“A house is made of bricks & mortar. A home is filled with love & laughter”
Our home is not only somewhere to rest our heads & go about our daily lives. As I work from home, it’s extremely important for me to love the place I spend the vast majority of my time. It’s not just a place to store my stuff & look after my family. It’s part of my family & so I look after it just as it looks after us.
When a house lacks soul, it is nothing but that…a house. I’m going to show you my top 10 tips on turning a house to a home, & it’s all about the feeling –
1. Lighting – So very important for ‘setting the mood’. From main lights to table lamps to candles to fairy lights, all of which play a vital part in making a room feel either bright & ‘lets go’ or cosy & ‘lets cuddle up’.
2. Leave work AT WORK – Sometimes a home also becomes a work space. I have been working from home for over 4 years previously in recruitment & now in social media/PR. I have however come to understand that overlapping these two things doesn’t always make a great match if you don’t diferentiate the two. If you are anything like me, you’ll be checking your emails at 11pm if you spy a glimpse of your laptop so make sure that when you clock off for the evening, you actually clock off. Likewise if you are a stay at home mother & have had a stressful day, remove all toys from view, pour yourself a glass of ‘adult juice’ (that’s wine to you & me) & catch up on the latest trashy mind numbing TV. Even if you work 9-5 in an office it can be hard to come home without the weight of the day on your shoulders but honestly, if you can learn to let go of the days events at the front door it’ll do great things for your home life.
3. Let nature in – naturally we humans love nature & thrive with it. In the winter all we want to do is curl up & hibernate (if only it was that easy…) so use that in your home. A thick winter duvet, warm baths, turning the heating on, hot cups of tea & lit candles will create a haven for you throughout the cold winter months. Contrast summer months with open windows, BBQ’s, fresh flowers & lemonade.
4. Listen – From the soft hum of your favourite song on the radio, to the swirl of the dishwasher or the sound of silence (not in my house very often..). Some love hearing the hustle & bustle of a busy home where as others love the sound of birds singing outside. I always remember the noise of my childhood home; right next to a motorway but I LOVED the noise of traffic. What does your home sound like?
5. Scent – every home has a specific smell to it. Usually the inhabitants can’t smell it as we all grow accustomed to our surroundings…most of the time I swear mine must smell of dog seeing as Mungo, our chubby pug, is a bit of a stinker. Scent can relax us & sometimes bring us fond memories (for me it’s the sea air/seaweed as I spent the majority of my childhood on my dads boat). Mixing these smells up with fresh flowers, apple crumble baking in the oven or even artificial smells like a flickering candle can help us unwind. Try mixing these up with the seasons; apple & spiced cinnamon in the winter months then citrus or floral notes in the summer.
6. Invest in cosy – nothing beats curling up on a million cushions under a luxurious throw. Your home should be as inviting as possible so using textiles to do this is a great place to start. You can’t beat snuggling up on the sofa with your family & forgetting the world around you.
7. Pets – it’s all about our furry best friends. Not only are they part of the family but they are also proven to destress us as well as looking oh so cuddly for those cold winter nights when doggy or cat cuddles will only do. Personally I couldn’t imagine not having a pet & feel like our house wouldn’t be home without them running around.
8. Make it personal – displaying photos & keepsakes around your home will give it a unique personality & make it feel individual to you. From family heirlooms to nick-nacks picked up on holidays, or even up cycled furniture. Items with a history or a story will bring soul to a space.
9. Decoration – A home should relay your personality whilst retaining a slice of your idea of heaven. If you are a loud & proud, in your face type of person who loves nothing more than a bit of leopard print then why should you paint your walls magnolia? I am definitely not condoning the use of crazy colours but what floats my boat is completely diffent to what may make another heart skip a beat. Just remember: you do have to live within that space 24/7 so a rainbow room may give you a headache.
10. The people – The most important thing in the home are the memories you create while living there. Nothing will make your house feel like home more than sharing happiness within those walls. From watching your children take their first steps along those wooden floors to dinner parties with dear friends that end in one too many vino’s. Love makes a house a home.