Surprisingly simple solutions to make your house feel like home

A few weeks ago, I was having a nice little Sunday at the Rose Bowl Flea Market with one of my best friends, Midge.  After a while, I noticed she gravitated towards a modern version of Country French.   Simple, oversized linen pillows you could lose yourself in, fabrics in deep faded blues and white, and cool antique glass and metal pieces that had character and a slightly industrial vibe. 

I mentioned this to her and then, for the next twenty minutes, I pointed out other things I thought she’d like.  I described a house decorated with all of these pieces and she lit up.  “You’ve got it exactly, that would be so me!”

When your house feels like home, you’ve created a space that feels like you.  There’s a sense of welcome and connection every time you walk in the door.  It’s like deciding what kind of clothes you want to wear.  Yes, you can take a purely functional approach to clothing, where your goal is to be “not naked.”

But think about your favorite outfit.  There’s a reason you love to wear it.  Maybe it makes you feel confident or creative or seriously good-looking but you have to admit, it’s doing a lot more for you than just covering up your kibbles and bits.  It’s reflecting who you are and enhancing it in a way that makes you feel great.  Your home should do the same thing.

So, ask yourself: does my house feel like home?  And if it doesn’t, not to worry, try this. 

Step one: Figure out what you don’t like.  Design is a lot like dating.  You bring things home and a few weeks later wonder, why did I find you attractive?  It’s time to get hardcore. 

Walk into a room, and rate each piece on a scale of 1-10.  (A ten is a “I LOVE this piece and it makes me happy to look at” and a 1 is a “if this spontaneously imploded I would be relieved.”)  Be ruthless.  It will help you get clear about what doesn’t feel like you.  If you get stuck, think about how the piece makes you feel…and why.   If it doesn’t make you feel good, it’s got to go or be reinvented.

Step two: Figure out what you like.  Don’t worry about what’s trendy, or what your friends have, but what totally and completely feels like you.  Don’t know where to start? 

Watch your favorite shows and pay attention to the scenes.  You may find part of what you like about them is the styling of the show itself.  Take note of what catches your eye. 

Listen to music you love.  What mood does it create?  And how does that mood look when you imagine it?  Is it colors or textures?  Is it a party with all your favorite people?  What does the party look like when you picture it? Go crazy; this is your fantasy. 

Start looking around…everywhere.  When you go to a restaurant, a hotel, a bar, or a friend’s house scope it out and think about what grabs your attention.  Search Pinterest, browse magazines, watch HGTV. 

Over time, you’ll start to see themes in the kinds of furniture, colors, and art you’re drawn to.  It’s all about forming opinions and there are no wrong answers.  It’s not about being cool or doing things perfectly. It’s about being surrounded by things you love and that make you feel at home. 

What makes you feel at home?

Did Midge’s modern Country French vision pique your interest?  Click the photo to see more.