How to make a house a home

Everyday, we focus on what we can do to create a house, filling it with style and character, but, how exactly do we make a home more...homely? With abodes varying in size, shape, material, where they're placed (treehouses, or cut into rock faces even) there is a huge variety of what can be done with these houses due to their unique shapes and profiles. Sometimes we get a bit lost in the interior design side of things, and forget about the little things, the personal touches, all the wonderful memories in photos that bring a homely atmosphere. We have been compiling a list of all the things we have found that make really make a house a home.

1. Lighting
Yes, it really makes that much of a difference! One of my personal focuses when establishing a new space is to make sure its dimly lit. Sure, you can put this down to me being an avid book-lover and need to make sure I have adequate lighting for such, but having a even and well light room brings a warmer feel to the home. If you're like me, you may find yourself with sufficient overhead lighting, but a number of lamps in a room, sometimes there's something cosy about cuddling up in an armchair during the winter, enjoying the adequate lighting of a lamp in your own personal bubble.
When considering your overhead lighting, chandeliers offer a great way to diffuse light and further brighten up a room making it ideal for open plan rooms where you may have a kitchen or lounge combined with a dining area. If you're feeling adventurous, you could even try and up-cycle some old lampshades to fit your personal aesthetic, and further bringing your own charms into the home.

2. Entrance Hall
First impressions make a vital impact on the appearance of your home, and often the entrance of a house can be overlooked. With the simple addition of a small seat, console table, or even a bookcase, it can brighten up a small room ever so much. If you a staircase in your entry, you could even make use of the space under the stairs to create a reading nook.

3. Smells
There is an old trick used by estate agents that can bring a welcoming asset to a home, which is the smells throughout the house. Many have used freshly baked bread and freshly brewed coffee to send an inviting scent through the building. Plug in timed air freshers, incense or even scented capsules (Adventure Scents make some amazing nerdy ones - Matt) can make a massive difference to the feel of a space and make it very unique.

4. Storage and de-cluttering
With leading a busy day-to-day life, there is always the chance of clutter and items being left from place-to-place, especially items like books and DVD cases. These can be easily tidied up with the use of bookcases and other storage solutions, or even the use of an ottoman footstool in the lounge which will offer that little extra storage whilst keeping things close to hand. Ottoman stools are also ideal for keeping things like cables, plugs, books and other high use items to hand whilst keeping a room tidy. For those who love to display trinkets and items they have collected, we wholly recommend buying a display case for them so that they can be kept pristine and safe.

5. Artwork
Often, art is seen as being an expensive item that are often reserved for stately homes, or those who can enjoy frivolous purchases, however, art can take place in many forms. You may choose to collect items on your travels, such as stones, shells, even pine cones and use them to decorate your home. We have seen some incredible pieces made by people collecting items from nature, including a coffee table that has been covered with pebbles and resin to look like a stream, as well as a glass vase filled with string lights and pine cones. These personal creative touches an such a wonderful charm to a room, and if you are able to create your own pieces or art, paint, cross stitch etc. put your favourite one on display and take pride in it!

For those who are trying to find a specific theme, or fandom they adore, there are a wide variety of sites that offer prints catering to such interests. If any of our readers have put their own art in their home, or even created their own wall mural, please do send us pictures!

6. Music
Sometimes, there is something lovely about having a spot of peace and quiet in your own little bubble away from the wider world, yet, music adds such a charm and feel to a home, it tells you so much about someone. When we're with friends and family, certain music brings us back to a moment, we all remember those songs that were playing during new experiences: first kiss, first song that made you want to dance and DID, what was playing at your wedding that you could not forgot from that moment on?
When you're in your home and growing with your family and friends, these songs will help to cement those memories you've crafted together, and remind you of such great times you shared in the home you created.

((Matt: If you're like me, both the scent of good food cooking and good music is a combination you can't help but adore. I'm not going to lie, my neighbours and housemates have seen me dancing in the kitchen whilst I cook, some even joined in, and its creating this welcoming, lively and open environment that I love to see in a home))

7. Flowers
You may think this is stemming back from the nice smells in the house, but honestly, fresh flowers just make such a great impact on a room and can fit in almost anywhere: bathroom, bedroom, lounge, kitchen, dressing room and more. As long as you have space, you can easily make a lovely display anywhere in the home, especially in those with a lighter or neutral colour scheme where a colour accent like flowers can make all of a difference.

8. Make new memories
Now, with a growing family, you'll never be short of events that make new memories, all of the first times, the mile stones, getting your first pet. What about all the other things you could do to create memories with friends and family? Try something new, be bold, be daring, and roll with it!

Years ago, many of us here were terrified at the idea of hosting a dinner party, and now some of us run regular ones, one even having a little competition amongst friends of who can hold the best dinner party. Give yourselves a challenge, try to make the best 3 course meal you can with only £30 for the entire night or choose for one another what their main ingredient has to be, force yourself to be creative, make a mess and have a laugh with it!

Tabletop games are a great way to make new memories, jumping into a world of your own with a few friends, making your own stories, taking on adventures and living out actions of a different 'you'. This can be great for friends and families alike as stories of these memories can spread so far.

9. Make the most of your space
Sometimes, it can be hard to fill certain spaces, especially if you've a room with high ceilings where bookcases and cabinets could look somewhat lost with the vastness around it. However, such a space can be filled with wall stickers, or even some elbow-grease and a can of paint, and fill the space on the walls with what you choose. If there is a particular quote you love, and you have the space for it, display it with pride in the room. One that has always stuck was seeing an acquaintance working on his home office with Tolkien's poem "All that is gold does not glitter" painted in calligraphy in the middle of a wall with a map of middle-earth behind it. Making the most of a space and filling it with your own personal loves is such a wonder for making a home more homely and more yours.

10. Refreshments and hosting
If you have managed to make your house a home, there is always a chance that unexpected guests may visit to enjoy your company and the opulent splendor of a welcoming home. For such instances, you may create yourself a little space for a fridge that will always contain a few different beers or soft drinks, perhaps your own little wine rack, maybe even a well stocked selection of favoured tipples ready for when you have company. For the eccentrics who love to show off their skills, what a great time to break out your cocktail making skills. For the foodies, you may want to break out that wonderful selection of cheeses, meats, and chutneys you've stored aside for just an occasion.



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