Why is it that certain places feel like home right away, but others may take months or even years before they feel like yours? Is it the location, something about the home itself or something else? Here we’ll explore these questions and some ways to get settled at home. Please add your own experiences in the Comments!
Getting to Know Your Home
The personality of your home. Each home has its own personality, and how well that personality meshes with your own can make a big difference in how you feel about your home. If you haven’t thought of your home as having a personality before, it might seem strange — but if you give it a try, you may be surprised at what you find. Is your home quirky, sweet, a bit curmudgeonly? Neat? Warm? Mysterious?
A sense of place. A home in Nebraska feels very different than one in Southern California, Connecticut or Texas. Even if homes in different regions are similar in style, the sense of a place seeps in. The history of a place, the personality of a region (and even a specific neighborhood), and how you feel about living there will affect how you feel about your home. If you are feeling disconnected from your home, consider taking time to explore your area and seek out good things and hidden treasures.
Taking Ownership of Your Space
Settling in and getting things just right. Moving furniture, trying different layouts and even swapping rooms can make an enormous difference in how you feel about a place. When we first moved into our home, we set up our rooms in much the same way as the past owners — something many of us do without even realizing it! If things aren’t feeling right, roll up your sleeves and try something new.
Clearing the air and dealing with negative mojo. The five senses have a powerful effect on our emotions. When you move into a home, traces of the past owners remain — the smells of their cooking or spices in the cupboards; marks on floors and walls from their dogs, their kids or moving furniture; and their choices in paint color. Moving into a new home, especially one where the past owners lived for many years, can almost feel as if you are invading someone else’s personal space.
If this is the case, do everything you can to put your own stamp on the home, using all of the senses. Play your favorite music, clean and scrub every inch of the walls and floors with a pleasant-smelling cleaning product, open the windows to let fresh air in, cook your favorite meal in the kitchen and paint and decorate the way you like.
Putting things on the walls. It’s funny; people have all kinds of reasons for not putting things on the walls. I have some friends who waited over five years to hang anything on the walls because they wanted to paint first, but never got around to it! Renters may be reluctant to make holes in the walls, but small holes are easily patched and covered, so please don’t let that stop you. Putting your art, photos and objects on the walls is one of the quickest ways to make a house feel like a home. It’s a step that, while in reality is easily changed, feels quite permanent.
Your people, your experiences. Sometimes it’s helpful to actually be able to see the faces of those you love on the walls, taped to the fridge, cluttering your nightstand. Photos of places you’ve been, adventures you’ve been on, the things and experiences you love can have a positive effect too. Put them up where you can see them, because there is great comfort in our personal histories.
Objects that have traveled with you for a long time. Likewise pull out the objects you have owned for the longest time and make room for them somewhere prominent: the quilts your grandmother pieced, the little vase with a chip in it your roommate made for you, the art you bought at a flea market when moved into your first place.
Making new memories. If you really feel unsettled in your space, embrace the fact that it may just take more time. There is, however, a way to speed this process along: Use your home more. Invite friends over for dinner. Host your child’s birthday party at home instead of going out. Have the family over for a holiday celebration. As you create new memories in your home, it will become dear to you. It’s as simple as that.
Houzz Contributor. I cover topics ranging from decorating ideas, product picks, Houzz tours, and interviews with designers and architects, to the monthly home maintenance checklist. My favorite pieces to write tend to center around the emotional aspects of home and savoring life's simple pleasures. Learn more, and follow my adventures in creating a warm and cozy home at https://www.lolalina.com/.
Choose the ID of the Quiz you want to render (automatic popup):
Column Builder Collections Attached with ID: K5HKRn