Ever entered a house and felt like you were in a showroom (too...perfect) - or worse - the storeroom of a showroom (cold, sparse...cooo-eeee!)?
Yup, me too.
'Home is where the heart is,' 'there's no place like home' and 'home sweet home' seemed to have been lost on these abodes.
Unfortunately we can't go around to our strangers houses and just start moving stuff around - though I have been known to do this secret squirrel-like.
What we can do for these poor soul-less houses, however, and their well-meaning but rather sad and they don't know exactly why occupants, is share this article with them. So they too can make their house a home in a just a few easy tweaks....and live happily ever after. (With happy visitors, who no longer feel like they can't sit down.)
And if this is you... you're welcome. Send before and afters plz! 😉
1. PUT PHOTOS IN THOSE EMPTY FRAMES, PRONTO
You know the ones. I know you don't know those fake smiling people either. And I certainly know you don't know them well enough to have pictures of them in every room. It's creepy. So are completely empty frames. They're like ghost towns and books without pages. Tell your story and put some of your own special moments in those frames like you've been meaning to for the past century. They don't have to be all people either - mix it up and bring your world travels out of the albums and into the conversation. And if you're not old enough to even own a photo album, get your butt down to a print shop and bask in the beauty of a photograph that last's longer than 24 hours.
2. THROW WITH GUSTO
Yep, literally, toss your throws and cushions around a bit. Stop being so bloody perfect, you're making everyone nervous. Don't get me wrong, I love a clean house, but there's tidy and then there's plastic on the sofa awkward. This is especially important if you have a very structured or formal lounge. Soften. Not only will you likely enjoy a Netflix and chill a little more, but your guests will relax (and they'll be totally jealous that their couch ain't that cosy)! And if not a throw or cushion yet exists, I'm concerned for your cortisol levels. To Bed, Bath and Table you go.
3. BRING THE OUTDOORS IN
Another known stress reliever and mood soother in the home is plants - real ones. Go for Mother in Laws Tongue grouped in cylindrical planters paired with Peace Lillies on raised plant stands, or hanging tendrils over desks, off shelves or the very cool kokedama Fern in the bathroom. And if you can't get real for whether, rental or whatever reason, flowers are your friends. Buy in bulk. Or take cuttings of the blooms and foliage in friends yards. Most people are cool you like their plant so much. (Not strangers though...no granny picking please!) In my opinion you can never have too many plants in your home and in opposition to Coco Chanel's fashion rule of take one piece away, with plants...add one more.
4. LIVE WITH YOUR FAVOURITE THINGS
Quit hiding all your 'good stuff!' There's such a thing as too much storage when you're going for a lived-in look in your home. Leave the things out that you use every day or that you want to use every day. Putting it on display allows you and your guests appreciate it's beauty but it will also remind you to actually use it. Hats, handbags, beautiful hand creams, books and scarves, even dresses or robes hung from hooks or draped over chairs. See what small furniture items such as stools, side tables, baskets and shelves you can bring more life to simply by letting them co-habit with your favourite things. Loosen your bone Wilma.
5. ADD SEASONAL OR SIGNATURE SCENTS
A beautiful seasonal scent in the form of candles, essential oil diffusers, reed diffusers or home sprays beautifully cements your house and it's homeliness in the minds and senses of all who visit. Scent is such an easy way to take the 'display home' feel down a notch, relaxing the vibe and making it feel lived in. Yet so often, display homes themselves miss capitalising on this simple trick and instead the smell of paint and musty furniture leaves a lot to the imagination. There is a plethora of gorgeous spring scents available at the moment, so give each main space a hint of your favourite. Subtly does it though, and stick to natural over manufactured supermarket shelf smells. Have fun with it and sniff your way to a happier home in 5.
How do you make your house a home?
What's the story of most un-homely house you've ever seen?
Spill the beans below. Or care to share with your plastic couch covered friends.