Friday, August 7, 2015

11 tips for how to be happy in your own home

So, let's talk about something that has been on my mind quite a bit lately.  Sometimes you get bored of your own home.  It happens to the best of us.  Perhaps all you notice is how the baseboards could really use a fresh coat of paint, or maybe you are dwelling on how badly you want french doors in your dining room. 
I fell into this very funk a while ago, and recently decided I needed to pull myself out of it.  I told myself to quit whining and complaining about all the things I wish I had, and all the things that are "wrong" with my house.  I should be grateful to have a safe, welcoming home.  I should have pride in all that I have done to turn my house into a home.  I should be able to see past the imperfections to the very real beauty that already exists there.  
After giving myself a much needed attitude adjustment, I began trying to think of ways to truly find joy in my home.  It has helped immensely and I'm feeling much happier about being at home, and finding excitement again in the everyday.  So if, like me, you find yourself in a funk, try following these tips.

Holy moly.  It seems so obvious in hindsight, but for some reason I totally underestimated the power of a clean house.  Mine wasn't even that dirty.  Maybe it needed a nice thorough dusting, but all in all, it wasn't a pig sty.  Once I got off my ass and gave my kitchen a deep cleaning, the site of my gleaming counter tops made me feel sooo much better, and gave me the energy I'd been lacking to give the entire house a much needed scrub down.  Now every time I walk into my kitchen I feel inspired to start baking.

Candles go a long way towards making me feel at home.  Not only do they smell good, but the flickering light is cozy and relaxing. I like to use food scented candles like vanilla in the kitchen, and clean scented candles in the bathrooms and laundry room.  For the living spaces, I switch it up depending on the time of the year.  In the spring and summer, I usually lean toward light, floral scents.  In the fall and winter, Bath & Body Works carries my favorite fall and Christmas scents. 

So light em up! No special occasion required.  Put one on the table at dinner time, light one while you are reading a book, and have one burning while you're watching TV.  It'll make any moment at home seem just a little more special. 
If your home is dark and gloomy, chances are good your mood will be too.  Open the curtains and let the sun light filter in.  At night time, turn on lamps, scentsys, and other accent lighting. The romantic glow created by these fixtures will make you want to sit back with a glass of wine and soak in the feeling of just being home.  
Let's be honest, all I ever want to do is relax with a glass of wine, regardless of the lighting situation.

You know how some people's homes just feel expensive?  You can't really put your finger on why, but it just seems classy?  One way to give your house this vibe is to make small, but expensive, splurges.  Maybe you can't afford to deck out your entire house in Pottery Barn's finest, but that doesn't mean that you can't splurge every once in a while on a gorgeous mug that just puts a smile on your face. The one pictured is by Mud Pie. They have the cutest stuff.

Whether you live in a 400 sq ft apartment or a 5,000 sq ft mansion, every home has strengths and weaknesses.  So focus on the strengths! For example, what I don't have is a spacious living room.  What I do have is a lovely fireplace that I enjoy decorating so that it makes a statement as soon as you enter the room.  There may only be room for about four people in my living room, but it's cute anyway!  
Maybe you've got a tiny kitchen.  So what!  Rather than try to emulate the look of those big, fancy kitchens you see in magazines, make it feel cozy and warm by installing butcher block counter tops and painting the cabinets a welcoming color.  
I'm guilty of this one.  I'll spend hours scouring Pinterest and find myself swooning over how amazing all the houses are.  But it is important to keep in mind that most of the houses you see on Pinterest are MANSIONS that are decorated and designed by PROFESSIONALS.  Most people's homes DO NOT look like that.  It's easy to assume that because people are pinning these rooms, that they must actually have what is pictured.  But that just isn't the case.  Pinterest is a wonderful site full of creativity, but if it becomes a place where you always leave feeling envy instead of inspiration, it's time to give yourself a reality check. 

Blogs too.  Since I'm a blogger, I probably shouldn't be pointing this out, but what you see isn't always exactly the truth.  Keep in mind that a lot of bloggers are extremely talented photographers.  This means that they can make their homes look bigger and brighter in pictures than they are in real life.  Not to mention the fact that Photoshop exists for home decor pictures, just like it does for swimsuit models. 
Also it is important to keep in mind that the point of most blogs is to show how pretty your house is.   So most bloggers aren't going to point out the fact that the reason that blanket is artfully draped over that arm chair is to hide the fact that the cushion was completely torn apart by the dog.  **Ahem, see picture below.
We all have our dirty little secrets.  And that chair is Ruby's favorite place to sit, so it is literally dirty.
This closet is probably a little more fun to change clothes in than a regular closet, thanks to the fancy chandelier and gold painted clothing rods.  
I wouldn't know for sure though, since this isn't my house, it's Beck Design Blog's house.
Seriously though, a little glam goes a long way towards making your house feel special.  A fancy chandelier in a closet or laundry room will take a once boring and strictly functional space up a notch or two.
This is another one I can't claim credit for.  But I can imagine how much joy I Heart Organizing feels every time she opens her linen closet.  
Nothing feels quite so luxurious as slipping into a soft, clean bed.  Take that up a notch by spritzing your sheets with lavender scented linen spray a few minutes before you crawl in.  It'll feel like you're spending the night in a five-star resort every night.
Host parties! This is without a doubt my single greatest source of joy as a home owner.  Sharing your space with friends and family is an immensely rewarding experience.  I adore making memories with my loved ones in a space that is so near and dear to my heart.  If you have a small space, host a dinner party with just a couple of close friends.  Worried about the cost of a big party?  Make it BYOB or do a pot luck.  Whether it's an elegant affair or just having some friends over to watch your favorite TV show, you'll never regret sharing your home with others.  
And last but not least, try to keep in mind that...
Every home is unique and special regardless of size, location, or price tag.  Of course we'd all love to have an amazing fire pit in our backyard that just happens to be on the edge of a lake.  But as the song goes, we can't always get what we want.  I know it can be tough, but try not to compare your home to others.  You may feel self conscious that your home is smaller than all your friend's houses, but chances are good they're feeling jealous of the fact that you have wood floors.   So even if you went to a party the other night at a home whose backyard was to die for (which I did), remember that your own home is special and has very real beauty all it's own.
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  1. I truly love my small ranch-style 70's home. It fits us very well, but sometimes I get what I call HGTV envy. Especially when a young couple with small children do a $300,000 addition/renovation to their already gorgeous home. I always wonder what these people do for a living that, at such an early stage in life, they can afford it all! Sometimes I just turn off HGTV for a month or two in order to appreciate what I DO have!

    I recently just went through my living room, dining room and kitchen washing down walls, polishing up things that needed polishing and getting rid of CLUTTER. I totally agree that a good scrub-down and decluttering session can make home more homey and loveable!

    1. Hi Sarah, thanks for stopping by! I totally agree about the HGTV thing! Where do these people get all that money!?!? Must be nice, haha. Have a great weekend!

  2. Thank you so much for this article. My very favorite life activity is having people over and I am glad to see there are others that share my joy in this. All of your suggestions are spot on. I live in a condo which I love and I am happiest when I am home.

    1. Hi Kathrine. You're welcome, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for taking the time to stop by. :)

  3. Love it!!! I need so motivation, and you just gave me that!!!! Thanks:):) I love all my memories we've made in your beautiful home!

    1. Yay!! I love all the memories we've made in your beautiful home too! :)

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