Do you sometimes suffer from home-envy when you go to a friend’s house and the ambience there makes it feel warmer and more inviting than your own? Our homes can say a lot about us, and the way we decorate them and maintain them can not only tell people about us; it can also affect our outlook on life and how we feel.
If you feel that your home’s not as nice as it could be, follow these tips to make it a place that other people might develop home-envy about. Make every room ‘guest ready’
What do you do when you’ve got people coming over? Most of us rush around – not only making whatever food we’re going to serve and organising drinks – but also madly cleaning and shoving any kind of clutter out of view. Why not take a different approach and live with a tidy house all the time – imagining that unexpected guests could suddenly arrive and go into any room in the house? This not only prepares you for those unplanned visits, but has the far greater benefit that you’ll live in an ordered and tidy environment that will give you, the person who lives there, lots of pleasure. Once you’ve done the first big spring clean, staying ‘guest ready’ should only require minutes of your time.
Buy furniture that you love
Today, there’s an enormous supply of cheap and cheerful furniture out there. Whatever you’re in the market for – a new sofa, a bed, a dining table and chairs – you can find items that will ‘do the job’ and suit every budget. But there’s a danger in doing this – you can end up with a load of half-decent furniture that you don’t really like and that won’t really last. Instead, buy the pieces of furniture you’d really like to keep forever when you can afford to, purchasing one piece at a time and maybe managing without something until you have the funds available. For instance, if you want to buy Italian furniture use a specialist website such as Vivendo.com where pieces are sourced directly from the Italian manufacturers, rather than going to a high-street chain which supplies Italian-inspired furniture rather than Italian-made furniture.
There are lots of things around the house that you won’t feel like doing when you have limited amounts of free time. But if you’re not going to do them, the likelihood is that they won’t get done. So whenever you’re faced with a task that you’d rather avoid, take a positive approach. You might need to repaint the garden fence, wash the dishes, get the mould out of the bathroom tile grout; whatever it is, approach the task with gusto and enthusiasm and do the best job you can. You’ll get it done more quickly and you’ll probably do a better job than you would if you were dreading doing it.
Make it a home not just a house Our home isn’t just where we sleep, shower and eat. It’s where we celebrate everything we love in life. Display items that you have a sentimental connection to – ornaments that you’ve brought back from different holidays or trips, photographs of your friends and family and times spent together, or drawings that your kids or your nieces and nephews have done. Your home can be your own personal gallery – and you can show whatever you want in it.
Spend more time at home
You may have spent years going out every night and simply crashing at home before going off again in the morning, but why not use your home for entertainment purposes too? Save up for some equipment that will make it easier to entertain at home – a new barbecue, maybe, or a projector for some awesome movie nights. Houses are a big investment – you may as well get value out of them.