5 Ways to Make YOUR Home Amazing
There’s nothing quite as satisfying for the wanderer’s soul as traveling to a different city and getting a taste of another life in someone else’s home. It seems each vacation rental has something distinct that makes you fall in love and feel at home (the good ones, anyway – we all have our share of stays we’d rather forget). It might be the specialty coffee bar in the corner, the hanging chair on the porch, the local honey or wine, the rooftop deck with an amazing view, or even the pile of vintage games in the cupboard. When it’s all over, we want to find a way to pack up that carefree, luxurious feeling and bring it back home to our daily lives. After traveling extensively and studying home design, I’ve figured out some ways to do just that. It won’t be quite the same – the worries and the dishes will still be there – but it’s definitely worth the effort!
Use a Variety of Finishes
The days of matchy-matchy finishes are thankfully behind us. Just like your belt doesn’t have to match your shoes, your cabinet pulls no longer have to match your faucet. Mixing finishes adds a unique richness to a space and also lets you choose your favorite pieces, no matter what finish they might be. Love that oil-rubbed bronze stool, but found a gold light fixture you have to have? No problem – use them both! You’ll get a home that’s one-of-a-kind filled with items you love living with every day.
Display Items of Interest Throughout
Have a cute ladybug tic-tac-toe game that you love? Put it out where someone can play it. Inherit a turntable or love ships in a bottle? Make it a priority to place interesting items throughout your home as conversational pieces and as a way to bring life and joy to your spaces.
Bring the Outside In
There are so many ways you can bring the outside in, no matter where you live. If you live in a tiny apartment in the city, bring in succulents or other herbs and house plants, open the curtains wide and let the sunshine in, dedicate a corner or a shelf to all of your nature finds (think shells, rocks, nests, or broken bird eggs) or even place natural prints or photographs in frames on the wall.
If you live in a house, you have even more options. You can screen in an outdoor living area and make it part of your living space – hang a swinging chair or make a comfy, inviting seating arrangement. Sit out books and games, and place side tables for drinks and soft throws for chilly nights. Nowhere to put an outside sitting area? No worries. Plant a butterfly garden and hang bird feeders in your yard or on your windows – then sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
Safely Incorporate Fire
Natural elements like fire inside a home are the epitome of luxury and relaxation. There’s a reason candlelit dinners and fireside gatherings are as popular as ever, more than a century after the introduction of electricity. Fire appeals to our practicality by cooking our food while providing warmth and light, and to our sentimentality by radiating beauty and drawing at our spirits to slow down, sit and soak in life.
Fire can be easily incorporated both inside and outside a home. Outside, a firepit can be added on a patio or into a yard (see HERE for different types of firepits and how to safely incorporate them) for hours of enjoyment in all seasons. Firepits are great for drinks with friends, smores with the family or just unwinding after a long day. Tiki torches are another great outside option that create both an appealing ambiance and relief from bothersome bugs.
Inside, fire can be incorporated by placing candles throughout; using an electric, gas or woodburning fireplace; or even with the colors and patterns you use to decorate. Items resembling fire or smoke can be used for the same effect – salt lamps, essential oil diffusers or fairy lights are great alternatives when real fire is not an option.
Be Uniquely You
Your home doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) look like every other house on Fixer Upper or the one in the Pottery Barn window (who remembers Rachel & Phoebe’s apothecary table??). If you have a color or theme or item that you love, go for it. Almost anything can be removed, replaced or repainted when it comes time to sell – so for now, live the life you want inside the home you have. Make your home uniquely you.