Make your house a home in 3 easy steps

You enter your friend's home, and immediately you feel comfortable. Conversely, you enter another person's home and even after being invited to sit down, you carefully perch at the edge of the seat. What is the difference? One place felt like a welcoming home; the other residence felt formal and less welcoming. Is it possible to transform your house into the kind of welcoming home where friends and family members love to linger? The answer is yes, and there are three simple but frequently overlooked steps that can turn any kind of residence into a home.

1. Change the Way You Use Your House

Defining happiness as an unconditional good, Baylor University goes on to say that a house is a conditional good. In order for the conditional good to produce the unconditional good, the manner of usage is a defining factor. So, how do you use your house? Is it a family-oriented place that caters to the comfort of all its residents, or is it a showpiece where some rooms are off limits to kids?

  • Look at the furniture; is it covered in plastic?
  • Do you keep plastic on the lampshades to make cleaning them easier?
  • Is your kitchen pristine because you do not cook anything that is messy?

If you can answer in the affirmative to one or all of these questions, you are likely living in a show house that lacks the warmth to be a home. If you are committed to turning your house into a home, start using your possessions and get rid of the dirt and dust covers to make the furniture more inviting.

2. Plan Family Interactions at Home

"The term 'home' is not just physical, it's metaphysical," says House Alive. There is activity in the home. Family members interact in positive ways. Cook with the children, plan a game night with friends, have a romantic dinner with your significant other or have some over-the-fence conversations with your next-door neighbor. If you only use your house as a place to sleep, change clothes and park your car, you are not taking the time to involve the space in your daily life. In turn, you are missing out on the homey aspect of having the house.

3. Smells Should Not Come from a Spray Can

Realtors always tell you to bake some bread or cookies before a showing. The smells give a house a cozy feeling. You cannot imitate this kind of smell with a spray can, candle or plug-in device. Sure, you will have a scent permeating your home, but depending on the quality of the product, it might be cloying, annoying or plain artificial. Go ahead and get out the crock-pot to make dinner. Do not be afraid to bake. Brew tea the old-fashioned way. These smells are associated with a home and plain inimitable.

More Home Advice from Sylvia Cochran