There’s a big difference between a house and a home, and when you understand this difference, it’s so beautiful. In fact, one of the best compliments I’ve received to date, was when I overheard my fiancé share this sentiment about me with one of his closest friends: “She made our house a home.” But, what does this actually mean? Well, a welcoming home isn’t just about the physical space. It’s also about the feelings. A home is not only the walls around you, but your space of comfort, relaxation, and warmth. Your home should be your safe space, a haven, and where you’re surrounded by those you love.
Here are a few tips for creating a welcoming home environment (without spending too much money, time, or effort in the process):
1. Start With Decluttering
Clutter makes you feel overwhelmed and stressed, so starting with this is a great first step! Plus, clutter can make even the warmest homes appear disorganized, which can lead to dysregulation or feelings of uncertainty, especially if you or your children have sensory challenges.
The idea of decluttering may feel daunting at first, but start small! Take one room or one area at a time, and consider getting help from your partner, children, or even other loved ones (related or not) to help you. Sometimes we hang onto items that have sentimental value to us; while this is beautiful, it’s often tricky to remove the emotions or get real with ourselves about whether or not the item is actually worth saving. Having other people involved in the process can help with this, plus it takes some of the weight off when we can sort, toss, and create a more inviting atmosphere.
2. Add Sentimental Objects
You can turn your house into a more welcoming home environment by personalizing it! Hang pieces of your child’s artwork or photographs that have special meaning to you and your family, or feature collections like shells from the beach or rocks from hikes in nature. These little touches will make the space feel unique while also helping everyone living there feel more connected.
You can also create a sense of connection (and structure) with a family calendar! We have ours in the laundry room and I use a different color for each family member. This creates something that’s slightly visually appealing, while providing value for all of us to keep on track with our schedules and goals!
3. Create The Coziness You’re Looking For
If you want a cozy home, focus on the simple things you can do to make that happen! Keeping your home at a comfortable temperature during all seasons will help create an inviting environment for everyone. You can also consider adding things like aromatherapy diffusers with different scents (like lavender or chamomile for relaxing vibes), lighting candles (but be sure to get ones that aren’t toxic to breathe – for you or your pets!), or even burning incense.
You may also want to (depending on cost and budget) add cozy furniture or accessories. Simple things like soft pillows, fluffy blankets, and throw rugs can make a huge difference when it comes to lounging around with loved ones!
4. Consider Some Upgrades
This is different (and perhaps a bit non-traditional), but if you want to create a more welcoming home, you might want to consider your walls and ceilings. Why? Because the colors of our space make a big impact on how we feel. Adding things like wooden beams to the ceiling can create a cozy ‘log cabin’ vibe, or painting the walls pastel colors can evoke calmness.
These are just a few suggestions, of course, but you may want to consult with a designer or other professional to see what upgrades could help your space. And, of course, you’ll want to learn how to install wood ceiling planks before starting your project!
5. Bring Nature In
Greenery has been shown to reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and improve concentration and creativity. So, add plants throughout your home for an extra pop of color (and life!) while improving air quality at the same time. Choose easy-to-care-for varieties like succulents, cacti, or snake plants. This way you won’t have to worry about maintenance or keeping them alive.
When it comes to creating a welcoming home, you really don’t have to do too much. Starting small, adding personal touches, making some shifts, and focusing on cultivating a safe space will make a huge difference — for your family and guests alike!