Popular Architectural Styles of Midwestern Homes

The Midwest is called the Heart of America for a reason. It has a long history of being home to people from many walks of life, many of whom initially embraced countryside living. However, the encroach of modern living has brought many changes, including to the house styles across the Midwest. Here are a few particularly popular architectural styles of Midwestern homes.

Craftsman

Easily one of the most popular architectural styles for Midwestern homes is the craftsman style. Furniture-maker and art enthusiast Gustav Stickley originally conceived of this type of house. His focus was to create and design goods by emphasizing handmade quality. This was intended to counter the prefab trend and fast production of the early 20th century.

Eventually, the concept moved to virtually every industry, including house-building. The idea is to ensure that the best possible materials go into every inch of the home, including green options and top-notch, handcrafted ones. Every facet has to be sourced accordingly, such as using renewable, local woods for essential structural aspects as well as luxurious details such as solid wood doors.

Farmhouse

It should be no surprise to anyone that homes in the Midwest are sometimes found on farms or at least inspired by them. Some of the oldest buildings on the fields and prairies fall into the farmhouse category. Primarily, these structures are simple and intentionally humble. They tend to follow a very standard and minimalist rectangular floor plan, with a standard first and second floor. The look is very simple, and the home may even be fashioned out of old barn materials. Farmhouse-style homes have a rich, rustic feel that many homeowners dream of.

Ranch

You can find ranch-style homes all over the Midwest. These homes are humble and ideal for the complicated Midwestern weather systems that make height inconvenient. The most important detail is that a ranch home is a single-floor home with a sprawling floor plan. Sometimes a second floor comes in the form of a large basement. The low profile gives these homes an instantly recognizable charm. Many feature sturdy angles, inset faces, and art deco shapes and patterns characteristic of midcentury-modern design.

Modern

Naturally, with the spread of prefabrication and the appearance of home design catalogs, certain trends have gone national. Since the 1960s, the exact details of what constitutes “modern” have shifted. As with any current style, evolution is part of the defining factor. In particular, though, modern houses tend to be a mash-up of other styles, with an emphasis on detail and elegance. Lots of peaks, large windows, and multiple decorative gables are common features. The floor plans typically heavily emphasize open space, broad entryways, and external lighting to supplement natural light.

Source: realtybiznews.com

Want To Build Your Own House? The Pros, Cons, and Costs

Building a brand-new home may sound like a dream come true. You get to choose the ideal layout for your family’s needs, and have a say in each and every design element. However, the process may also be daunting if you’ve never done it before.

To help you through it, we’ve created this Guide To Building Your Own Home. It will provide all the detailed information you need at each stage of the home-building process so that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

In this first article, we’ll offer a glimpse into the pros and cons of building a house, including how much it costs, how long it takes, how it’s financed, and much more that will help you decide if this option is right for you.

Pro: You can get exactly what you want

Building a home is a popular option these days. Construction on single-family homes was up 10% in November 2020 compared with the previous year, according to the National Association of Home Builders. And, it makes sense: When you build your own home, you get exactly what you want: an in-law suite for when the grandparents visit, a decked-out office for working from home, midcentury modern style, and more. Anything is possible.

“You get a blank slate,” says Marc Rousso, CEO of JayMarc Homes in Seattle. “The fun part about building a custom home is that it can be whatever you want.”

That might sound overwhelming, so Rousso suggests starting with a vision board. Check out websites like Houzz or Pinterest, and drive around snapping photos of homes you like. Then think through how big you want the home to be, how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need, and the bonus spaces you want to live as comfortably as possible.

The best way to make sure you get what you want (and that it fits within your budget): Hire a great builder from the start. This crucial step sets the best possible foundation (in every sense of the word) for your new home. Builders help you select others on your team (such as an architect, interior designer, and landscaper) and serve as your point person throughout the process.

Not sure how find a homebuilder? NAHB offers an online directory, and its members are committed to ongoing education and ethical standards. Hiring builders who have been in business for several years is also a plus, as they’ve proven they can weather both the highs and lows of economic cycles.

Pro: You can build just about anywhere you want

Have you always dreamed of living by the water or having a mountain view? Or maybe you want no neighbors in sight? Building a home lets you set up your residence just about anywhere you want.

Talk to your builder before making a land purchase, though, Rousso urges. The builder will need to do a feasibility study on the land to make sure it’s a suitable place for the home you want to build.

“We’ve talked more people out of buying land than into buying land, because there are so many pitfalls,” he explains.

Builders help make sure the land is zoned for residential development and identify any issues with building on the site, such as connecting to utilities or developing the land before building can start.

Another thing to note: Land development can be costly. HomeAdvisor estimates it to be $1.30 to $2 per square foot of land, including surveying, drainage plans, utility and septic mapping, permits, soil testing, land clearing, excavation, and demolishing any existing structures.

Pro: New homes typically come with less maintenance

An obvious advantage of building a home is that everything is brand-new. That means maintenance and repairs will be minimal or even nonexistent for a while, saving you plenty of headaches and thousands of dollars a year. According to HomeAdvisor, in 2020, homeowners spent an average of about $3,200 on home maintenance.

Nonetheless, a new house isn’t entirely maintenance-free. You’ll probably still need to do yardwork to keep up your newly installed landscaping. And you may want to pay for some preventive upkeep, such as a maintenance contract on your HVAC system, costing $150 to $500 a year. But that could save you money in the long run.

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Watch: How Much a Home Inspection Costs—and Why You Need One

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Con: Building usually costs more than buying an existing home

Building a house is an expensive enterprise, and typically costs more than buying a preexisting home. As such, you’ll need to have some in-depth discussions with your builder on what you want, and whether it’s affordable for you.

“A builder can help guide the design process starting with schematic design to give the prospective client an idea of the budget,” says Tim Benkowski, senior project manager at Balsitis Contracting in Lake Geneva, WI. “That way, design revisions can be made early without the owner falling in love with a home design only to find out they need to cut out their favorite parts or reduce the project scope.”

Several factors determine how much your newly constructed home will cost: location, size, complexity, and design elements.

The NAHB estimates that the median price of constructing a single-family home is $289,415, or $103 per square foot. Labor typically constitutes about 40% of the cost, followed by permits, design fees, and materials. Here’s more on how much it costs to build a house.

Con: Getting a construction loan can be complicated

To finance building a home, you’ll need a construction loan, which is a little more involved than getting a traditional mortgage to buy a preexisting house, says Steve Kaminski, head of residential lending at TD Bank.

For starters, you’ll likely need a 20% down payment since construction loans are considered higher-risk. Along with the usual financial documents needed for your loan application, you need to provide project plans, costs, and land value. You also need a signed contract or purchase contract with the project’s plans, specs, and budget details, and a timeline for the construction.

“The lender is not only evaluating the borrower, but also the project plans and oftentimes the builder to ensure they will be financially solvent throughout construction,” Kaminski explains.

Construction loans are usually shorter-term, covering just the duration of the build, and may have higher interest rates, usually about 1% higher than conventional mortgages, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Once the home is completed, you can pay off the balance or convert the loan to a conventional mortgage. The interest rate and the type and terms of the mortgage will depend on your credit history and lender.

When shopping around for a mortgage for a new home build, Kaminski urges borrowers to go with a lender experienced in working with construction loans.

Con: Building a home takes a while

Generally, it takes a bare minimum of three months to build a simple house, and it can take much longer. But it’s a “sliding scale,” says Benkowski. “A 2,500-square-foot and under [home] can typically be completed in seven to nine months with proper planning. A 7,500-square-foot home and up would likely take 12 to 30 months.”

Planning as much as you can will keep the project on track. Still, delays do happen. Weather is the biggest one, with temperature shifts and rain or snow postponing work. Your own choices could also be to blame. If you’re taking too long to choose your favorite flooring or windows, it could make it all take a little longer.

Here’s more on how long it takes to build a house.

In the next installments, we’ll cover how to buy land, design tips, the ins and outs of mortgages for home construction, and lots more.

Source: realtor.com

10 Relaxing Home Decor Ideas to Transform Your Space

Much of our time these days is spent at home. Whether you’re still working from a home office, meal-prepping in your kitchen on weekends, or spending most of your leisure time looking at other homes for sale on your favorite real estate app, you may feel your home is not the calming space you’d hope it to be. Regardless of how you spend your time, your home is your sanctuary, where you should feel relaxed and be able to unwind from your daily life. If you want to design a more calming space but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered.

From adding cozy blankets and scented candles to dedicating a space to practice meditation, creating a relaxing house is just a couple of design steps away. Whether you live in warm Los Angeles, CA, or rainy Seattle, WA, one of these 10 relaxing home decor ideas is sure to transform your home into an even more calming place you’ll be happy to spend time in.

relaxing-home-decor-ideas

relaxing-home-decor-ideas

1) Design your space with cozy fabrics

There’s no better place to start designing a calming space than decorating with cozy fabrics. Whether that’s getting a new throw blanket for your couch or reupholstering your chair with a crushed velvet fabric, you can decorate just about anything with textiles. Soft fabrics bring a soothing, cozy feel to your home and can make you feel like you’re in a serene environment no matter the season. So break out the quilts, incorporate a fuzzy shag carpet, or pick up some soft throw pillows to make your space more relaxing after a long day.

2) Create balance between colors

When looking for the right relaxing home decor idea, think about how you’ll strike a balance between the colors in your space. Rather than bringing in lots of bright colors, consider adding a pop of color with a pillow or throw blanket against a neutral couch or chair. Unless you find yourself drawn to vibrant colors, less is more when it comes to incorporating these statement elements in your home. 

3) Choose classic and calming decor ideas

When it comes to choosing relaxing home decor, you may find yourself tempted by all the up-and-coming home trends. Opting for the latest trends can be fun, but if it’s not something you totally love, chances are you may not feel that relaxed in your space. One of the keys is to pick trends that you like along with those that will stand the test of time. If you’re interested in a new style but not sure how that fits into your home, looking into reversible home design ideas may just be your best option. 

4) Carve out a space for yoga or meditation

Nothing makes a home more relaxing than creating a designated space to wind down. Whether that’s a simple corner of your living room or a small room of its own, you can easily design a space that feels secluded from the rest of your home. With a yoga mat or a floor pillow, a few green plants, and a photo you love, you can easily make a calming nook for your yoga flow or mindfulness practice.

relaxing-house

relaxing-house

5) Use a weighted blanket in your bedroom

Chances are you’ve heard about weighted blankets. If you haven’t, weighted blankets range from 5 to 30 pounds and mimic therapeutic techniques of deep pressure stimulation, much like a massage. For those that have trouble balancing work and home life, choosing a weighted blanket for your bed or living room may help you relax. Either way, having a great blanket is one of the easiest relaxing home decor ideas to bring into your space to help you shut off for the evening. 

6) Light candles or diffuse essential oils throughout your home

Scents can be the gateway to creating a relaxing environment in your home. Whether you gravitate towards a calming chamomile scent or the smell of lavender before you go to sleep, there’s an essential oil for everything. If you’re more of a candle user, you can find a variety of scents perfect for cultivating a relaxing space. Fresh baked cookies, check. Christmas cheer, check. Nothing beats lighting your favorite candle or turning on your essential oil diffuser after a long day and letting your favorite aromas fill your home.

7) Mood lighting makes a relaxing home

If the weather is gloomy or it’s dark by the time you finish your workday, some much needed light can be all you need for a peaceful home. From sun lamps that mimic the benefits of sunlight or just incorporating string lights throughout your home, the options are endless. You can easily make your space more relaxing by switching up your lights and bringing a new vibe to your home. 

bright-living-room

bright-living-room

8) Embrace any and all natural light

Natural light is one of the easiest elements to brighten up your space. But if you live in an apartment with minimal windows or your living room doesn’t let in much natural light, there’s no need to worry. It all starts with embracing what natural light you do have in your home. Highlight the windows with high drapes to draw your eyes upward or keep window shades pulled open for as long as the daylight hours allow. Making an effort to let in any light from clouds or sun into your home can make your space more calming and welcoming. 

9) Take inspiration from nature for relaxing home decor

If getting out into nature makes you feel more relaxed, look to nature for inspiration when designing your house to be more relaxing. Incorporating the right shade of wood furniture into your home can evoke feelings of the mountains or the beach. Consider lighting a Fraser fir-scented candle or adding a few drops of pine essential oil in your diffuser to bring the mountain relaxation into your home. Taking inspiration from nature may be as simple as hanging a picture of your favorite beach or lake. That way you’ll have a serene feeling every time you see the photo.

10) Incorporate a plant garden

Plants are known to be a great way to incorporate nature and its properties into your relaxing home decor. The key is to choose plants that work with your space, like small succulents against a windowsill or tall fiddle leaf figs in a sunny room. For greenery that has multiple uses, consider starting an herb garden so you’ll have fresh herbs year-round. No matter how you bring plants into your home you’re likely to find yourself enjoying the greenery you see each day.

Source: redfin.com

10 Relaxing Home Decor Ideas to Transform Your Space – Redfin

Much of our time these days is spent at home. Whether you’re still working from a home office, meal-prepping in your kitchen on weekends, or spending most of your leisure time looking at other homes for sale on your favorite real estate app, you may feel your home is not the calming space you’d hope it to be. Regardless of how you spend your time, your home is your sanctuary, where you should feel relaxed and be able to unwind from your daily life. If you want to design a more calming space but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered.

From adding cozy blankets and scented candles to dedicating a space to practice meditation, creating a relaxing house is just a couple of design steps away. Whether you live in warm Los Angeles, CA, or rainy Seattle, WA, one of these 10 relaxing home decor ideas is sure to transform your home into an even more calming place you’ll be happy to spend time in.

relaxing-home-decor-ideas

relaxing-home-decor-ideas

1) Design your space with cozy fabrics

There’s no better place to start designing a calming space than decorating with cozy fabrics. Whether that’s getting a new throw blanket for your couch or reupholstering your chair with a crushed velvet fabric, you can decorate just about anything with textiles. Soft fabrics bring a soothing, cozy feel to your home and can make you feel like you’re in a serene environment no matter the season. So break out the quilts, incorporate a fuzzy shag carpet, or pick up some soft throw pillows to make your space more relaxing after a long day.

2) Create balance between colors

When looking for the right relaxing home decor idea, think about how you’ll strike a balance between the colors in your space. Rather than bringing in lots of bright colors, consider adding a pop of color with a pillow or throw blanket against a neutral couch or chair. Unless you find yourself drawn to vibrant colors, less is more when it comes to incorporating these statement elements in your home. 

3) Choose classic and calming decor ideas

When it comes to choosing relaxing home decor, you may find yourself tempted by all the up-and-coming home trends. Opting for the latest trends can be fun, but if it’s not something you totally love, chances are you may not feel that relaxed in your space. One of the keys is to pick trends that you like along with those that will stand the test of time. If you’re interested in a new style but not sure how that fits into your home, looking into reversible home design ideas may just be your best option. 

4) Carve out a space for yoga or meditation

Nothing makes a home more relaxing than creating a designated space to wind down. Whether that’s a simple corner of your living room or a small room of its own, you can easily design a space that feels secluded from the rest of your home. With a yoga mat or a floor pillow, a few green plants, and a photo you love, you can easily make a calming nook for your yoga flow or mindfulness practice.

relaxing-house

relaxing-house

5) Use a weighted blanket in your bedroom

Chances are you’ve heard about weighted blankets. If you haven’t, weighted blankets range from 5 to 30 pounds and mimic therapeutic techniques of deep pressure stimulation, much like a massage. For those that have trouble balancing work and home life, choosing a weighted blanket for your bed or living room may help you relax. Either way, having a great blanket is one of the easiest relaxing home decor ideas to bring into your space to help you shut off for the evening. 

6) Light candles or diffuse essential oils throughout your home

Scents can be the gateway to creating a relaxing environment in your home. Whether you gravitate towards a calming chamomile scent or the smell of lavender before you go to sleep, there’s an essential oil for everything. If you’re more of a candle user, you can find a variety of scents perfect for cultivating a relaxing space. Fresh baked cookies, check. Christmas cheer, check. Nothing beats lighting your favorite candle or turning on your essential oil diffuser after a long day and letting your favorite aromas fill your home.

7) Mood lighting makes a relaxing home

If the weather is gloomy or it’s dark by the time you finish your workday, some much needed light can be all you need for a peaceful home. From sun lamps that mimic the benefits of sunlight or just incorporating string lights throughout your home, the options are endless. You can easily make your space more relaxing by switching up your lights and bringing a new vibe to your home. 

bright-living-room

bright-living-room

8) Embrace any and all natural light

Natural light is one of the easiest elements to brighten up your space. But if you live in an apartment with minimal windows or your living room doesn’t let in much natural light, there’s no need to worry. It all starts with embracing what natural light you do have in your home. Highlight the windows with high drapes to draw your eyes upward or keep window shades pulled open for as long as the daylight hours allow. Making an effort to let in any light from clouds or sun into your home can make your space more calming and welcoming. 

9) Take inspiration from nature for relaxing home decor

If getting out into nature makes you feel more relaxed, look to nature for inspiration when designing your house to be more relaxing. Incorporating the right shade of wood furniture into your home can evoke feelings of the mountains or the beach. Consider lighting a Fraser fir-scented candle or adding a few drops of pine essential oil in your diffuser to bring the mountain relaxation into your home. Taking inspiration from nature may be as simple as hanging a picture of your favorite beach or lake. That way you’ll have a serene feeling every time you see the photo.

10) Incorporate a plant garden

Plants are known to be a great way to incorporate nature and its properties into your relaxing home decor. The key is to choose plants that work with your space, like small succulents against a windowsill or tall fiddle leaf figs in a sunny room. For greenery that has multiple uses, consider starting an herb garden so you’ll have fresh herbs year-round. No matter how you bring plants into your home you’re likely to find yourself enjoying the greenery you see each day.

Source: redfin.com

Home Decor – Big Home Trends For 2021: More Automation, Multi-functional Living Spaces – Fintech Zoom

Home Decor – Big Home Trends For 2021: More Automation, Multi-functional Living Spaces


Shutterstock

The Covid-19 lockdown has changed the way we look at our home and live in it. People now want fancier kitchens, dedicated entertainment rooms, home offices and increased automation at home, to be able to live indoors for a long period of time. The demand for eco-friendly building materials and made-in-India is also on the rise.
“Now is the time for architects and designers to become problem solvers and have an empathetic approach towards people’s lives. After the lockdown, people’s requirements from their homes have changed and evolved,” says Jimmy Mistry, luxury décor retailer, architect, and designer. “Luxury stores and brands have never seen better days. People are investing in their homes, which they have realised is the safest haven,” he adds. 



HNIs and UHNIs who had left India during the lockdown are back and looking for alternate homes away from metro cities that are designed to be safer and more comfortable. “These clients are asking for fabrics and materials with antibacterial treatments,” says architect Alfaz Miller.  
While Mistry has been working on a 50,000-sq-ft multi-brand home furniture and décor store in Della Lonavala, Miller has been busy with the Bangalore International Airport’s Terminal 1 domestic lounge. The two highlight the top luxury home trends of 2021. 
Home offices and multifunctional spaces
People are reassessing their home design. They want their gym to also be a study, a guest room and/or a theatre room, says Miller. There is a lot happening in the home office space. People are building both large and small office set-ups at home, which can be an isolated and disturbance-free zone. “From collapsible set-ups to permanent rooms and studies, everyone today wants a corner where they can work from home,” says Mistry. 
making office space at home -shutterstock_1120813820-bg
Shutterstock
Kitchens
Kitchens are now becoming fancier as not just the house-helps but even the owners are working in the space. 
Modern, user-friendly kitchen models, which enables all the members of the family, young and old, to cook are being made. Many UHNIs are also building two kitchens, one indoors and another outdoors, especially for Indian cooking. Small kitchenettes are also being built in the living room. 
The demand is also for germ-free cooking spaces. “One way to minimise dust is to get stainless steel kitchens,” says Miller. 
Automation has become very important in kitchens. Dish washers, machines that help you cook–from kneading the dough to rolling chapatis or slicing vegetables, and to make cold press juices are in great demand. 
2021 illuminating yellow and ultimate gray-shutterstock_1873731577-bgShutterstock
2021’s colours 
“We foresee a shift from neutral pastel colours to brighter, bolder and vibrant colours, especially in furnishings,” says Miller. “The Pantone colours of 2021 are grey and illuminating (yellow), and I see all our projects moving away from their brown colour palette to greys and monochrome shades.” Earlier, clients always preferred white and creams for marble, but now they are asking for greys, even in granite and basalt. 
Furniture
While ergonomic furniture continues to be in demand, antique furniture is making its way back in contemporary homes and so is lightweight and easy-to-maintain cane furniture. Curvilinear shapes can be seen in interiors and facades, in curved sofas, round tables, curved walls and partitions.

Click here to see Fintech Zoom India’s comprehensive coverage on the Covid-19 situation and its impact on life, business and the economy​

Home Decor – Big Home Trends For 2021: More Automation, Multi-functional Living Spaces

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Source: fintechzoom.com

15 Simple Ideas to Make a House a Home – Redfin

Your house should make you feel welcomed as soon as you step through the door, but this feeling isn’t something that always happens on its own. Once the movers have left, and the chaos of moving has calmed down, it’s time to start focusing on putting down roots in your new space to help make your new house a home.

There are many ways to invoke the cozy, warm feeling that makes a house a home without a complete remodel or shopping spree. So, whether you just moved into your new home in Boston, MA, or need to personalize your studio in Albany, NY, here are 15 simple ideas you can use so your house can start feeling like a proper home.

Entryway

Entryway

1) Create an inviting entryway 

The front door and entryway can set the mood of your entire home. After all, it’s the first thing you see when you and your guests first step into your space. Make your front entrance more inviting by keeping it clear of leaves and debris and accessorize with a welcome mat and a few potted plants. Adding a bench or a clothes rack will also help keep your entryway neat and tidy, plus it makes a great first impression. Equally, painting the front door can give your house a fresh, new look in one afternoon. Feel free to choose a fun, contrasting color that aligns with your style.

2) Make your home more zen

Turning your house into a home starts with ensuring that you feel instantly at peace when you enter a room. But if you’re having difficulty feeling relaxed, there may be particular reasons why. If the sight of a messy, disorganized room is causing you stress, you might want to start decluttering and letting go of items that don’t bring you joy. Choosing random decor items to fill up empty spaces in your home can make a space feel cramped, and can add too many contrasts between your wall colors or furnishings. When choosing decor, artwork, or pictures, be sure to pick items that have special meaning to you. By identifying the areas in your home causing you stress, you can begin making your home a more zen space.

Brightly lit kitchen

Brightly lit kitchen

3) Improve your living space with home upgrades

Upgrading spaces in your home can go a long way in making you feel more settled. Bathrooms and kitchens are high-traffic areas in a home, so prioritizing home upgrades in these areas can ensure that you’re tackling the places that make the biggest impact. Installing new appliances can give your kitchen a facelift, but if you’re working with a smaller budget, select the most outdated or worn-looking one and replace it. Likewise, swapping out an old showerhead with one that has better water pressure can instantly elevate space and improve the quality of life in your home.

4) Use cozy area rugs to help make a house feel like home

An area rug can instantly warm up a space and make it more inviting. Area rugs can help ground furniture, and an artistically designed rug can also add more interest to a space. When selecting a rug, take the room’s size and arrangement into account. Ensure all of your furniture is on the area rug or at least touching a portion of the rug to give the space a cohesive look.

5) Dressing up empty walls with artwork

Blank walls can add an unfinished element to your house, preventing your house from feeling truly lived in. Displaying your favorite pieces of art can act as the finishing element to pull a space together and make a house a home. And the best part is that it’s a budget-friendly way to complete a room. When selecting your artwork, keep the room’s function, size, and decor style in mind. After that, you have the freedom to choose artwork that you love and will be happily displayed in your home.

For living rooms and areas where guests spend the most time, choose a large-scale piece as a focal point or incorporate multiple art pieces into a gallery wall. Pieces with soothing, cool-toned colors and abstract prints are great additions for areas for relaxation like a den or bedroom.

Dining area

Dining area

6) Bring nature inside with indoor plants

Indoor plants don’t just add a pop of greenery to a space, they can also breathe life into a dull room. Houseplants help us feel more relaxed and can even improve our home’s indoor air quality. They come in various shapes, colors, and sizes, so if you live in a shady studio in Portland, OR with only a few windows, or a home with lots of natural light in Seattle, Washington, you can still find ways to incorporate plants into your decor.  

For home offices or areas with low light in your home, stick to low-maintenance plants like lucky bamboo or succulents. These plants are compact enough to keep on a desk or side table and thrive in shaded areas. To add drama to larger rooms, such as living or dining rooms, money trees or fiddle leaf figs are great statement plant options. Plus, the right planter can add another design element to your home.

7) Keep the clutter to a minimum

Identifying the key areas in your space that you’ll keep tidy will make life in your home more pleasant. It’s easy to believe in the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality when decluttering, but actively keeping your living area clean will allow you to fully relax in your space without being constantly stressed by the sight of messy areas. Instead of stowing items that are no longer used in designated “junk drawers,” take the time to go through and pick out items that no longer have sentimental value, use, or have similar functions to items you already have. And if the thought of decluttering your home is too daunting, consider hiring a professional organizing service to help you get your space in order.

8) Add scented candles or diffusers

A house filled with inviting smells can instantly make a house feel like home. With various candles, diffusers, and scent plug-ins available on the market, there’s no shortage of ways to make your home smell good. Choose your favorite and fill your home with the aroma of sweet vanilla, sharp citrus, or fresh linens in minutes. For more natural smelling scents, you can opt for essential oils, such as lavender or jasmine, which comes with the benefits of being natural stress relievers.

Layer lighting

Layer lighting

9) Make a house a home by layering the lighting

Lighting plays a significant role in affecting a room’s mood and is an essential design element when making a house feel like a home. If your house feels dark and cramped, you can switch up your lighting by adding and layering light sources to make it feel more warm and welcoming. While brighter lights are needed to illuminate kitchens and workspaces, using fluorescent overhead lighting in living rooms or dens can make the space appear harsh. Instead, opt for ambient light sources that use mellower, warmer lighting. Wall sconces, table, or floor lamps are excellent ambient lighting sources that can cast a warm, cozy glow on any room. 

10) Frame your windows with curtains

Window curtains are great accent pieces in a room. Replacing them is an easy way to switch up the room’s look and add a lived-in look to any space in one easy step. Personalize your windows by adding new window dressings to instantly warm up your home and showcase your style. Not only does adding beautiful curtains or shades improve your home’s appearance, they can also decorate blank walls, separate a room into sections, or even create fun little reading nooks in children’s bedrooms.

11) Showcase family mementos or antiques

Make your house feel like home by incorporating sentimental pieces in your decor, such as family mementos or antiques, to personalize your space. As you plan the display locations for your keepsakes, group related items together to help create a cohesive look in your home design. Items such as wedding photos, important documents, or certificates can be grouped in a gallery wall, while trophies or souvenirs can be displayed on a shelf together.

When displaying sentimental photos, pick frames that can protect the paper from damage or fading from ultraviolet (UV) rays over time. If you’re planning on including antiques or other precious items as decor, consider purchasing shadow boxes or display cases for them. Cases will protect the objects from harm and prevent dust or grime from settling on the fragile objects.

Dining room

Dining room

12) Freshen up your home with a coat of paint

Painting your walls can give your space an instant facelift and can go a long way in refreshing a home. Plus, it’s a great way to customize your home and make it your own. If you’re not ready to undertake an entire painting project, you can pick smaller areas in your home, like a bedroom or powder room. You can even opt to paint a few accent walls throughout your home to warm up the space and give it pops of color.

Living room bookshelf

Living room bookshelf

13) Personalize your shelves with books

A stack of well-loved paperbacks or a decorative coffee table book is a great way to bring personal touches into your home. Books are an easy and budget-friendly way to embellish your decor and can be used as statement accessories to pull a space together. And, the sight of a filled bookshelf can instantly give a room a homey feel. If you have an extensive book collection, use a blank wall in your home to create a book wall by displaying them in a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf. You can also choose books with decorative covers or colorful spines to brighten up your decor.

Bedroom

Bedroom

14) Add warmth with comfy bedding

The right bedding can instantly make your room look decorated and homey if you can’t decorate the whole room right away. If your room has a bold paint color, using neutral-colored bedding can add texture while also creating depth and interest to your space. Alternatively, if your room has a neutral color palette, you can play around with different colors or patterns in your bedding.

When creating the ultimate comfy bedroom, one can’t forget the textiles to transform a bare bedroom. Adorning your bedroom with soft throws- chenille or faux fur are great options – and fluffy pillows can instantly add a cozy touch to any space, making your bedroom feel more welcoming.

15) Finally, make a house a home by setting up a hobby area

Whether your hobby is painting, reading, or even solving puzzles, make room for it. Dedicating a space in your home, like a nook or bonus room, for your hobbies will not only make it easier to do what you love, but it allows your personality and interests to shine throughout your home. Not to mention, having an area to yourself can allow you to concentrate on doing what you love all while making your house feel more like a home. 

Source: redfin.com

15 Simple Ideas to Make a House a Home

Your house should make you feel welcomed as soon as you step through the door, but this feeling isn’t something that always happens on its own. Once the movers have left, and the chaos of moving has calmed down, it’s time to start focusing on putting down roots in your new space to help make your new house a home.

There are many ways to invoke the cozy, warm feeling that makes a house a home without a complete remodel or shopping spree. So, whether you just moved into your new home in Boston, MA, or need to personalize your studio in Albany, NY, here are 15 simple ideas you can use so your house can start feeling like a proper home.

Entryway

Entryway

1) Create an inviting entryway 

The front door and entryway can set the mood of your entire home. After all, it’s the first thing you see when you and your guests first step into your space. Make your front entrance more inviting by keeping it clear of leaves and debris and accessorize with a welcome mat and a few potted plants. Adding a bench or a clothes rack will also help keep your entryway neat and tidy, plus it makes a great first impression. Equally, painting the front door can give your house a fresh, new look in one afternoon. Feel free to choose a fun, contrasting color that aligns with your style.

2) Make your home more zen

Turning your house into a home starts with ensuring that you feel instantly at peace when you enter a room. But if you’re having difficulty feeling relaxed, there may be particular reasons why. If the sight of a messy, disorganized room is causing you stress, you might want to start decluttering and letting go of items that don’t bring you joy. Choosing random decor items to fill up empty spaces in your home can make a space feel cramped, and can add too many contrasts between your wall colors or furnishings. When choosing decor, artwork, or pictures, be sure to pick items that have special meaning to you. By identifying the areas in your home causing you stress, you can begin making your home a more zen space.

Brightly lit kitchen

Brightly lit kitchen

3) Improve your living space with home upgrades

Upgrading spaces in your home can go a long way in making you feel more settled. Bathrooms and kitchens are high-traffic areas in a home, so prioritizing home upgrades in these areas can ensure that you’re tackling the places that make the biggest impact. Installing new appliances can give your kitchen a facelift, but if you’re working with a smaller budget, select the most outdated or worn-looking one and replace it. Likewise, swapping out an old showerhead with one that has better water pressure can instantly elevate space and improve the quality of life in your home.

4) Use cozy area rugs to help make a house feel like home

An area rug can instantly warm up a space and make it more inviting. Area rugs can help ground furniture, and an artistically designed rug can also add more interest to a space. When selecting a rug, take the room’s size and arrangement into account. Ensure all of your furniture is on the area rug or at least touching a portion of the rug to give the space a cohesive look.

5) Dressing up empty walls with artwork

Blank walls can add an unfinished element to your house, preventing your house from feeling truly lived in. Displaying your favorite pieces of art can act as the finishing element to pull a space together and make a house a home. And the best part is that it’s a budget-friendly way to complete a room. When selecting your artwork, keep the room’s function, size, and decor style in mind. After that, you have the freedom to choose artwork that you love and will be happily displayed in your home.

For living rooms and areas where guests spend the most time, choose a large-scale piece as a focal point or incorporate multiple art pieces into a gallery wall. Pieces with soothing, cool-toned colors and abstract prints are great additions for areas for relaxation like a den or bedroom.

Dining area

Dining area

6) Bring nature inside with indoor plants

Indoor plants don’t just add a pop of greenery to a space, they can also breathe life into a dull room. Houseplants help us feel more relaxed and can even improve our home’s indoor air quality. They come in various shapes, colors, and sizes, so if you live in a shady studio in Portland, OR with only a few windows, or a home with lots of natural light in Seattle, Washington, you can still find ways to incorporate plants into your decor.  

For home offices or areas with low light in your home, stick to low-maintenance plants like lucky bamboo or succulents. These plants are compact enough to keep on a desk or side table and thrive in shaded areas. To add drama to larger rooms, such as living or dining rooms, money trees or fiddle leaf figs are great statement plant options. Plus, the right planter can add another design element to your home.

7) Keep the clutter to a minimum

Identifying the key areas in your space that you’ll keep tidy will make life in your home more pleasant. It’s easy to believe in the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality when decluttering, but actively keeping your living area clean will allow you to fully relax in your space without being constantly stressed by the sight of messy areas. Instead of stowing items that are no longer used in designated “junk drawers,” take the time to go through and pick out items that no longer have sentimental value, use, or have similar functions to items you already have. And if the thought of decluttering your home is too daunting, consider hiring a professional organizing service to help you get your space in order.

8) Add scented candles or diffusers

A house filled with inviting smells can instantly make a house feel like home. With various candles, diffusers, and scent plug-ins available on the market, there’s no shortage of ways to make your home smell good. Choose your favorite and fill your home with the aroma of sweet vanilla, sharp citrus, or fresh linens in minutes. For more natural smelling scents, you can opt for essential oils, such as lavender or jasmine, which comes with the benefits of being natural stress relievers.

Layer lighting

Layer lighting

9) Make a house a home by layering the lighting

Lighting plays a significant role in affecting a room’s mood and is an essential design element when making a house feel like a home. If your house feels dark and cramped, you can switch up your lighting by adding and layering light sources to make it feel more warm and welcoming. While brighter lights are needed to illuminate kitchens and workspaces, using fluorescent overhead lighting in living rooms or dens can make the space appear harsh. Instead, opt for ambient light sources that use mellower, warmer lighting. Wall sconces, table, or floor lamps are excellent ambient lighting sources that can cast a warm, cozy glow on any room. 

10) Frame your windows with curtains

Window curtains are great accent pieces in a room. Replacing them is an easy way to switch up the room’s look and add a lived-in look to any space in one easy step. Personalize your windows by adding new window dressings to instantly warm up your home and showcase your style. Not only does adding beautiful curtains or shades improve your home’s appearance, they can also decorate blank walls, separate a room into sections, or even create fun little reading nooks in children’s bedrooms.

11) Showcase family mementos or antiques

Make your house feel like home by incorporating sentimental pieces in your decor, such as family mementos or antiques, to personalize your space. As you plan the display locations for your keepsakes, group related items together to help create a cohesive look in your home design. Items such as wedding photos, important documents, or certificates can be grouped in a gallery wall, while trophies or souvenirs can be displayed on a shelf together.

When displaying sentimental photos, pick frames that can protect the paper from damage or fading from ultraviolet (UV) rays over time. If you’re planning on including antiques or other precious items as decor, consider purchasing shadow boxes or display cases for them. Cases will protect the objects from harm and prevent dust or grime from settling on the fragile objects.

Dining room

Dining room

12) Freshen up your home with a coat of paint

Painting your walls can give your space an instant facelift and can go a long way in refreshing a home. Plus, it’s a great way to customize your home and make it your own. If you’re not ready to undertake an entire painting project, you can pick smaller areas in your home, like a bedroom or powder room. You can even opt to paint a few accent walls throughout your home to warm up the space and give it pops of color.

Living room bookshelf

Living room bookshelf

13) Personalize your shelves with books

A stack of well-loved paperbacks or a decorative coffee table book is a great way to bring personal touches into your home. Books are an easy and budget-friendly way to embellish your decor and can be used as statement accessories to pull a space together. And, the sight of a filled bookshelf can instantly give a room a homey feel. If you have an extensive book collection, use a blank wall in your home to create a book wall by displaying them in a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf. You can also choose books with decorative covers or colorful spines to brighten up your decor.

Bedroom

Bedroom

14) Add warmth with comfy bedding

The right bedding can instantly make your room look decorated and homey if you can’t decorate the whole room right away. If your room has a bold paint color, using neutral-colored bedding can add texture while also creating depth and interest to your space. Alternatively, if your room has a neutral color palette, you can play around with different colors or patterns in your bedding.

When creating the ultimate comfy bedroom, one can’t forget the textiles to transform a bare bedroom. Adorning your bedroom with soft throws- chenille or faux fur are great options – and fluffy pillows can instantly add a cozy touch to any space, making your bedroom feel more welcoming.

15) Finally, make a house a home by setting up a hobby area

Whether your hobby is painting, reading, or even solving puzzles, make room for it. Dedicating a space in your home, like a nook or bonus room, for your hobbies will not only make it easier to do what you love, but it allows your personality and interests to shine throughout your home. Not to mention, having an area to yourself can allow you to concentrate on doing what you love all while making your house feel more like a home. 

Source: redfin.com