Whether you’re moving into your first post-college home or simply moving into a new apartment or house, every move has one thing in common. There comes a point when you’re pretty much finished with packing and unpacking, but when you don’t yet feel at home. Some of this can be chalked up to the time it takes to adjust to a new living space. A lot of it, however, has to do with something harder to pin down: your space just doesn’t feel “homey” yet. So how do you fix this?
What Does Home Mean to You?
Before you can make your dwelling “homey” you need to think about what “being home” means for you. Obviously, home is a place of comfort and safety but what has helped you feel that way before? Think about the places you feel the most comfortable and secure. What do they have in common? If you travel, how do you make yourself feel at home while you are on the road? Spend some time really thinking about the feeling you want to create in your new home because that is going to be a better guide than anything else.
That’s right: the budget is secondary today. Why? Because while it is an important factor in your decorating decisions, it is primarily a guide for your creativity. Even if your budget will be pretty small, there are lots of ways you can stretch that budget to cover the supplies and other tools you will need for this project. That said: you do need a number. “As cheaply as possible” will not cut it here. Figure out your spending limit before you go shopping so you won’t be tempted to splurge “just a little bit.” Remember, even if your current budget won’t cover all of your needs, it will give you a start.
Every decorator will tell you that most decorating schemes revolve around one or two “focal pieces.” These pieces can be everything from choosing a specific painting to help you coordinate your color scheme to a piece of furniture around which you will design your space. Your focal piece will be up to you. Do you have a piece of art that you really love? Is there a piece of furniture you love or have always wanted to own, like a giant squashy couch or a beautiful desk? Your focal pieces are where the majority of your budget should be dedicated.
Punches of Personality
There are some parts of decorating and creating a homey vibe that are universal. Every home, for example, needs a comfortable place to sit and a comfortable place to sleep. Everything else is up to you. That said, if you try too hard to force your personality into every inch of your home, you’ll likely end up feeling slightly suffocated. Go slowly. Choose your pops of personality carefully (yes, these are also reflected in your focal pieces). Be wary of giving in too much to a theme. For example, you might love roller derby, but that doesn’t mean you have to transform your home into a rink to feel comfortable there.
Engage All of Your Senses
It is also important to remember that a homey feel isn’t just about visual effects. Feeling at home involves all of your senses. What smells do you love? Buy candles and room fragrance sprays that match. What textures have always provided comfort? Make sure those are represented. How does your home sound to you? Invest in some ambient filters or white noise machines to help you create this sound if it is not one that occurs naturally in your new neighborhood–like the ambient “waves against the shore” for people who grew up in rural coastal areas but now live somewhere urban.
Patience is a Virtue
Above all else, remember that creating a “homey feel” is something that is going to take time. Even if you decorate and arrange your home perfectly, it will take time for you to feel comfortable in your new space. It might also take you some time to figure out what “homey” feels like to you. You do not have to tackle this project all at once. Give yourself time to think and feel and explore. You’ll be glad you did.
Hopefully, these tips will help you figure out where to start and how to travel on your journey to turn your house into a home. Do you have a tip that will help others on this path? Let us know!