your life, consider plants instead. Bring the outdoors in and add some greenery. If you’d like, create a small herb garden in the kitchen or add a few potted plants to the living areas and bedrooms. If you have a green thumb, go all out! But if you are new to being a plant parent, stick with houseplants that are easier to maintain like succulents or ficus. One way you can make a place feel homier is by keeping a vase of fresh flowers near the entrance as if to greet you when you and guests walk in. Pick up a bouquet of your favorite blooms.
A new home can fall flat. Similar to adding artwork, it’s essential to bring in more colors and textures. The act of choosing and painting walls can make a house feel like a home and make your mark, adding subtle personality.
Place a few comfy pillows on each end of the sofa and against the bed’s headrest. Add a warm throw that invites you to curl up with a good book, glass of wine or snuggle up with your new furry companion. Curtains can add a lot of playful or sophisticated texture, too. Install some blackout curtains for privacy in the bedrooms and introduce some light and airy sheers to common areas to invite natural lighting.
Lighting can make or break a room. Done correctly, it can enhance the atmosphere and create an inviting environment. For starters, make sure there is sufficient lighting in dark corners and replace harsh fluorescent lighting with decorative fixtures–even if it’s in a laundry room! Make sure the lighting fixtures give off a warm temperature that keeps you relaxed. If possible, install a dimmer switch to recessed lighting. This way, you can turn down the lighting to create a more serene atmosphere.
Add accent lighting, such as lamps on tables and nightstands, to add character and color. When you dim the lights, keep some candles around to ignite and emit a soothing glow. Find scented candles that evoke a homey quality, like baked sugar cookies or lavender. The right lighting can make a space more inviting and cozy, transforming a house into a home almost instantly.
Make sure to address the bathrooms, too, as these areas can seem even less lived-in than others. One way to personalize a bathroom space is to give it a spa-like atmosphere. Turn bathrooms and powder rooms into little retreats, placing soft towels on bars and keeping toiletries like hand soaps, lotions and perfumes on the vanity. Even better, use an aromatherapy diffuser with a eucalyptus scent to calm the nerves as you take time for self-care.