How to Make a House a Home

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So, you’ve bought or rented your new place. Now what? It’s a blank canvas! Where do you start? Knowing how to fill an empty space can be daunting. You have to think of what you already have, what you need, what you want, what’s in your budget, and then go from there. Though it might seem obvious, it can be a bit tricky selecting the right things to fill your house. How can you take it from a blank space to a place that feels like a home? Here are a few tips that will do just that.


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  1. Get an area rug. A rug automatically feels lived in. It’s literally a comfort beneath your feet (and can warm up the space!). Even if your area has carpeting, a rug can add that extra layer of pattern and depth that the space might need. Make sure that the rug fits the size of the room – a skimpy rug can feel cheap even if it’s expensive.
  2. Window treatments. Window treatments are a surefire way to bring in a sense of hominess. Aside from the practicality of providing privacy and blocking out the sun, they can provide an artistic layer to the décor, especially if the window treatments are patterned fabric curtains. There are certainly window treatments that will not help make your house feel like a home (vertical blinds!), so be choosy. Some of my favorite options are floor to ceiling fabric held by a long rod, plantation shutters, balloon curtains, and roman shades.
  3. Match something. I’m not necessarily a proponent of a matchy-matchy designed space, but pairing two items together automatically feels planned and cared for.
  4. Display collections. Displaying your collections will personalize your space and say “hey, someone with great experiences lives here.” But don’t feel the need to display everything – not everything will work. And that’s ok! You can change things up from time to time.
  5. Artwork. There’s nothing that brings soul into a room more than thoughtful artwork. My pet peeve is displaying artwork that doesn’t mean anything to you. Artwork should mean something. Maybe you can’t afford real artwork. Use prints! Or get creative and display a piece of fabric you love in a frame. Art should always mean something. Period.
  6. Lighting fixture. A beautiful lighting fixture will become a great focal point to the room and class it up. Make sure you select a piece that fits the size of the room.
  7. Green plants. I didn’t see the need for green plants until recently. A space can really feel suffocated without them. Bring in a tree or a collection of hanging plants to add verticality to the room. Plants also feel good because they remind us of the beautiful outdoors.
  8. Bookcases. Books show who you are. By displaying them on shelves, you bring in color to the room and have conversation starters. It’s a great way to make a space feel like you.

How do YOU make a house feel like a home?

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Brittany Watson Jepsen is an American designer and crafter who just returned to America after 2 1/2 years in wonderful Copenhagen, Denmark. Her motto is "a creative mess is better than tidy idleness" and she lives each day accordingly. During graduate school for interior design she spent one summer working for designers Jonathan Adler and Celerie Kemble and another summer studying textile design at the Danish Design School. She created her blog, The House That Lars Built, as a way to keep her designing and crafting. She currently runs her blog and her etsy shop, where she sells her home accessories and paper flowers.