A house is not just a building in which we find shelter, it’s much more than that. So what makes a house a home?
We at LinenMe are all about making houses even better: more comfortable, better looking, more stylish, more inviting. The question of how to make a space feel homely is one we focus on daily. How can we help you make your house feel like a real, happy, welcoming home? You may have visited a showhome, somewhere carefully designed and clutter-free, somewhere that’s intended to be a blank canvas. Despite the shiny newness of these houses there’s no soul. They feel flat. We have been thinking about what they lack, and what we can do in our houses to make them feel like we’ve truly come home.
The shared table
The kitchen is often the heart of the home. Here is where we prepare and share food. We gather with our loved ones and friends to discuss our days and to connect. Even when there’s only one person living in a house, the kitchen is where we find nourishment and ritual: making our morning coffee, chopping fruit, frying and boiling and baking. A kitchen and the meals we eat mark the passage of the day, and of the seasons. From holiday feasts and birthday parties to cocktail evenings, the kitchen plays a huge role in making a house a home.
If your house is looking a bit unloved and you want to inject some soul into the space, the kitchen is a good place to start. Invest in some beautiful tea towels and table linen. Have fresh fruit out on the counter. Use open shelving to showcase your stoneware and ceramics. Paint the walls white for an instant lift. Change the handles on cabinet doors. Make some new curtains or hang a simple blind. Focus on this one room and really make it a lovely place to be.
The people who fill our houses make us feel at home. Whether that’s friends who call round or a rowdy gaggle of children, sharing our space with others brings a sense of belonging. If you have the resources why not throw an impromptu garden party or picnic for people in your street, or even organise the closing of your road so the kids can play out? Find an elderly neighbour who might need help with their shopping, or who’d like to pop in for a cup of tea sometimes. When we feel connected to our community we feel more at home, so even if your house isn’t big enough to host other people, you can reach out to the people around you.
If you have a spare room, why not give it a spruce up and make it a welcoming space for guests to stay? This needn’t involve spending lots of money, just set aside time for some decluttering and invest in the best linen bedlinen you can afford to bring a feel of relaxed, easy comfort to your guest bedroom. Hang new curtains and, if you have time, give the room a lick of fresh paint. It’s amazing how these simple touches can transform a room from messy box-room to swishy guest room.
Flower and plants
Bringing plants and flowers into your house also brings life and colour. If you are lucky enough to have a garden or yard try planting a small cutting patch so you’ve always got fresh flowers to fill the house. A small jar of foraged wildflowers, or a branch of blossom, makes a house feel instantly welcoming and homely.
We love to fill our linen storage baskets with succulents and arrange them in our bathroom or at the kitchen table to bring some greenery inside.
There is something evocative about the smell of freshly laundered washing that fills a room with a cosy feeling. Invest in some lovely bedlinen and spritz it with a laundry spray (we love this homemade lavender spray) so that whenever you get into bed you are enveloped in a gorgeous scent as well as super soft sheets. Keep your bedroom clear and clutter-free so that at least one room feels like a sanctuary where you can relax and unwind.
The clutter of everyday life
Despite all our hankering after an orderly, minimalist house, there is some everyday clutter that always slips through (or piles up). But it’s these things that often make a house feel like a home: the pile of sticks collected by your kids and now stacked by the front door, the not-quite working clock that reminds you of your parents’ house, the letters you haven’t got round to answering, the scrappy dog toys strewn across the floor. Whilst we can all aspire to having a tidy house, in reality perfection is unattainable. Embrace the things that hold important memories, the things that say ‘We live here, and we love it’.
What do you think makes a house a home? We would love to hear your thoughts.