Renovation Ideas That Will Make Your House A Home
Is your home in need of a makeover—especially one that would make it more customized to the people living in it? There are many ways to do this without going overboard on your budget or doing a complete overhaul. We list some of them below:
ENTRANCE: Make it more welcoming.
Let’s start with the first thing everyone sees from the outside and leaves an impression, according to Better Homes & Gardens: Your gate, your yard, and/or your front door. Paint your gate and door in a bright and cheerful color, and add some landscaping to your yard. “Dress the door with new hardware, and add a welcome mat and potted plants near the entrance. Consider installing outdoor lighting to enhance your home's architecture and illuminate the walkway,” suggests BHG.com.
FLOORS: Make them softer.
Rugs and carpets are a great way to make your house feel like home, because not only do they make your home feel warmer, they make every step you make around your house feel softer, too. DesignSponge.com explains, “That softness and warm feeling that comes from having textiles in a room is something that instantly makes a room feel more lived-in…introduce textiles that mean something to you. Whether that means laying down your grandmother’s rag-rug from the 50s or stitching together salvaged remnants from a thrift shop or making your own DIY floor cloth, 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.”
LIVING ROOM: Sink it.
There’s a design trend that’s becoming more popular among upscale homes, and that’s sunken living rooms. Buzzfeed.com recommends, “Lower your living room to create a conversation pit. The bi-level living room will give your home an incredibly spacious yet cozy effect.”
CORNERS: Create your comfy nook.
Some parts of your home will feel more homey than others, and usually, it’s little nooks and crannies that you’ve made extremely comfortable with the addition of cushy seating, throws, fluffy pillows, and warm lighting that make them so. If you don’t have these comfy corners yet, make sure to create at least one or two of them—every home needs one. It can be that plush chair where you curl up to read a new novel, or your bed (of course!) with a memory foam mattress and extremely soft covers and pillows you sink into at the end of a busy day.
WALLS: Paint, stick, or hang a personal touch to them.
If you can, paint an accent wall a bright, warm color that will serve as the focal point of the room. If you or your family is the type to leave notes or scribble, chalkboard paint is a fun option—anyone can scribble messages, quotes, ideas, and even guests can contribute something! Of course, leave non-toxic colored chalk in a jar close by. If you’re not allowed to paint walls (say, if you’re renting), vinyl stickers, decals, temporary wallpaper, and paint chips are affordable, non-committal options.
A more specific way to personalize your walls—and make your space your OWN—is to hang collections or items relating to your hobbies and passions on them. Artwork you picked out yourself and photos of the family and your vacation are always a good, safe idea. But if you want something different, maybe frame your collection of music CDs (which are now so retro in the age of Spotify), concert tickets and paraphernalia, or movie posters. If you work in a magazine—as a writer, editor, or photographer—you can frame pages you worked on. Do you collect coins, stamps, or currencies from different countries? Frame and hang them all!
Homify.co has another term—and idea—for this: a memory wall. “There's nothing as soothing to the heart as thinking about the good times, create a memory wall and you'll always be at ease with personal items on display.” So if you’re a jet-setter, decorate your walls with a map of your favorite destination, museum maps, train tickets and tickets to shows—maybe even the playbill from your favorite Broadway show. The same goes for other mementos and vintage items that you collected from your travels—display them all. The list is endless.
DesignSponge.com lists more things you can display: “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.”
SHELVES: Display your collections, passions, and your family’s story.
But don’t just display everything. You have to put some thought to it. DesignSponge.com suggests, “make a short list of the things that you love and want to see every day. Your list could include a collection of books you’d like to display in a creative way, a family portrait, a branch you found in your yard or a doorstop you grew up with that becomes a tabletop sculpture – or anything else that makes you smile when you look at it. Give these items a special spot in your home (on a table, on a bookshelf, attached to the wall or housed in a display case or shadowbox) and they will take on a whole new meaning that gives people an instant sense of what you find beautiful when they walk in the door.”
Another guideline for your personal showcase that Fixer Upper’s Joanna Gaines shared with ArchitecturalDigest.com: “I can’t say it enough—don’t design your home with meaningless elements simply to get it decorated… Take your time and gather pieces that mean something to you, whether they’re framed family photos, a beautiful antique clock that speaks to you, or a knickknack that reminds you of your grandmother. Take care in the process, and don’t rush. These elements are what make a house feel like home. Throw the idea that your house has to look a certain way right out the window. In my opinion, what sets a home apart is when you focus on your family’s story, rather than a style ideal. Find pieces that speak to you, and give yourself the freedom to tell your story in your own unique way.”
TABLE: Select one (or two or more) to pepper with photos beneath a glass top.
Aside from displaying framed photos, art, and mementos on a tabletop, you can actually display them on the table, under a piece of glass cut to the tabletop’s dimensions. Besides snapshots, you can put postcards from loved ones or from your travels, fabric that caught your eye, pretty handwritten notes and letters from people dearest to you, quotes—and a lot of other things you can flatten and display between the table and its glass cover. Who needs tablecloths when you have this?