July 31, 2015 Guest Post
Moving into a new home is a process that can cause a surprising mix of emotions. Of course you should be jubilant that you’re moving up in the world and that you’ve gotten somewhere for yourself that you can enjoy spending time in and relaxing in more than your last property, and you should be excited to start decorating and making it yours.
But then there are some negative emotions as well you will find that can somewhat stand in the way of your enjoyment. One of these emotions may very well be stress or even fear as you realise the scope of your new responsibility, while at the same time you might find yourself missing your old property – even mourning it to an extent. There are few things we own that can become as personal or as integral to our lifestyles as our properties, and so it only makes sense that once we move on we should find ourselves struggling to let go.
Making matters worse is the fact that at first your new place isn’t going to seem particularly homely or pleasant to spend time in. At first it may even feel somewhat cold and unwelcoming. You’ll be tempting to shout ‘you’re not my home!’ accusingly like some kind of confused orphan…
So what’s going on here? Why doesn’t your home feel like a home yet, and what can you do to turn it into one?
What Makes Something Feel Homely?
First of all, you need to think about what makes a place feel homely. The weird thing is that we can often feel ‘at home’ at places that aren’t anything like homes as long as they fulfil the right criteria, and that means that they should be warm, they should be ‘cosy’, they should be private and they should be snug.
To create a feeling of warmth you should fill your rooms with warm colours as well as soft items that create an image of comfort. Lots of stone floors and big open windows will create a spacious, modern and clean feeling – but a few more closed in rooms with some nice soft furnishings and warm patterns will help to give you a few retreats where you can batten down the hatches and feel at home.
Of course creating actual warmth is also important, so be sure to keep the heating on and to invest in double glazing if you don’t have it already. The best forms of heat of all though are ‘oasis’ style heat sources – that means things like fireplaces that you can huddle around and feel the warmth coming off of. These are just great for snuggling under a blanket while it’s raining outside…
Making it You
Not any warm cosy place will instantly feel like home though, because different people have different ideas of what a home should be. One of the things that makes somewhere home is familiarity, while at the same time we tend to feel more homely when surrounded by things that remind us of ourselves.
One very quick way to make a room a little more welcoming and friendly for instance is to hang up a picture of some friends. These are people you recognise and it also offers some personality and a link to your past. Likewise you should also use other anchors form your past – an old cuddly toy for instance, or your favourite mug from you last place. Put these items on display and you’ll have some sense of reassuring familiarity.
But the biggest factor in creating a home is simply time. Over time you will come to be more familiar with your home and you will make memories there. When you stagger back to your home after a long night out and it greats you with warmth and comfort, it’s hard not to be fond of it. And likewise when you get home after a long holiday that was fun but nevertheless not terribly relaxing.
Perhaps the best way to make your house into a home then is to start living there – and I mean really living. Plan some nights out, have friends round and go on holiday. All these things will form new memories around your home and you’ll find you feel closer to it as a result.
This post is contributed by Leslie Kramer, a freelance blogger, who is currently writing for Patrizou Construction Group, one of the leading residential construction companies in Melbourne. Leslie is an avid reader and likes play lawn tennis in her free time.