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Monday, February 15, 2016

Nine Easy Tips for Making Your House Feel Like A Home

When someone walks into your house, how does he feel? Does he feel warm? At home? Scared stiff—fearing he might mess something up? Does he feel loved?

I enjoy looking at photos of home décor. Some is over-the-top, unreachable, and so very fancy—Victorian, French châteaux, etc.—and some is so pristine you’d be afraid to sit down.

As Christians, we want our home's atmosphere to say: loving, caring, approachable, warm. It’s amazing how little it takes to create an atmosphere that feels like that. Whether your style is modern, industrial, shabby chic, French country, or whatever you like, you can make your house feel like a home.

Let me share a few ideas I’ve learned over the years. Surely you’ll think of more:
  1. In your living areas (living, dining, and kitchen), use warm colors. This means painting the walls with a touch of yellow, orange, or red in the paint. How about cream, peach, ochre, warm gray, sage green, or sand? It doesn’t have to be a dark color or even intense; just a measure of warmth will do.
  2. Add one or two patterns. You could have a patterned rug, pillow(s), and/or curtains. Patterns convey homeyness. You can combine large patterns with small—in the same color range. (Make sure some of your surfaces and furniture are not patterned. A little bit of pattern goes a long way.)
  3. Choose a color scheme that extends from your entrance through your main living areas. This way, your home looks put together. You can have variations on that same (usually three colors) theme, but those same colors appear in each room: kitchen, dining room, and living room.
  4. When you’re picking out furniture and furnishings, don’t be too matchy-matchy. A room looks more homey if it doesn’t look like a furniture store showroom. Get a matching sofa and big chairs, but then change up the look with your end table(s), coffee table, and bookcases. In the dining room, consider one style of chairs at the head and foot of the table and different matching chairs down the sides. Mix and match dishes. Don’t arrange every decoration in perfect symmetry.
  5. Use texture. After you’ve decorated, toss a fuzzy, textured afghan over a chair or couch. Use a basket or a piece of handmade pottery to add another dimension. Look for ways to add interesting, contrasting textures to your decorating.
  6. Consider your lighting. Make sure lights are glowing and not too blue or "cool" in tone. "Daylight" is a good choice.
  7. Add plants! A touch of green literally makes a space come alive. (You don’t have to be a green thumb. You can use amazingly realistic fake plants—no watering!) Make sure every room in your house has at least one green plant in it.
  8. Add “history.” Old photos, a mirror with a fancy frame, collected things, a container of old silver spoons, an urn, a set of old books, signage, a piece of sculpture . . . even if it only looks old, it will give depth to your decorating.
  9. Don’t forget happy smells! When you know someone’s coming, light a scented candle. Even happier would be an apple pie in the oven, pizza, or a chicken casserole . . . . Nothing says “home” better than opening the door to pleasant smells.
So, we’ve decorated, added plants, and the apple pie is in the oven.

Now, enjoy those who share your home. Open your arms to your family and visitors. Smile, relax, and breathe deeply.

Oh yes, and don’t forget to get the pie out in exactly two minutes! Yummmm!

The Virtuous Woman looketh well to the ways of her household,
and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Her children arise up, and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praiseth her.
Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain:
but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands;
and let her own works praise her in the gates.
(Proverbs 31:27-31)

(For decorating ideas in many different styles, please check me out on Pinterest. I have boards called: bedroom décor, bathroom decoration ideas, furniture, home decorating, home decorating details, kitchen ideas, windows, and many more.)

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