Fall in Love with Your Space
Is your space welcoming? Is it cozy, comforting and relaxing?
The moment you walk through your front door after a long day, you need to see things that make you feel good. The aesthetics of your home are critical to you experiencing that elusive feel-good factor.
The same goes for your guests, possibly even more so. You already have feelings attached to your space (hopefully good ones– if not, read on!)
1. First Things First
It all Starts at the Entrance
The entryway and first impressions go a long way in making your home feel welcoming and inviting. Starting with your entrance is quick and easy and will make a big difference. Clear the doorway from shoes, mail and clutter. What is currently going on in your hallway or entrance area? Is it an inviting space? Does it make you feel happy and welcome? If not, then it’s something you need to address, sooner rather than later.
Now that you’ve cleared away the clutter, really LOOK at it. Does it need a coat of paint? If it’s tired and boring, redecorate it. If it’s bland, inject some life into it!
We’ve pulled together some of our favorite form and function pieces for entryways to spruce them up and make them work for you.
Creating a gallery wall is a simple way to bring style and personality to any room — no painting or wallpapering required. All you need is a hammer, some frame hooks and a collection of your favorite art.
I’ve used old calendar prints of cities for a gallery before and got so many compliments! Art doesn’t always have to be expensive.
Add mirrors to bring some light and life into the space. It’s also very welcoming, as you can literally see yourself in the space.
I am personally one of those people who likes to check myself out before leaving the house, and an entryway mirror in a place I’m staying is always an added bonus.
There are a few types of lighting, the most common are ambient lighting, which your general pre-installed lights. These can be a bit bright or stark on their own. Often times lighting is poorly planned out and doesn’t bring enough light to the space.
You can really bring your space to life by playing with additional or alternate lighting in the space. Task lighting (like a desk lamp) and accent lighting (for up-lighting plants, for example). Layer your lighting and play with it until you find the look that really brings the energy you’re looking for to the room.
2. Make Room for Guests
Is your coat closet too crowded? Do you have an umbrella stand when it’s raining outside? Maybe an extra doormat to take off wet or icy shoes? Creating guest space is simple and will make them feel welcome in your home.
If you’re a little handy and want to add some storage space, here’s a great article for How to Build Your Own Coat Closet by Ginger Brownies.
You can also add storage and style with a shelf adorned with accessories that really bring the space to life. Invest in some hooks for your coats and a storage unit to keep all your shoes neat and tidy.
Neat & Tidy
No matter what you do aesthetically, the most important rule to creating that welcoming space is having it clean and clear of clutter. Clutter makes us feel boxed in, reminds us of things we need to do, and zaps the energy from a space.
Consider large woven baskets for extra bedding, shoes, and large things that need to be there, but also need to be contained.
3. Go Green
Adding plants is a sure way to bring some life into the space. If you don’t have a green thumb or plan to have the place rented out, you may want to opt for silk plants, which are incredibly life-like and still enhance the décor by bringing in color and texture.
Make it a comfortable place by filling in empty nooks with large plants. To create dimension in the room, use hanging plants or add a wreath to the wall. When you place greenery at different levels, the room will appear taller.
Greenery, from potted plants and flower bouquets, can also prevent a warm room from becoming too stuffy and brighten your design in the winter months.
4. Lounge space
Create a Cozy Seating Arrangement
You can make your living room feel more inviting by arranging the seating closer together without too many objects in between. That way guests won’t be too distant from each other, resulting in a comforting and pleasant experience
In the UK they refer to the Living Room as the “lounge”, and I’ve always loved that. It should feel like the place that you want to unwind and “lounge” in the evening.
When we first moved to England, even though it was a furnished flat, our place felt pretty bare and lifeless. Our lounge didn’t feel like a place we wanted to hang out. One of the first things we did was decide on a theme (Beachy with aqua hues!) and started ordering cozy pieces.
By adding a thick plush rug, double hung curtains and a few stacked throws and toss pillows we completely transformed the area. Even though it was furnished flat, it didn’t feel “cozy” or inviting. Now we spend all our time there (even as I type!) and have some great new decor.
Remember that new decor doesn’t always have to be new. Check out charity shops, garage sales and online market places for great finds at a fraction of the price.
5. Touch and Feel
Your furnishings, style and tastes have a lot to do with making a home that feels cozy. But sometimes a room just needs an extra kick of comfort to reach maximum levels of warm and welcoming. Bringing in extra layers of functional and decorative softness you not only make the place feel cozier, they also play a huge difference in the sound of a room.
There’s nothing quite as inviting as soft, warm textures to sink into and snuggle up in. Layering and accessorizing with extra throws and cushions is a must for lounging.
By adding extra fabrics and textures you can change the acoustics in the space, lending to that cozy feel.
Think about the textures you have in your home. Are there soft and cozy pieces? Even in the coldest and starkest of rooms, adding a plethora of layered rugs, throws and pillows will instantly warm it up.
Even if you prefer a minimalist color scheme, just one or two cozy items can warm up the entire space. For example, you can easily offset the coolness of your color scheme with a warm, furry throw.
Knitted materials have a way of making you feel cozied up and at home, and there are many ways to incorporate them into your living spaces.
The difference 100% cotton bed linen makes to the quality of your sleep is unimaginable! Having stayed in places all over the world, I can tell you, good linens make or break a place. We stayed in a place for a week that had scratchy flannel sheets, no spares, and I’ll tell you, the first thing I did on Day 2 was go out and buy some cotton sheets.
A good night’s sleep is a HUGE part of what people think about when staying with you (or rating you if an Airbnb). You want your guests to feel like they are climbing into a clean, soft haven, and waking up rested. Invest in some good pillows as well, and always provide a few spares.
We love Urban Hut sheets for so many reasons! They truly get softer with each wash, resist fading, and they’re an incredibly eco-friendly company utilizing wind power.
6. Heavenly Scents
There’s a reason that seasoned Realtors swear by baking chocolate cookies during an open house. Smells are so powerful, they can set the mood of a place and harken back long lost memories. This is an important step to the creating the atmosphere in your space that you are looking for.
Work to create fragrances in your home that soothe you. Do you love the smell of clean linen? Cinnamon and spice? Something more floral? One of my absolute favs around Christmas time is to simmer an orange with some cinnamon on the the stovetop on low. Smells heavenly, puts me in a festive and lighthearted mood. Fragrances have the incredible ability to do that.
I personally switch it up depending on the season, and love swapping out my candles and scents. I have always been fond of Yankee Candle, they have scents that last, and seasonal sets that allow me to have different complimentary smells in the house.
Whether it’s scented candles, diffusers, plug-ins, room sprays or fresh flowers – make your home smell wonderful. It sets the mood for yourself and your guests. Take notice of the difference it makes in your space, and the compliments you’ll get on how great it smells.
BONUS: Bring in Your Personality!
Most importantly, being true to your own personal style will instantly add the character that will set the right atmosphere in your home. So no matter what you do and which designer tips you choose to follow, your home should reflect who you are. Putting the effort into making a welcoming space is SO rewarding– you get to enjoy a beautiful, safe and comfortable home every day!
So there are just a few ‘quick fix’ tips to help you make your space more welcoming. Are you doing this for you? To impress your in-laws and holiday visitors? Or are you sprucing up your short-term rental and going for that perfect 5-star guest experience? No matter why you want to make your space more comforting, cozy and inviting, we guarantee you won’t regret it. Walking into a home that makes you say “Ahhhh!” after a long day is the best feeling ever.