7 Ways to (Re)Discover the Beauty in Your Home

So I was jonesing to see Laure's new place and I kept hinting that I wanted to come over. Ugh, I'm so embarrassed, she said, it's so unfinished and I'm couch-less. When she finally invited me over, I wondered why she'd been so worried. It's a cute and inviting bungalow — couch or not — with bright light and the gorgeous mid-century furniture Laure inherited from her grandmother.

Whether you've just moved into a place and are overrun with the little details of putting it together, been living in a place for a long time and all you see are the things that need repairing or spent the whole morning looking through House Tours, it's likely that at one time or another, you've been in Laure's shoes. When that happens, try these 7 tips to rediscover the beauty in your home:

  • Go away: After a long vacation, you're excited to be home. Your home looks new again. Sometimes, all it takes is a night or even a long day away.
  • See your home at a different time of the day: When I was working out of the house, I'd sometimes have to run home at lunch. Seeing my home in the middle of the work week, it felt different. Quiet. Calm. It was like entering a friend's home that I knew well.
  • Take a photograph of it: A photo of your home can show you things you never see when you just take it all in. Even better: have someone else photograph it! What do they choose to shoot?
  • Invite someone over who's never been to your house or hasn't been over in a long time: See your house through their eyes. What are the little things they notice that you take for granted?
  • Move the furniture around: Often, when you're pissed off at your house, it's because it doesn't feel like you any longer. Like a long healthy relationship, your house has to morph and change. Try a different arrangement. Switch the couch with the chairs. Put the dining table on an angle. Move that bench in the bedroom to the living room.
  • Hire a cleaning lady: I love coming home after the cleaning lady's been there. The house is perfect: the floors dark and shiny, the couch well plumped, the sink sparkling. This is seeing your house at its best.
  • Sit in a different spot: You've got your favorite spot on the sofa for watching TV, you always sleep on the same side of the bed. Mix it up a little. When I did this I rediscovered a Moroccan hanging light I'd picked up a few years ago.
  • Buy something new for your home: I don't mean a little bitty vase. Get something that makes a style statement. Hint: It doesn't have to be expensive. You can DIY it. Some ideas: new throw pillows, a small table, new lamps. Go bolder: recover the couch, change the rug.
  • Or take something away: Roll up the rugs. Clear off the coffee table. Box up the knick knacks. Right now, I'm living without a rug and the house feels wonderfully minimal.

Image: Laure Joliet