Look up the difference in definition between ‘house’ and ‘home’ in the dictionary, and the divergence in description is telling. The former is defined, simply, as ‘a building for human habitation’. It’s functional and formal, and let’s face it, doesn’t sound particularly welcoming. But ‘home’ is described as ‘the place where one lives permanently, especially as the member of a family’. That sense of stability and love just leaps off the page, don’t you think? 

Have you recently moved into a new house that doesn’t yet feel like a home? That shift from functional to familial doesn’t happen without work, let’s make that clear. Though time and memories, of course, play a part, you need to take an active role in shaping the decor and ambience of your place before it becomes more than just walls, a door and a roof. With that in mind, here’s how to make your new house feel like a home in 7 IDEAL steps.

PERSONALISE YOUR PROPERTY

First things first, your new property is never truly going to feel like it’s your home until you add some personal touches. This means putting your own stamp on it and making it look and feel like a place that resembles your unique personality.

Start personalising your property by surrounding yourself with trinkets that you’ve collected on your travels. Hang paintings from your favourite artist. Throws, pillows and rugs always give a homey feeling as do shelves full of books, so carefully curate a bookcase with your favourite reads – the sooner the books are on the shelves, the quicker you can settle in with a good read and a glass of wine.

RECREATE THE FEEL OF YOUR CHILDHOOD HOME

Another way to personalise your property is to recreate the feel of your childhood home. No matter where you live in your adult life, your childhood home will always feel like your true home. There’s no place like it, after all.

This is the place where your first memories were formed, and if those memories are positive ones, then introduce some elements of your family home to evoke nostalgia and that warm sense of belonging in your new house. You can achieve this by displaying items that you remember from your childhood. This could be a teddy bear, old photographs, or even a dated piece of furniture which your parents have let you adopt.

Now, if someone could just bottle that smell of your childhood home, we might just make a fortune selling it back to you.

AROMATHERAPY

Speaking of which, every house has its own distinctive smell; some inviting, some not so. To evoke a welcoming, peaceful vibe in your new home, make sure you channel the energy of aromatherapy.

Smell should also play a big part in any home sanctuary setting. Amping up aromatherapy and optimising your olfactory sense can help you gain that inner calm. Chamomille and lavender scents are particularly evocative of a peaceful space, but it’s important you find an aroma which reflects your sense of individuality, whether that’s incense, the smell of freshly baked bread or even of freshly done laundry, which you can now buy in diffuser form.

FOCUS ON THE HEART OF THE HOME

There’s one narrative thread with runs through so many of the best homes; that the kitchen is the hub of the house and the heart of the home. This is where bread is baked and broken, where families draw their faces away from screens for a short while and actually make eye contact. Relationships are nurtured and souls are nourished in the kitchen, so it’s a good idea to focus your initial efforts here after moving in. 

The good news is that it’s also one of the easiest rooms to get right, simply by adding a few accessories which even a dictatorial (aren’t they all?) landlord couldn’t object to. This could be as basic as putting in a hanging rack for utensils, or having your spice collection on display, to using brightly colour crockery to add a new, confident colour scheme to the overall aesthetic of your home.

You could even consider personalising some items in the kitchen, such as mugs or even aprons. Should this sound like your kind of thing, be sure to head over to TheGiftExperience.co.uk. A whole host of items to personalise can be found on there, including a wide range of personalised aprons that’ll be sure to help you give your kitchen a personal touch.

The sooner you get your kitchen sorted, the sooner you can have friends and family around and start creating the first memories in your new house.

ADOPT A PET

Ok, we know this seems like a big step, but adopting a pet can be a great thing to do if you’re struggling to settle into your new home. Though, of course, a pet isn’t just for Christmas, taking one into your house which needs shelter and love can imbue a real sense of family into your new gaff, helping you nurture a loving atmosphere within. 

Not only will this help mark a new era for you in your life, but it’ll also inject your home with a much-needed sense of warmth. That furry companion waiting at the door for you each day? That’s domestic, comforting and homely.

INCREASE NATURAL LIGHT

As SAD sufferers will reliably attest, natural light can lift your mood immeasurably. It can increase the level of warm energy running through your home, give you a nice dose of vitamin D and a much-needed boost of serotonin. And we all need a legally permitted dose of that right now. 

You’ll never settle into your new home if your living space feels moody and dreary. In fact, natural light has consistently been found to lift the mood and improve a sense of wellbeing. If you want to start feeling comfortable in your new house, make sure you do your utmost to increase the natural light within it. You can achieve this by:

  • Investing in more mirrors and objects that reflect natural light
  • Opting to paint and decidorate your home in a lighter colour palette
  • Painting your window overhangs white
  • Installing larger windows and doors
  • Washing your windows on a regular basis
  • Adding skylights
  • Installing solar tubes
  • Using reflective backsplash tiles
  • Trimming the trees that stand outside your windows and doors

After investing so much of your hard earned money into your property, you want to start feeling comfortable within it as soon as you possibly can. If you put the above advice into practice, your new house will start feeling home in no time.

GET IT CLEAN FROM THE GET-GO

Even if end-of-tenancy cleaners were employed to clean the property before you’ve just moved into, there’s nothing quite like giving it a good scrub from top-to-bottom yourself to make it feel like your own. There’s something symbolic about washing away the residue of previous tenants with your own hands, allowing you to start fresh in your new space and create your own home.