Design / August 16, 2021

From House to Home: 5 Ways to Create a Welcoming Space

Have you ever visited someone’s house and felt right at home? Everything seems to be in its proper place and there is always something interesting to look at or notice or pick up. Not one corner appears forgotten or neglected. Of course the host plays a role in welcoming in their guests, but the space they have created permits a sense of ease and respite from the world outside. 
As a designer, I’m constantly evaluating my surroundings (seriously, I can’t stop) and I’ve come to several conclusions as to why one home is inviting and enjoyable while another one is cold and uncomfortable. Keep reading to see ways you can bump up the cozy and pinpoint reasons why your home might not feel so “homey.” 

Layer in More Rugs

In addition to placing rugs in living rooms and under beds, there are still other opportunities to layer in texture and soften floors. Rugs can help ground smaller furniture groups like dining tables, office setups, or even a single accent chair. If you want to distinguish areas or pathways, runners are a great way to enhance empty hallways and cover bare floors in the kitchen or entryway. Swap out the old bath mat and dress your bathroom up with a more substantial rug instead. Whether you opt for bold patterns, saturated colors, or natural neutrals, rugs are a definite way to cozy up your home. 

home with patterned hallway runner with wood ceiling and black wall sconces
via Rejuvenation
Runners are a great go-to when you need to amp up any hallways or narrow spaces.
inviting kitchen with rug white cabinets and wood counter stools
via Walmart
light and airy bathroom with white and brass light pendant and rug
via McGee and Co.
Replacing a bath mat with a proper rug elevates a bathroom while also adding warmth.
welcoming dining room with wood beams and wicker chairs and hide rug
via Style Me GHD

Reduce White Space

White space is important, but there is a difference between allowing wall decor some breathing room and an empty, barren wall. If you have some space to fill, art can function as a conversation piece, a nice backdrop, and a visual anchor. Mirrors, textiles, or a floating shelf are also ways to dress up an empty, minimal wall. 

via Etsy
This textural, bright wall hanging is a perfect addition to a welcoming home.
house with curved organic mirror blue door and white bench
via Ferm Living
Introducing curves and organic shapes like the mirror above can add playfulness and whimsy to a space.
white sofa with black shell wall hanging art
via The Citizenry
white chunky wall hanging and wood woven bench
via The Citizenry
I’m loving how this chunky, bulbous wall hanging serves as a statement piece.

Pump Up the Plants

Plants literally make a place come to life and it’s refreshing to have a taste of nature indoors. Organic monstera leaves, twisting ivy, textured cacti, and delicate olive branches all add richness and character to a home. They are useful in filling empty corners by adding visual volume. Large, weighty planters have a presence about them and can be a beautiful statement piece. Plants add color and texture to an otherwise bare room and are my go-to solution when styling empty shelves, consoles, or tables (basically anything they can stand on). I say the more plants the merrier!

white kitchen with wood countertop and rubber tree
Even adding a singular rubber tree adds a nice pop of color against a neutral backdrop.
textured white planter and olive tree
via Inner Gardens
Large, textured planters can serve as a statement piece.
black bud vases with plants and succulents
via Holistic Habitat
Look for creative opportunities to display greenery.
pink planters with pink and green leaf plant
Add plants with pops of color or an unexpected pattern like the polka dot plant below.
black metal mesh lantern with plants
via Ikea
greenhouse plants int pots and basket
via Ikea
Go all out and group plants together for a greenhouse feel.

Dress Up Your Beds

After a long day, the best feeling (after being greeted by my dog of course) is seeing my dressed up bed just waiting for me to fall into. It may take a little extra effort to arrange those euro pillows and layers of bedding, but I promise it’s worth it. If you happen to have spare bedrooms, your overnight guests will certainly appreciate the extra touch and feel like they’re home away from home. 

navy and white linen bedding
via RH
via West Elm
Create a cozy and layered bed by combining solids, stripes, linens, and quilts.
sage green bedding and tan leather lumbar pillow
via The Citizenry
Mixing cool sage green with a warm rusty lumbar pillow creates an earthy, rich palette.

Don’t Skimp On Accessories

Like icing on a cake, accessories are the final finishing touch to a welcoming home. Unadorned furniture will leave your house feeling static, boring, and incomplete. Objects that you can touch, feel, open, and pick up activate a room and make it more dynamic. Your house won’t just be functional, but something you can explore and interact with. When I flip through a book or smell a candle, I’m in a tactile world that’s far more interesting than an empty one. Keep in mind you will need far more accessories than you think. A few books and vases here and there won’t do the trick. The key is to layer, stack, and vary shapes and sizes to make a noticeable impact.

via Anthropologie
Balancing oversized pieces with small objects creates a nice tension and departs from a “matchy-matchy” look.
blue bone inlay dresser with brass legs
via Anthropologie
Combine similarly toned vases in different shapes and heights for a subtle variation.
matchsticks and tray
via Lulu & Georgia
Sprinkle in smaller accessories to show a level of thoughtfulness and attention to detail.
welcoming home with purple candles and pillows
via Pottery Barn
Use the same colors and tones across objects, textiles, and art for a cohesive look.
grey concrete square coffee tables with white centerpiece bowl
via Pottery Barn
Make an impact with large scale accessories like the bowl and books above.
wood shelves with bowls and objects
via Lulu & Georgia
Curate different objects and vases in neutral tones for a natural, effortless composition.
vintage books and taper candles
via Lulu & Georgia
Place candlesticks next to a stack of used books for a vintage vibe.
blue velvet chairs with fringe throw pillows
via Style Me GHD
Find some unique throw pillows with texture to layer onto side chairs, sofas, or benches.

A few simple changes can truly transform your house to one full of warmth and comfort. It takes time to design a welcoming home that feels complete, but the few extra steps are definitely worth it!


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