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?

Incorporate accessories

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.


Think green

Use plants! It’s amazing how even a little bit of live greenery can add vitality to any room in your house.


Personalize it

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?

For more inspiration, please visit our most recent blogs  – I promise you’ll find plenty of great ideas in our project portfolio.

K. Tyler, Allied ASID

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More posts related to residential interior design from award-winning Chicago architects Morgante Wilson:

How to find your style by working with a professional interior designer

Interior Design Tips: Ideas for Getting Your Home Organized!

Building a new home: 5 ideas to create uniquely personal space in your house

Morgante Wilson Architects provides architectural and interior design services in Chicago, Evanston, Winnetka, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Wilmette, Northbrook, Deerfield, Northfield, Ravinia, Colorado, Michigan, Wisconsin and more

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