My house doesn’t feel homely, what can I do?

You would be surprised by what I usually hear from my clients. It’s not concerns about builders extensive works or having to stay relocated, away from their home for a long time. No, usually comments centre around the discontent with cold, empty new-builds which lack character, look no different to everyone else’s, and feel anonymous.

I frequently hear, ‘My house doesn’t feel homely, what do I do?

If you know London, you know that the city is permanently covered with scaffolding and cranes. Most of the buildings are so old that it costs less to demolish everything and rebuild from scratch. What’s more, much of the time, builders and developers are using cheap, horrible materials, which leave us with properties that age poorly, quickly.

One of my clients recently transformed his house using a lot of recycled materials, such as beautiful driftwood. However, his apartment still felt like a teenager’s room that had just been moved into, rather than emitting a home-like ambience.

I understand a lot of people are in the same situation, living in houses, apartments, and flats, that don’t feel homely. Often, having a lot of different mix and match furniture that you’ve accrued over time, from past trends and previous homes, tends to lead to a sad living space.

The good news is that there are plenty of techniques to turn your house into a home. Any size space is full of potential, if you only try a few easy steps.

I highly recommend having visuals/moodboards to help you create the perfect looks. This can also be used as a guide or a reference every time you need to make a choice or picking furniture.

Layout is very important. Your space needs to be well-balanced.

Most of the time (read: all of the time), I see living rooms and bedrooms filled with furniture from previous homes or the previous owner. The sizes are all wrong. The shape doesn’t fit. Ergo, the rooms are left with empty unused space or a slightly awkward, odd looking balance.

My best advice is – no matter your budget – buy furniture to specifically fit the space you are working with. Get out your tape measure and plan to a practical layout with smooth circulation.

With that in hand, the secret to any home feeling super-cosy and full of character is layers and layers of different texture.

I really love texture. It creates depth to any and every good interior design. You can use texture with materials, fabrics, lighting, objects… but you must cleverly overlay them to create a unique and interesting visual pattern.

You can see some people using vibrant colours with wall paints or fabrics, but the room still feels empty and cold. Think texture, not colours.

I have also seen a lot of people not using curtains or rugs in living spaces, often because they think it might not be necessary. Layering rugs, curtains, cushions, and throws, will enhance your colour palette, offering a complementary contrast to create a rich, warm space.

Getting lighting right is integral. Think small light sources in every corner of the room. Add a dimmer switch and softer energy saving lightbulbs.

Lighting is very important for setting the mood of a room, and truly adds another dimension to your home. It is also provides the perfect opportunity to make a decorative statement with beautiful light pieces.

Now, light your favourite candle, put up your feet, and enjoy your new and improved home.

Disclaimer: this is not a paid post. The Hay rug was kindly gifted by Amara. All other products were press loan. All words and thought are my own.  Photography © Mathilde Kubisiak/MK Design London

My MK design logo was printed via Inkmill Vinyl.


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