When it comes to our homes, we want them to be an extended expression of ourselves and our personalities.
Whether you want to add some value to your home or simply just make it your own, there are plenty of areas that you can focus on. Here are some of the things that you can do to turn your house into a home to love.
Create a Plan for Your Home’s Interior
I’ll use my home as an example, because I recently relocated and started completely over with furnishings…and I mean completely.
I brought a few things with me that have sentimental value, but in terms of the furniture and accessories, it was a blank canvas.
Here is a photo of the living area before I moved in:
I knew that I wanted a comfortable, casual style with a bit of a modern farmhouse / industrial look.
I wanted to have some fun with the accents, too. Nothing too contrived or matchy-matchy. (my technical term)
Some bright colors as accents were also high on the list, as the color palette of the walls and carpet were very neutral (a nice way of saying they were a bit boring).
To compliment and accent my ivory walls/trim and gray/blue carpet, I decided to use these colors throughout my home:
- Aqua – primary accent color
- Tangerine/Orange – primary accent color
- Sage Green
- and varying shades of blue and red
I wanted to take the small niche that you can see on the left side of the room and turn it into my office. So, the decisions I made for that area needed to work with the rest of the living room.
Another significant factor was the budget. I didn’t have a big one. And that didn’t bother me at all, because I know how to create an interesting, unique look with simple furnishings and accessories.
Timing was a factor as well, because I was in my new home and needed something to sit on. 🙂
Placing an order and waiting for 6 to 8 weeks would not work for me.
Whether you are decorating an empty space, redoing an existing room or freshening up your entire home, be sure to create a plan before you take the first step or spend any money.
Where are you going to spend the time and money making improvements, creating your custom dwelling, carving out the expressive home that embodies who you are and how you live?
For many, it is the Kitchen, the heart of the home. My kitchen included new appliances with the purchase, a big plus for me.
The flooring throughout the home was brand new also, another big plus.
The rest of the kitchen is fairly well used, and I thought about visiting a kitchen cabinet showroom to see what the possibilities would be for replacing the counter tops and cabinets.
Ultimately, though I determined that it was not realistic for me to make this expenditure right away, so I cleaned them all really, really well and called it good.
The Master Bath and Guest Bath in my new condo were also pretty tired, but clean. So they will have to suffice as is for awhile.
I decided to go with one of my bright accent colors in the Guest Bath, shown above. Nothing fancy…the shower curtain is from Target…but it’s colorful and inviting.
The Master Bedroom needed to be functional, as I didn’t want to sleep on the floor. But I wasn’t too concerned about it beyond the bed and a dresser.
I decided that the Living, Office and Dining areas were going to receive my immediate attention as far as the budget and styling were concerned.
Prioritizing your efforts will always help keep you on track, so matter the size of your decorating project. Remember to consider your budget.
Where to start? What to do? How to best put your plan and priorities into action? So many questions…let’s take a look at the options when you’re turning a house into a home.
I have a lot of experience with interior decorating and home staging, so putting a style, a look, a room, an entire home together is not intimidating for me. I’m not bragging, it’s just the reality of the situation.
So for me, my plan and my priorities were clear in my head, and from there I started to gather photos of pieces that I liked and that fit my budget.
It usually makes sense to find the largest pieces first, and in this case that is what I did. I found the sofa, accent chairs and dining set at a local furniture store. The pattern on the chairs was a bit of a risk, but I loved them at first sight and knew they would fit perfectly into my plan!
The sofa had to be a certain size, as my living area is not huge, and this piece fit the size and the style requirement. Casual, clean, simple, easy and not too light in color.
After those purchases were made I was able to continue on with the accent pieces, like the coffee table, end tables, dining area rug, pillows and art. I actually brought the art you see with me from my previous home, confident that I would find a place for them, and I did!
I knew the Plan, as that had already been determined, so I was confident of my choices because I knew they would work well. And that, my friends, is half the battle of decorating your home, turning it from ‘just a house’ into a home to live in and love. Confidence in your decisions.
Maybe you want the focus to be on your entire home, and while completely changing every room in your house will cost you a small fortune, decorating it with a fresh coat of paint and sprucing up the smaller details could be just enough.
You might decide to totally refresh a particular room. The process is the same. Set a Plan, determine the Priorities. Decide if this is going to be the first step in transitioning to a different color palette.
If so, give a bit of thought to the colors you are selecting and how they might work in the other rooms of your home.
To help your home flow from room to room, keep to similar color tones and styles throughout.
While painting can be a great way to help your home flow and feel renewed, think about the furniture that you have on display as well as the smaller pieces and accents.
I knew that the space I was working with was not large, so my choices in furniture and accessories were kept to scale. Nothing huge in this condo!
How the furniture is placed can create an emotional response, or vibe, in your home.
I always enjoy using angles to create interest and the vibe, so I used them in the living area, making sure that the occupants (me, typically) would be able to enjoy the TV, conversation, fireplace and the view.
The accents such as coffee table, end tables, the desk in my ‘office’, the lighting…all were chosen to be consistent with my casual, Modern Farmhouse style with an industrial vibe. (The Plan!)
Other considerations were the finish, the wood type/look, the base and the shape of each piece. I didn’t want a Great Room full of circles, or squares, or rectangles, so I mixed up the shapes, as well as the finishes on the tops and bases of the pieces.
One vintage piece was included, and I love it. The small china cabinet belonged to my great Aunt Bata, and I had it in my home many years ago. The piece found its way back to me recently, and it still looks pretty good!
I was able to put my china and collectables in it, and I think the antique piece is a wonderful focal point. Mixing vintage and more modern, or contemporary pieces can be a wonderful look if you enjoy it!
You may love modern furniture, or like to put your own stamp on things by upcycling older and retro pieces.
Remember: only have things in your home that you love, want and need. This can help avoid clutter.
I’m far from finished with the furnishing of my home. The Master Bedroom needs a bit of furniture and all of the decorative finishes. The Guest Bedroom is empty except for the grand kid’s toys and my stationary bike.
It needs some love in the Kitchen and Baths as mentioned previously. They are worn, but still functional.
Still, I am happy with what I’ve done so far in my new Midwest home. It is a reflection of me, what I love and how I live. I have turned this house into a home!