I’ve been in the new condo for about a month now and it’s finally starting to feel like home. I’ve come to notice that there are a few things that make a house feel like a home and not just a place you keep your stuff.
After three years and four major cross country moves, I’ve come to realize that there are a few key essentials that make a house really feel like a place you can feel confident unpacking all the boxes- a true home. I’m excited to finally put down roots and invest in some personalization, home decor and general craftiness.
1. Bring your family into the space, even if they can’t be there in person
Until I unpack the pictures and put them on the walls and adorning the shelves, any place would feel like a hotel, not like home. Right now, I’m fascinated by photo collages. We’re planning a Route 66 themed wall collage with photos, state plates and road trip memorabilia. I got a great deal on a set of black photo frames in various sizes from Rakuten.com which made the ideal grouping easy peezy.
I can’t wait to print out some of my road trip and family pictures that have been hiding in my camera and finally give them a home on my wall. I’m hoping to have a ginormous collage that will tell a story and add warmth to the condo. A space still feels like a hotel until you have the people you love staring back at you, even with art or fancy decor- it’s not home without people, even if they can’t all be there. The only thing that makes the distance easy is feeling like you’re surrounded by the people across the miles, who love you.
2. Good books that give your space personality
I feel that there is almost nothing that makes a greater statement about who you are than the books on your shelf. To me, books are a prized collection, one that I prefer to cultivate with quality rather than quantity. So, I very rarely buy books, instead I opt for the library and when a book is worthy of keeping, I seek it out to own. There are a few books I’ve fallen in love with in the last few years that had to be purchased, and through several moves, I still couldn’t part with them.
Is it just me or are books more expressive than artwork? I feel that books not only tell a story about who you are, they’re an expression of the memories you have with them, unspoken time capsules that trigger memories of learning, stories and experiences only you could know when you see them. Books are ot
3. Morning coffee
Smell is an important aspect of adding warmth and personality to a home. While I’m a huge fan of scented candles and tea lights, no candle captures the aroma of “morning” better than fresh coffee. Without morning coffee, not only do mornings feel unbearable, but it doesn’t smell like home. Every time I’ve moved, I’ve always gotten a new coffee maker within a day or two if I didn’t have one handy.
Coffee is fabulous for early mornings to run or head to work, but on a relaxed Saturday, spiking it with some Bailey’s ain’t bad either. Good memories around coffee make any house a home.
4. A house isn’t a home until it’s covered in pug hair
Having pets has always been a part of my life- but it wasn’t until a few years back when I narrowed down the fur affection to just pugs. When I went off to graduate school two years ago, I was assuming I’d be so busy with school I wouldn’t notice a lack of fuzziness in my life, but yet- I totally noticed. The coffee maker, photos and books in my first “Chicago home” couldn’t make Chicago feel like home until I adopted Ralph. Two years later, Max came thundering into our lives, and the new digs are just right with dogs.
Honestly, sometimes homemaking would be less crazymaking without two furballs running around that shed year round, shred their toys and have a tendency to dribble food, water and treats all over the floor- but then again, who needs clean floors?
So, what do you do to make your place feel like home?
What’s one thing you always unpack first when you move?