5 Simple and Easy Residential Interior Design Ideas to Make a House Feel like a Home
How to make a house feel like a home is a question I’m often asked in my role as head of the interior design division at Chicago residential architecture firm Morgante Wilson Architects, where I’ve recently become a partner. My answer is a lot simpler than most people expect: make it feel inviting.
Here are five easy interior design touches to do just that:
Make sure rooms function well
The best way to make family and friends feel comfortable in your house is to make sure it serves their needs. Are sofas and chairs comfortable to sit on? Are there tables within reach to set a glass down without worrying about causing a water ring? What about dining chairs – is there enough room to pass behind them without asking people seated to skooch in a bit?
Take the time to experiment with creating little vignettes of items you love or things that make you smile. Place one or two compilations in each room…odds are, they will make your guests smile too. And don’t forget walls. Whether hung singly or in gallery-like groupings, art creates visual interest. Likewise, mirrors add depth, reflect light and make any room seem bigger.
Add a variety of lighting
Lighting is one of the most underestimated - and often overlooked - components of a room. It’s a prime opportunity for that perfect piece of eye candy as it can have significant presence and also provide a sculptural or textural element that’s unique in the space. Gone are the days when a single light suspended in the middle of a room – or worse, a row of recessed can lights – was considered adequate. Today’s most inviting rooms are layered with a mix of overhead lighting, table lamps, floor lamps and wall sconces. Add dimmers for welcoming ambience everywhere from dining rooms to kitchens and even the powder room.
Use plants! It’s amazing how even a little bit of live greenery can add vitality to any room in your house.
Make your house uniquely yours. Display photographs and collections of things that are meaningful to you and your family. Not only will they help your house feel more like a home to you, your guests will love seeing those things, too. They’ll help you relive happy memories, create connections and spur conversation. That’s a lot of emotional benefit from an African basket collection, that bowl of shells you gathered on your last beach vacation, or the watercolors your grandmother painted. Get the idea?
K. Tyler, Allied ASID
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