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What makes a house a home?

All Areas > Homes & Gardens > Interior Design

Author: Gill Greenwell, Posted: Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 09:00

Cosy home interiors living room lounge Image: IKEA

Since the pandemic we have all become so much more focused on our living spaces and, as we head towards the winter, making them feel warm and inviting.

During the year some of us, like my daughter and nephew, will have moved into their first proper house, while others may have downsized to a new property. So how do we create that special feeling of home in our living spaces? It’s all in the detail…

The things you love
Your home should reflect your personality. Have things around you that you love and make you feel good – photographs of family and friends, children’s drawings, or tasteful reminders of holidays. Display favourite artworks, or unusual items you have picked up, make cushions from favourite fabrics – these are the things that make your home special.

Take your cue from your interests and hobbies. I found an antique looking music stand in a vintage store, which is useful and really adds character to my home office.

Objects that tell a story
A home should also tell your story – things that perhaps spark a special childhood memory. My friend has old family portraits in the sitting room of her contemporary home, which add extra depth and personality.

Interiors doyenne Nina Campbell advises re-using favourite things. Re-cover a much-loved chair handed down from your Grannie; display something whimsical you’ve picked up in your local charity shop.
I recently came across an old tailor’s dummy, which would look stunning in a hallway.

Something creative
After decades of mass-produced items, the trend is now towards having handmade objects. The Japanese call it Wabi-sabi or “the beauty of imperfection”. Interior designer Ilse Crawford, who has a collaboration with IKEA, believes that it’s the beautiful things we treasure that make a home unique.

Hand-crafted pieces aren’t perfect, but they are alluring because each one is different. Search out objects at local craft fairs – I came across a ceramicist/potter on a holiday in Ireland and I use one of her bowls everyday, as it reminds me of meeting her.

Curate your collections
With a post-pandemic trend towards creating calmer living spaces, it’s a good time to curate your possessions. Everyone has their passions and some of us love our collections, but don’t let them take over – edit and display them in groups of similar colours and shapes.

Refresh the look of your spaces from time to time by re-positioning things; mix books with other items, give things away if they no longer make you happy. Someone else will love them and give them new life.

A touch of nature
For that extra special sensory touch, I always have seasonal flowers in the house. Flowers lift your spirits, and bring a lovely scent and an invigorating pop of colour to a room. In autumn/winter you can include dried flowers, branches and berries. Why not bring some in from your garden?
Now you are ready to invite your friends to your warm, welcoming and unique home.

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