People who recently moved generally fall into two categories: those who can't wait to begin sprucing up their new place, and those who live amidst bare walls for months, never carving out the time to unpack those last boxes, much less hang window treatments or otherwise personalize their space.
Here are seven creative, tangible ways to make your new space feel more like home, no matter how long you've been there.
1. Add live plants or fresh flowers. With plants available at every home improvement store and flowers for sale in the local grocery store, it can't be any easier to personalize your space with a little life. Check thrift stores for fun, off-beat vases, or use whatever you have, like an artful wine bottle for a small bouquet to a champagne flute as a bud vase.
2. Hang window treatments. Bare windows give off that “just-moved-in” vibe. Set aside a few hours one weekend, measure your windows, and add some shades, blinds, drapes or curtains. Curtains typically cost less, making them easier to change out if you decide to paint or change décor later on.
3. Add aromas. Adding pleasing scents to your home is another way to personal your space. If you don't like artificial air fresheners, consider burning real Himalayan incense or simply place a bowl of fresh citrus fruits in your entryway. Grow herbs like mint or rosemary on your kitchen counter for 100-percent natural scents.
4. Hang pictures. If you staged your home for sale before your move, you've probably been living without pictures or personal souvenirs in your space for so long, you forgot how warm and welcoming they can make a home. The pros recommend starting with a large “focal point” photo hanging so the center of the picture is eye-level when you're standing up. Work outward from there, keeping the large frame on the bottom and adding smaller pictures around. To keep a photo display from looking sloppy, select a theme: either a collection of frames that are consistent in color or material, or up to three different complementary styles.
5. Surround yourself with your favorite things. If you did a massive “de-cluttering” before your move, congratulations! Now you're facing boxes of things that you use, love or that enhance your life in some way. It's time to find creative ways to display them! Group like items together in sets of uneven numbers. Don't have any large collections of similar items? Look for items similar in texture or color and group them together for an eclectic display. Home accessories great for grouping include vases, plants, picture frames, figurines, coffee table books, paperweights and pretty knick-knacks.
6. Get rid of anything that's not “you.” This goes for items that don't serve any purpose and that you no longer love, as well as remnants left behind from your home's previous residents. We were in our house for two years before I finally removed a horse shoe (hanging upside down, no less!) engraved with the previous occupants' last name. I breathed a sigh of relief. “Ah, now we are officially moved in.”
7. Add an organization center. I didn't feel truly “moved in,” though, until I added a calendar with storage pockets in our hallway. This “organization station” lists appointments and events for everyone in our household, plus it holds shopping lists, coupons and paperwork that needs to be taken care of. You might also want to hang a whiteboard or paint a wall with chalkboard paint for leaving notes and reminders. This spot in the hallway may not be the most beautiful thing in a home, but a central location that lists all your family activities is not only convenient, it's a constant reminder, “This is our home. We live here. And we love it.”
And now it's your turn -- in what creative ways do you make a new space feel more like home? Share your suggestions in the comments below.
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