In the era of Instagram and Pinterest, it’s so easy to find inspiration for your home and effortlessly recreate what you see online. Anyone can have a gorgeous space when there are ideas and budget-friendly design hacks at every turn. But, copying the vision of someone else isn’t what makes a house a home.
MAKING A HOUSE A HOME
You make a house a home by injecting your personality, your memories, and your tastes into your space. It’s not just about style, it’s about what makes you unique. And today, I’m sharing my 4 tips on making a house (or a tiny apartment) a home. No matter how small your space, you can make it your own – a place that you’ll be delighted to come back to each and every day.
TIP ONE: USE SOMETHING OLD, BUY SOMETHING NEW
You don’t make a home by going out to the store, buying a living room set, and calling it a day. A home is made up of pieces from different walks of your life that come together to represent your personal style. So, use something old, and buy something new. Go high end on that piece you have to have, and save on things that will only need to serve you for a couple years.
Our apartment is a mix of budget-friendly Ikea pieces – like the small scale sofa that fits perfectly in our current apartment – and splurges that will be with us for a lifetime – like the 1970’s lingerie chest in the bedroom. Our kitchen chairs are mid-century Windsor chairs that I’ve painted more than a few times, but I paired them with a modern tulip table so that the look wouldn’t be too old or too new. It feels like a home.
TIP TWO: FRAME MEANINGFUL “ART”
Don’t just go to Home Goods, buy a few framed prints, and hang them up on your wall thinking that’s going to feel like a home. Your art, whatever that means for you, should represent you. In our space, that means sketches that my grandfather did in the art classes that he took well into old age, framed photographs of Adam’s great-grandfather, a concert ticket from the show where we met, paintings that I’ve done, and more.
Think about the diversity of pieces that you can frame. A menu from a meaningful dinner, a postcard from one of your most eye-opening trips, a matchbook from a favorite restaurant. Get creative, and every time you look at your wall, you’ll be reminded of these memories – and memories are what makes a house a home.
TIP THREE: EXPLORE YOUR DEFINITION OF “LIVED-IN”
Often you’ll hear one of the best ways to create a home is to let your space feel “lived-in.” But that means something different to everyone and you need to find out what it means for you rather than worrying about what it means to your favorite designer or blogger.
For some, it may mean that you don’t worry whether everything is put away every night and that you embrace the chaos (though I’d argue, it makes for a more relaxing morning to do so) or you don’t worry about whether your home is immaculately clean. For others, it could mean creating a soft space full of varying textures or perhaps a home filled with collections of textiles and art from travels near and far.
For me, it means having art that has a story, patterns that create a cozy space, and books that inspire us. It means cutting down on clutter to keep our space and my mind clear and focused. And it means making sure our home is functional.
TIP FOUR: FIND A DAILY ROUTINE
On the same note as making sure a home is functional, find a daily routine that works for you within your own home. Find the corner that’s just perfect for a morning cup of coffee, the place that gets that afternoon light that’s so gorgeous for sitting down with a good book, the spaces in your bedroom that make getting ready for the day a relaxing process, the areas that make entertaining easy regardless of how small your square footage is.
With those little moments carved out in your daily routine, your house will go from somewhere that you simply store your stuff to a home where you can enjoy each and every day.