Wednesday, May 07, 2014

7 on the 7th: making a house a home

Have you ever been in a house where you just instantly feel at home? What do you remember about it that made you feel that way? When I think about the homes that evoke positive feelings, I can recall the layouts, decor, and aromas. More importantly--the people, the relationships, the memories. It is the combination of all of these things that help create a sense of belonging and hospitality. While I am by no means a decorator and our home is far from perfect, I do have seven favorite tips I've been given along the way and try to follow to make our house a home.

1. Find Inspiration
Do you have a family member, friend, or total stranger you follow on Instagram whose style you admire and share? Maybe you save magazine clippings from Southern Living or Better Homes & Gardens. Maybe you watch HGTV for new ideas. Chances are if you are reading this, you probably have a Pinterest board dedicated to your dream home. You may even have specific boards for particular rooms or projects! I support all of the above. Also, keep in mind those people who make you feel at home in their presence. What do they do and say that makes you feel that way? Be mindful of how you want people to feel in your home as your decorate and interact with them. 

2. Be Content
I think it is great to have plans and work to achieve them. When we bought our home, it was move in ready and we were so glad! Over the past couple of months, we started a list of the aspects of it we wanted to adjust over time to suit our tastes and personalities. It can be easy to fall into that mindset of we have to have the newest/biggest/brightest (fill in the blank with your choice of home related item) as soon as we want it. You may not have every room arranged and styled exactly how you like them. Maybe right now you can't afford all the changes you are wanting to make. That's okay. We have been eating around our coffee table for a year because we don't have a dining table yet. I should include that this has been an upgrade because before that, we just ate off our laps! Despite the less sophisticated dining arrangements, I love the memories we have with our people around that table. 

3. Do It Yourself
One of my husband's many talents is that he is very handy. I am pretty sure he can fix or make anything. I'm equally impressed by and thankful for his abilities. Our parents have been so helpful with design ideas, suggestions, and free labor! A couple of the updates we have made to our home have been to spruce up our master bathroom and add storage in our laundry room. Not only do I love the end results of both of these projects, I love that we spent time together completing them. Teaming up with family and friends to do your home renovations and design is so much fun and makes the process so much more special. Here are a couple before and afters just because I am so proud of him:

4. Mix and Match
So what if your furniture isn't all from the same designer/store/yard sale. We are fortunate to have been the recipients of many hand-me-downs, which means hardly any of our furniture "goes together." I am thankful that when we use various pieces in our home, we can remember who shared with us. Mixing and matching items definitely adds character to a room. I also like the feeling it gives that everything-- and everyone--has a place and belongs. 

5. Add Some Greenery
Fresh flowers and plants add life and color to a home. I am not exactly a green thumb, but I do appreciate horticulture. When we moved to Illinois last year, a sweet new friend invited me to go to the Farmer's Market with her. Each week there was a man who sold the most beautiful zinnias, sunflowers, and wildflowers. I love picking up a bunch of colorful blooms to place on the counter by the sink or on the coffee table. Grocery stores often have flowers on sale as well. This year I hope to pick my own zinnias, dahlias, and ranunculus from our garden! 

6. Infuse the Air
I love walking into homes that have distinct, lovely scents. Whether it's warm baked cookies, clean linens, or fresh picked roses, I so enjoy pleasing aromas. Diffusing Essential Oils is my favorite way to create a welcoming space. Stress Away, Joy, and Lemon are my favorite oils to diffuse in our home. If you haven't experienced the many benefits and uses of Essential Oils, I would love to introduce you to the endless possibilities they offer!

7. Fill It With Scripture
Far more important than any decoration, lovely scent, or pretty flower, having Christ as the foundation is the ultimate way to make a house a home. In the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, Moses gave the Israelites commandments from the Lord before they entered the Promised Land. He told them:
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates."
{Deuteronomy 6: 5-9}
I love to decorate our home with beautiful Scripture. The multiple daily reminders of God's Word are so needed and appreciated. My prayer is that we fill our homes with scripture through our words, thoughts, and actions. 

What are your favorite ways and tips to make a house a home? 


  1. Hope,

    Super job y'all did on the bathroom, and laundry room. My laundry room is badly in need of a makeover! It's so bad that the cabinet above our washer and dryer tried to commit suicide (during a past heatwave) by falling off the wall. Thankfully the washer's drain pipe that sticks out of the wall and the bowed walls themselves saved it from its doom. Now it's wedged in place about 10" lower from its original height, but thankfully there is still enough clearance for me to open up the washer. Ah, the joys of home ownership. =D

    1. Thank you so much! Oh dear! Being a homeowner can definitely be romanticized. HA! That sounds like that could be very frustrating but I'm sure you'll have it looking great!