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Make Your House a Home

A house can be any basic unit of dwelling, whether it’s a mobile home, an apartment, a super modern glass box or anything else in between. The form of the house never matters as much as what goes inside – because those are the people and special things that transform any space into a home. But no matter what size, shape or style your home takes, there are a few universal ideas that are used in homes time and time again.

Homes should tell a story, express a person or family’s interests and make guests feel welcome inside. From simple ideas like decorating walls with art that means something to you to more involved DIY projects like customizing the small details on your furniture, these are some of the steps recommended for turning any house into a warm, welcoming home. The final results may look different for everyone, but the underlying goals and desire to feel at home are universal.

1. Floors

One of the things that unites homes everywhere is an attention to what happens under your feet. Rugs and carpets aren’t the only things you can do to floors, but they’re a common first step because they help with the sound insulation in any room. That softness and warm feeling that comes from having textiles in a room is something that instantly makes a room feel more lived-in. Adding something to the room that both absorbs sound and has special meaning to it is a great way to make a room feel special.

2. Lighting

Changing out the pre-existing lighting in any space will immediately make a room feel homier for a few reasons: it allows you to add a personal touch (like a favorite family lamp from home or something you made from found materials and a lamp kit) and it allows you to determine where and how light works in your room. Lighting is one of the easiest things to find inexpensively and they’re quick and fun to upcycle with a new coat of paint or a new shade.

3. Storage

So many design decisions are based on aesthetics, but it’s hard to get around to decisions that are based on style before you deal with all the basic necessities of storage. For some, storage can be simple and straight forward (L-bracket shelves and neat rows of items), but in other homes it can be a chance to showcase a love of handmade baskets, storage containers that have a family history (like boxes from a family farm or company) or items that connect to a trip or moment in your life that is meaningful.

4. Artwork

Since the earliest of days, people have decorated their homes with all sorts of things that mean something to them. From found objects in nature (like collections of shells and pinecones) and family weavings to photographs, sculptures and paintings, art can be anything and everything you want it to be. And, most of all, it adds an element to your home that makes it feel unique to you, your interests and what you find beautiful.

5. Customized Detail

Unlike custom surfaces in a home (which are often expensive and time-consuming), customizing small details like hardware is a quick, easy and cheap way to make your house feel more like a home. Whether you paint your dresser handles a new color, use faux gold-leaf on your lamp bases or dip the legs of your chairs in colorful paint, adding small, personal touches in places that are unexpected makes a noticeable impression on both you and your guests.

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