A Welcoming Home: How to Soften Your Home and Make It More Inviting
In this post: Decorating is all about creating a welcoming home. Here are 7 ways to soften your home and make it more inviting.⇒
What makes a home warm and inviting?
When I was 17 years old, I went into the hospital for a routine surgery. Back in those days (when the dinosaurs roamed the earth… ;-)), even a basic surgery meant a week’s stay in the hospital.
If I live to be 1000, I will never forget the feeling of returning home to my bedroom. It was like being enveloped by one huge bear hug. The colors were more vivid, the carpet incredibly lush and everything was hyper sensual. Soft. Warm. and Fuzzy.
Now, I did not have a particularly exceptional bedroom. Quite the contrary. But if ever there was a stark lesson on what makes a room inviting it was that contrast of hospital to bedroom.
The same lessons can be applied to decorating an entire home. Let’s look at 7 ways to soften your home and make it more inviting.
In my mind, there are two ways to use color to make your home welcoming. One is to use warm uplifting tones and the other is to keep everything light and bright. So according to this theory, white can be as inviting as a rosy pink.
The key is to avoid dusty, dirty colors with an institutional bent. I’d likewise steer clear of a dark and somber vibe. If you enjoy dark colors, be sure to balance them with vivid pops like white, gilding or bright accents. But nothing will make dusty mauve, teal or mustard inviting.
My rule of thumb: if it’s a color that’s used in a doctor’s waiting room or a public rest room, keep it out of your home.
What can be more enticing than a sumptuous couch? Overstuffed seating calls to us to nestle in and get comfortable. A plush sofa or cushy chair is like a siren’s call. It says ‘come on in and make yourself at home’.
But it’s not only the lushness of the pieces that can be most tempting, but also the way they are placed in a room. Place your coziest pieces facing the entry and be sure to surround them with a supporting cast, like a surface to place your drink or an opportunity to put your feet up.
An intimate space is also inviting, so arrange seating pieces facing each other or at least close enough to encourage conversation. Offer guest chairs near the desk and a chaise or ottoman in the bedroom.
Along with the lushness of the seating itself, there are fabrics that can be particularly alluring. Think soft and luxurious or laundered and relaxed. Anything stiff or rigid is an immediate buzzkill, as is anything itchy or otherwise prickly.
Velvets can be wonderful, along with washed linen. The softer and drapier the better. This applies not only to the seating but to all the textiles in the space, including drapery panels which can soften the look of any room.
Be sure to also consider pillows and throws, as the more comfy the options, the more welcoming the room will feel. Down filled cushions are optimal, creating fluffy and pliable support. Soothing cozy throws can be the icing on the cake.
Fabrics are not the only textiles in a space and a lush rug underfoot adds a component of warmth to the space. The thicker and softer the better, of course, but even a flat weave rug can add a note of comfort to a room.
Think about how an outdoor rug pulls a patio together and you’ll realize how significant the addition of a rug can be to making a home more inviting.
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I mentioned color above and talked about the benefit of light and bright, and the same goes for actual lighting. The more natural light a room has, the better things will look in your spaces, but the inclusion of warm lighting can enhance what is lacking naturally.
Just remember light is good, but stark is not. You should feel sunny and uplifted, but not like you’re being interrogated.
Multi-level lighting is always advantageous, with a combination of light sources including overheads, table lamps, wall sconces and candles, complementing what is provided by the windows and doors.
A cluttered space is about as unwelcoming as you can get. No one wants to feel like they’ve interrupted an important project, that they need to step over things to move around or that they might displace your things by simply trying to find a place to sit.
If you want your home to feel inviting, put everything away. It’s more calming and tranquil for both the people who live there and for the guests who are visiting.
Your home doesn’t have to be professionally decorated to feel welcoming and look appealing. A few well placed personal accents can go a long way in expressing your passions and inviting people into your life.
Gather a small stack of books that convey your interests and style them on the coffee table, or display family photos in pretty coordinated frames. Anything that offers a glimpse into your individual tastes and likes will add a note of friendliness to your home’s public spaces.
An inviting home should be not only physically comfortable, but also be easy to navigate and exude an air of optimism. Light and color offer emotional comforts, while seating, fabric and textiles provide a restful atmosphere. Accent your spaces with your favorite personal artifacts and they’ll welcome you with open arms any time you return home needing to relax and recharge.
More Home Decor Posts
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- 5 Affordable Room Makeovers: How to Modernize French Country Decor
- The 6 Defining Style Elements I Use In Every Room
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Pinned that rug for our entry replacement rug hopefully getting done this year.
Love the soft green and white in your bedroom.
Hospital rooms are the worst!
Lovely, all of it! I clicked on the dining room rug, and it said it colors were beige, brown and navy blue – not black or charcoal?
Thank you! The beige combo is definitely with black.