6 Ways to Help Any Home Feel More Like Your Haven

Photo by spacejoy@unsplash

I’ve been fighting a battle with my new home. Wrought with disappointment and stress (we lost our first choices in a challenging housing market), I’m wondering how to get beyond clear resentment I feel for this home. Of course, after all is said and done, we are fortunate to be here. However, that doesn’t seem to remove the angst.

But, I digress. This is a post about building your haven — no matter where you are living these days. Note that I’ve applied (or will apply) all of the advice recommended. Also note that these steps have worked previously, when we bought an old fixer-upper that was a bit more challenging than anticipated. (We’ve owned 6 homes, from a 60’s quad-level to a new, custom build).

So — if you get a sinking feeling when you think about your space, read on.

  • Consider the psychology of it all. Stress during the search process can definitely color your feelings about your new space. Make an attempt to separate your feelings about your home or apartment, from the search dynamic. Think of this scenario: If your friend chose this space, what might your reaction be upon seeing it? Would it be positive? Compare this with your own current assessment.
  • Focus on function. Form has to follow function in your home. If possible, tackle the issues that get in the way of living, such as doors that swing the wrong way or a noisy, annoying washer that came with the package. Little things that simply do not work for your life, or create stress — need to be addressed early on.
  • Focus on the small bits. Elements such as lighting or kitchen hardware can change the feel of a space. (Consider the difference between black wrought iron knobs & gold-tone hardware.) If the basics such as your cabinetry are not objectionable, there is hope to still win you over.
  • Insert yourself. Carve out one space that has the most potential to bring you joy. Build a gallery wall of favorite art or photos & bring out treasured home decor items. Play hard ball by loading up on the elements that bring you positive vibes.
  • Keep rearranging. Our new home (a Tudor) is quite dark, and has an awkward corner fireplace that was befuddling at the very least. Try multiple arrangements of your furniture pieces until it feels comfortable. Use the accessories you own to change the look & feel of the space. What worked in your past home, may not work where you find yourself now. So, try it all.
  • Make peace with it. You’ll have to let it go on some level — even if this means accepting that this feeling won’t completely change. Keeping yourself in a completely negative space takes a lot of energy and will inevitably bleed into other parts of your life.

Live.Work.Think.Play shares observations concerning a wide array of topics from founding a company — to the perfect gift. It is designed to share lessons learned from a variety of perspectives.

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