“House” and “home” don’t mean the same things. You can live in a building, fill it with your stuff, and use it as a base of operations, but that absolutely does not make it a home. A home is somewhere you feel safe, somewhere you automatically think of when you’re wondering where you can go to be protected from the world. When you buy a new house, it’s not your home by default; making it your home takes a lot of work.
There’s a lot you need to do in order to transform a new house into a home. Some of those things can be done as soon as you move in, while others will take some time. Sometimes, a house doesn’t feel like a home until a certain amount of time has passed, and that’s alright. In the meantime, there’s plenty you can do yourself. Here’s how you can make a new house feel like a home.
Personalise Your Rooms
One way to make a house feel like home is to stamp your unique personality and family traits on the property. You can do this in a number of ways, but perhaps the most effective one is to display family photographs. Why not do something a little cleverer than most and try displaying your family photoshoot on some high-quality canvas prints? It’ll make the photos feel like they have an edge. Or, include some furniture.
Display Some Artwork
Art is completely subjective; your tastes will differ entirely from someone else’s, and that’s what makes the art world so fascinating. Displaying art in your home will communicate who you are and what you’re about at a glance, making it perfect for personalising. Once you’re looking at prints of your favourite pieces on a regular basis, your house will start to feel like home.
Give it Some Time
Don’t expect your house to immediately feel like home; that’s very rare, although it can happen occasionally. You’ll need to take a little time to settle into your new place. All you need to do is live your life. Shop, go to work, relax, and eventually, without realising it, your house will feel like home. A home is lived-in by accident rather than lived-in on purpose.
Get Your Bearings
It’s not just the building itself that constitutes your home; there’s also the surrounding area, which needs to feel as much like your stamping grounds as the house itself does. As such, it’s a good idea to venture out and get your bearings, especially early on. Apps like Google Maps and Waze will help immeasurably with this. Try to walk; exercise can also make you feel good about a new home.
Bring Some Stuff From the Old House
Obviously, you’re not just going to abandon all of your possessions when you move house. Still, there will be stuff you’re not quite sure about bringing, stuff that has specific memories attached to it. You should definitely bring as many of those possessions as you can. They can help to orient you in a new atmosphere and give you an emotional centre from which to venture.
Get Yourself a Pet
The benefits of pets for families have been well-documented (research here). They bring happiness, they’re a great way to get physically fit (especially dogs), and they’re just good friends to have around. Having a pet can significantly improve the feel of a new home; if there’s a furry friend to share your space, you’ll feel much better about being there. This goes double if you’re living alone!
Think About Lighting Carefully
If your new home’s lighting is harsh and off-putting, you’re not going to enjoy your time there. Though this is often a consideration for much further down the line, it may be worth installing dimmer switches so that you can control the level and harshness of the light. Soft lighting is a great way to relax you, which can, in turn, make you feel much more at home.
Add Some Plants
Did you know that plants actually have health benefits if you install them in your home? It’s true, according to https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-home-guide/benefits-of-indoor-plants. Plants can improve your mental health, but they also absorb carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen and making your air feel cleaner and healthier. Try to add at least one plant per room, but make sure that you’re also taking the time to care for them. They deserve some love in return for their services!
Cook Some Meals
Food – and more specifically the sense of smell – is very closely associated with the creation of new memories. When you cook in your new home, you’re creating memories associated with that smell, so every time you cook that meal again you’ll revisit those memories and smile. Cooking is also great from a health perspective and will stop you from being tempted to reach for those ever-present takeout leaflets.
Don’t Neglect the Bathroom
Though we don’t like to talk about it, we all spend a lot of time in the bathroom. It’s an important room to get right, but we often neglect it and don’t think too much about it. This is a mistake; your psychology can be seriously impacted by whether your bathroom is a nice place to be or not. Don’t skimp on repairs or renovations just because you don’t like to think about this particular room! Why not give it a new lease of life with shower panels? Or, give the walls a new coat of paint to keep the bathroom looking its best.