As most of you know, Austin and I built and designed the home (with lots of help, of course) that we live in. And while getting the perfect paint color, choosing fixtures, designing the outdoor patio space, etc were all important aspects of the home, one thing we wanted to keep in mind was the feel of the home. I love looking at interiors and architecture, but a lot of the time, the homes don’t look liveable. They are gorgeous but not realistic, at least not for us.
With George on the way when we were in the final stages of planning, I knew more than ever I wanted to focus on building a home, not a house. A place that felt right for our growing family, a place we looked forward to coming back, even after vacations, and something functional for our personal routines.
P.S. I saw that the founder of Parachute recently wrote a book called, How to Make a House a Home. While I haven’t read it yet, I was inspired to share my own tips on the subject. Let me know if you’ve read it yet and what you thought.
Live in the space before filling
Listen, I know it’s nearly impossible to not fill a room up, especially when you first move in. I like a finished space as much as the next girl but sometimes that can lead to impulsive purchases that don’t always end up being smart. While we did buy a good amount of the bigger pieces for our house, I’m still to this day, “finishing” things. I put finishing in quotes because I don’t think a home is every truly finished. Families and routines evolve and so do personal preferences. My advice is to live in the space and slowly add to it. You might end up wanting a bigger coffee table or one that has storage after seeing how you use the room.
Think about your annoyances
Go through a few days and note anything slightly annoying about your home. I don’t mean to make a list of negatives here, but more so pay attention to ways to improve the feel and function of your home. Maybe your bathtub doesn’t have a shelf nearby and it makes setting that wine glass down tricky and a stool would make sense. Maybe your shoes don’t have a place to live in your closet and you need a storage system in the guest room. Maybe you enjoy listening to music as a family and need a system for the dining area. These all don’t need to be replaced or purchased at once, but over time, fix the small aspects that are annoying.
I remember being in college and buying the cheapest (but cute) sheets and towels. I was in no place to be investing in nicer towels and so budget-friendly it was. Now that I actually have an income, one area that I splurge is with textures. From bedding and robes that mimic our favorite hotel to large bath towels that make getting out of a hot shower bearable, find textures that feel good. This Barefoot Dreams blanket is pricey but it’s still my favorite thing to reach for every night on the couch. You can find our bedding (which we love and was crazy affordable) here and here are our towels.
Mix in personal touches
I’m counting down the days until George comes home from school with art. In the meantime, we’re doing our own DIYs that bring so much life into an otherwise styled kitchen. For a house to feel like a home, I’m a big believer in mixing in personal touches. A magazine from a trip abroad, your grandma’s vintage mirror, a sweet picture of you and your girlfriends from high school, and so on. Mix in trends with classics and personal touches for things to feel relevant and real.
Comfort over perfection
Like I mentioned above, I prefer a home that feels lived in and comfortable vs. something gorgeous but breakable. I want George and his future friends to be able to hang here without worrying about getting a little dirt on a rug or friends to freely sip wine on our couch. Obviously I’m always cleaning things up and aesthetics are important to me but I think there’s a good balance.
For more of my tips on making your home cozy, see this post.