This week’s blog post topic is the result of a conversation I had with a Starbucks barista. (I’m obsessed with their Refreshers!) She’s been having trouble decorating her new place. Specifically, she wanted to know how you make your house feel like home. What are the things that give it heart and soul?
When you decorate your home, it’s the finishing touches and personal things you do to it that give each room its charm and personality. That can mean something different for each person. In their book The Finishing Touch, House Beautiful asked 7 interior design experts what touches they like to add to a room to give it “heart and soul”. The book was published several years ago (you may still be able to find it on Amazon), but their suggestions are timeless. Since this is a common issue, I thought it would be helpful to share their tips with you. Use them as inspiration to discover how you can make your house feel like home and your favorite place to be.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR HOUSE FEEL LIKE HOME
1 Objects imbued with memories. In my parents’ vacation house, there are old rods and reels; a propeller from a boat we used to own; a beautiful model sailboat that my dad helped me build when I was ten; and my mom’s collection of 1930’s green-and-white plates, which have been hanging on the same wall forever. ~ JANE LEE , Furniture Gallery Owner
2 Family photographs, a dog, and a sofa you can vacuum. ~ KITTY HAWKS, Interior Designer
3 Evidence of life. Anything from children’s art to dog-eared magazines to fresh-cut flowers that aren’t perfect. ~ RACHEL ASHWELL, Founder of Shabby Chic
4 Books. They’re intimate and revealing. My very first client was a great reader, and she had this magnificent library with thousands of books in vertical stacks. Some were used as stands. Some were used as tables. Nothing was arranged properly. It was amazing. ~ PAUL VINCENT WISEMAN, Interior Designer
5 Good old Oriental rugs give a beautiful soul to a room. ~ MONA HAJJ, Interior Designer
6 Using a room gives it heart and soul. People never use their living rooms. You’ve got to take it back, give it another purpose rather than just entertaining. Put your easel or drafting table in it. Or put a big double-wide wicker chaise lounge next to the fireplace with a big mohair blanket at the end and make it your prime napping spot. ~ TOM SCHEERER, Interior Designer
7 All those subliminal things you don’t really see but experience like solid wood doors with solid brass hardware. And there’s nothing like real hardwood floors – that lovely creak. ~ MAUREEN FOOTER, Interior Designer
Decorate a room with items that you love and it will always be a room you love. What elements do you feel give your home its heart and soul?
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