We all know that there is a difference between house and home, but do we ever think what makes that difference? It’s all about the warm feeling you get when you’re home, the love that hits you when you enter it. But how do you create that? Let’s see.
Defining a home
When browsing through house or decor magazines, you often see fabulously designed places. They are often gorgeous, mesmerizing, and they often make you wish that your house was that well-arranged or that clean. Regardless of how ideal those houses look, and how glossy or elegant the magazine page is, there is always one thing that misses from those photos.
You can feel that those places in the images don’t feel like home. A house is represented by the walls and the roof, the objects inside, but a home is filling that house with everything else. You could say that the house is a body while a home is a body with the soul inside it.
Buying all the furnishings you can afford will help you decorate a house, but this might not make it a home. In a home, you should feel comfort, a sanctuary, a place that invites you. In your home, you should find refuge from the rest of the world. You need to have a feel of coziness in the house to make it a home, and this implies letting it be a bit messier than you often see in the magazines.
In your home, you should be able to live freely, no matter if you find a pair of shoes carelessly thrown in a corner, a blanket on the sofa, scarves or jackets on the hooks. A home should be a place where you can wear whatever clothes you want without thinking about fashion, and it should be filled with your favorite smells, flowers, and textures.
What transforms a house into a home is the little things. Personal touches and sentimental collections will always make things feel closer to your heart, while simple possessions and decorations surround you and give you a self of belonging. What’s most important at the end of the day is that home, unlike the houses in gorgeous magazines, almost never looks perfect, but should feel perfect.
Artwork makes the difference
Although artwork is sometimes considered expensive, maybe frivolous even, it doesn’t always have to be like that. People all around the world have been decorating their homes for a long time, and they usually do that with objects that mean something for them, from an aesthetical point of view or a sentimental one.
People use everything that creates a sense of belonging, from photographs, which are probably the most used items, to sculptures, paintings, things in nature, or anything that can give a sense of art. Maybe the most important is to add an element to your home that makes things feel unique to you.
Such an object needs to be interesting for you, or you should find it beautiful. There are people that can find empty walls as soothing, while others feel caught in the hall of a hospital when there is almost nothing on the walls. Artwork of any type can add some meaning to the design of your house, and it can also highlight certain details.
If you want to make your rooms seem fuller of life, you need to find out what you love and what you want to see every day in that room. One suggestion is to find a list of books that you would like to display in a creative way – if they have a matching design, that’s even better. Family portraits can be included in the list of elements you want to be displayed in your house.
Anything else that you enjoy when you look at it should be great, from a branch that you sculpted yourself to your kids’ drawings. Giving the special items a special spot in your home, be it a bookshelf that you like, a table, or attached to a wall, they will give a whole new meaning, and most often a sense of beauty, right when you see them.
It’s beautiful when you can have natural light in your house and when the sun hits the windows nicely, so that it shines enough, but doesn’t cause discomfort. However, that is not always possible, as we don’t all live in perfect locations. For those of us who want to add a feel of home, belonging, warmth in the house, adding some lights, or changing the light setup can have a huge effect.
You should not try to do any electrical work on your own unless you are a professional. Of course, some small DIY lamp wiring can be done, if the lamp is not connected to any power source. Furthermore, you can change pre-existing lights in your house, and if you find the right ambiance for that room you will instantly change it, making it homier.
This happens for a few reasons, and the first of these is that it adds a personal touch, especially if you are creating a lamp of your own, or if you’re taking one from your old home. Playing with old lamps you can find out how light works best in your room. Most of the time you will find houses and apartments that have the simplest lighting possible, a bulb overhead, just for the purpose of offering light.
Of course, people want to be cost-effective most of the time, but there is an equilibrium that you need to hit – the one where you need to balance your desire to save money with the pleasant and cozy feel that the light gives you. A soft-lighted chandelier placed at a lower height can make a tall room feel cozier.
Fortunately, lighting can often be found inexpensively at thrift stores or flea markets, and when purchasing items like that you also find unique designs. You can quickly upcycle something like that with a coat of paint. If you want to make a house feel better, just look around your house and see what you can turn into a softer, beautiful, and warmer light.
Your own little details
Most of the times, the objects you own work completely fine, the hardware you have is perfectly normal, but you still feel like something is missing. There are moments in which you feel like the details present on some piece of artwork feel like the computer-generated graphics found in hotels.
You can often find such things in your house – produced en masse and without having anything related to the objects around. These objects beg for you to change them and to customize your house so that you can make a home out of it. Big surfaces in your home that require customization also need a lot of time, or a lot of money if you outsource the work.
However, with small details found in hardware, it’s a simple and quick job to do. This can make your house feel cozier without taking too much money out of your pocket. There are simple things that you can do to achieve that, from painting the handles on a door or dresser to painting the legs of a chair in colorful paint or adding small touches in unexpected places.
Light switches are another element that you can focus on, as you will be interacting with them a lot, and any other small item in your home that can be personalized with some paint, fabric, or any kind of inexpensive materials. Adding certain elements to bigger options – like adding some material to the handles of a chair, you can start stories with those that visit you.
That is how you will be remembered that you had a personal project involving that chair and you put your own creativity in passion into making it look better.
Cover the cold floors
You might not notice this the first time you enter a house, but one of the most important aspects that easily transforms a house into a home is the floor and what’s on it. Of course, rugs and carpets are the things to start with, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to those. They will give the heat insulation you need in the room, especially in your bedroom or living room.
These elements will ensure that sounds are absorbed, making everything feel cozier. Steps echo will always make a space feel empty and dead, so you don’t want that. The softness and warm feeling that thick carpets offer will make you feel at ease.
Introducing textiles that mean something to you inside a house will make it feel like home, whether you’re using your grandma’s old rug that has been stitched together, or some pieces you get from a thrift shop. A carpet that you have chosen yourself from the local store should have the same function.
If you’re a DIY person, you can always create new artwork made of soft materials that you can place in your house to absorb the echo.