Most of us have complicated relationships with the places where we live. Unless you have unlimited amounts of money, there's probably something about your home that you don't like. Maybe you don't like the place where you live much at all, and are stuck there because of circumstances or budget. But even if you can't move, or can't remodel, or can't even paint (we see you, renters), there are things you can do to make the home that you live in right now a place that you'll love. Here are 10 ideas.
Bring in flowers (or plants)
There's a reason almost every house tour you see in magazines or blogs has flowers in it. Flowers make any room feel better and brighter. They make an excellent "every once in a while" indulgence, and for all the other times there's always houseplants, which are like flowers that last forever (or as long as you can keep them alive).
Hang new art!
Nothing brightens and personalizes a space quite like art. Even one or two pieces that you really love will go a long way toward making your home less dreary. If you already have art up on the walls, consider moving one or two things to different positions. A little change can be a nice pick-me-up, and make you "see" things that you've stopped noticing.
Do a deep clean
Like really, really clean. Make a day of it. Put some music on. Have a beer or two. Seeing what it looks like when everything is clean at the same time can really change your perception of a space.
Clean the windows
I made this a separate bullet point because it's something that makes such a big difference to the feel of a space, but also something people often neglect in normal cleaning routines. It will not only make your space feel cleaner, but brighter, too. If you live on a higher floor and accessing the outside of your windows is difficult, try this little magnetic gizmo.
Change your window treatments
Window treatments have a huge impact on how you perceive the architecture of a space, more than almost any other decorating choice. I'm partial to shades that mount on the inside of a window, for a minimal look, but there are plenty of other options, depending on your style. Just make sure that your window coverings aren't an afterthought (and if you're still living with the same old vinyl blinds that came with the apartment, consider replacing them, or at least pairing them with some drapes). We've got plenty of ideas here.
Cut the clutter
Modern life involves a lot of stuff, and a lot of that stuff makes its way into your home. Of course, big things, like poor layouts and yucky wall colors, can make you unhappy in your home, but these big things can make you forget the way the little things—like copious amounts of clutter — can bring your space down. If you commit a few hours to clearing things out, taking things to be donated, and maybe even creating a junk drawer (or basket!), you may be surprised at how much better you feel about your home.
Remove one thing
One mistake people living in smaller spaces often make is stuffing their home full of furniture pieces that they don't really use. Sometimes, removing a single large, bulky piece can make your whole space feel brighter and freer.
Find a signature scent
Even if your home doesn't look as good as you would like, you can still make it smell good. Our recommendation? Find a scent you really love, whether it's a candle or incense or air freshener and make it your space's signature scent—one you love and will immediately associate with home.
Have a 'date' with your home
Quality time is at the heart of every relationship. It may seem weird to think of your relationship with your home like a relationship with a person, but if you do, just for a minute, maybe you'll consider having a date with your home. By this I mean intentionally planning a homebody night—one where you shut out other stimuli and it's just you, alone, at home. An evening there spent baking, or creating, or just being, could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Share it with friends
Often our favorite spaces are the ones where we have the best memories. So make a few memories in your home—invite friends over for a game night, or for a casual dinner party, and fill your space with love and warmth. Reflecting back on all those good memories might just make you see your home in a totally different light.
Have other love-the-one-you're-with advice to share with readers? Please share in the comments!