By Adele Shotton-Pugh, Interior Designer of www.TerrysFabrics.co.uk
A place we can call home is high-up on most people’s success and achievement list. A house is just a house after all, but add in some minor and some major aspects and you can easily turn a house into a home. A place to lay your hat, start a family and a place of refuge from the stresses and strains of everyday life.
Defying the logic
Letting your heart rule your head isn’t something that’s usually advised, and yet when it comes to making a house feel like home you have to include things that you truly love. Without these a house can easily feel hostile and devoid of love. Including them, no matter how trivial or small they may seem, within our homes is just one step towards enjoying the place you call your home.
Safety & Security
The need to feel safe & secure is fundamental to our well-being. The psychologist Abraham Maslow created the ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ in 1954. He placed the need for security of the mind, the body, employment, resources, family, health and property second from bottom. He believed that without safety a human wouldn’t be able to attain their true potential, and while all of these points are intrinsically linked to each other, feeling safe and secure can only be achieved in a place we call home.
Comfort & Refuge
Feeling relaxed and at ease within a home is of paramount important. When you close the door behind you, you need to be able to take off your shoes, relax and roam freely within your living space. Houses that restrict this comfort is just a house not a home.
Comfort also includes have comfortable furnishings; your favourite chair or reading nook; a refuge from the outside world, a comfortable amount of heat and natural light, a comfortable bed in which to sleep. You’ll find all of these basics items in a hotel room for example, but they’re not the same as having them in your home.
Aromas & Odours
We’re not talking about those dirty, offensive odours, but our own distinctive odours. We all have our own odour, although we may not be aware of it! Think about walking into your parents or grandparent’s home and the smell that immediately hits you. This is their smell and immediately reminds you of them! It’s ownership of the odour that impregnates our furnishings, furniture, carpets and more, letting us know that we’ve arrived home when we walk through our front door. These aromas and odours are also linked to feelings of comfort and security.
Noise or lack of it can have a detrimental effect on well-being. Complete silence can be torture and play havoc with our minds. Feelings of loneliness and isolation can easily creep in. Add noises, whether these be children, partners, pets or neighbours. These make us realise that we don’t live in an insular world.
On the other hand we may choose to have a home absent of noise. For others it’s a fact of their life. Choosing, when we can, what noises to have and those not to have turns a house into a home.
Our world is full of colour and, without any real conscious thoughts, the colours we live with can have a marked effect on or minds. Living with colours which make your happy and relaxed, attribute to the feeling of home. Selected colours for walls, flooring, furniture and furnishings can be mood altering. A classic example is when we are given restrictions on re-decorating, as is the case in many rented properties. Having to live with colours we loathe can quickly cause people to dislike and even despise the house. These negative feelings need to be changed to positive ones to enable us to call a house our home.
Things that actually belong to us, such as furniture, soft furnishing etc, have to be part and parcel of a home. Even those who live in a minimalist style have possessions, they just use clever storage solutions to keep them out of sight!
Being at ease
Being at ease, comfortable and safe allows us to be our true selves and creates a homely atmosphere that we enjoy living in on a daily basis. A home should be a place that you actually want to go to and be in.
Décor which reflects the personalities of the people living in the house transform the space into a home. Being restrictive with decorating choices and having no input into the decorating style can quickly transcend into major stress. You may be a fan of the latest interior design trends, but if you’re including them for fashions sake then they won’t make your house a home.
A Home is where the heart is
Other people within our lives, such as partners, children, friends, family and neighbours, make a home. Their noises, clutter and presence all make a huge difference to our lives and the way we live it, turning your house into a home.
If you want to turn your house into a home, then these 10 pointers can certainly help you do so. Not all may apply to you and your home, so pick and choose from the list as you see fit. It’s important to remember that the little things you probably take for granted are the things that turn a house into a place you can call home.
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