How do you make the space where you live feel like it’s yours? Whether you’re a renter or a buyer, it can take some time to settle into a place you’ve just moved into. The only thing that will truly make it feel like home is time and the memories that are created there that will come to seem embedded in the very structure. From your first night there to the long term, there are many things you can do to make the place yours.
The Early Days
When moving into a new house, when you pack, designate a box or two to have specific comfort items. This will help you settle in on the first night and through the first couple of days. These boxes might hold some bedding along with something to make coffee or tea with and other items. Sensory reminders of your last place, such as a clock that chimes a certain way, music you enjoy or candles that have a particular scent, should be easily accessible. Children might want a favorite stuffed animal to hand. This can take the family through the early days of moving chaos when nothing ever seems to be quite where it is supposed to be.
These are things that you might do months, weeks or even years after moving into a place, and some are open to both renters and homeowners. Even if you’re just renting, some landlords are willing to let you do minimal work, such as repainting, sometimes on the promise that you’ll put it back the way it was when you leave. Longtime tenants sometimes have permission to do more. Homeowners, of course, are limited only by money, time, the structural properties of the house and zoning laws.
However, within these parameters, there are substantial changes that can be made, especially as families have new needs over time. Adding a child to the family could mean building on an extension for another bedroom. As homeowners age, they may want to consider what would make it easier for them to remain there. Having domestic lifts for older folk available can make it possible for older adults to stay in two-story houses that they might otherwise have had to move out of.
Less ambitious than most renovation projects, designing a modern home and careful decorating can make you feel more comfortable in your own place. However, this can seem as daunting as renovation if you don’t have a knack for it. Chances are you don’t want an entirely spartan setup even if you aren’t sure what it is that you do want. You don’t have to hire a professional or invest in expensive furniture to decorate your house in a way that’s comfortable for you.
Start by saving photos of rooms that appeal to you. Once you’ve got a dozen or a few dozen, whatever it takes, you’ll start to notice a theme. You can copy the elements of rooms that you like after comfort, not an award for originality, and you can do it over time, as you’re able to afford it. Doing small jobs like painting yourself and looking for bargains online, at estate and yard sales, and at thrift stores can keep costs down.