Organizing a welcoming home – one that invites you to linger and stroll – will create a truly enjoyable, memorable and inviting space for you, your family and friends.
These exquisite ways to make a home welcoming – and more attractive – are a great starting point to help you choose the right decorating ideas for every room – what you choose should also reflect what you love.
How to make a home welcoming
“A home evolves over time – some say it never reaches full maturity – yet I’m often asked how you can breathe new life into it quickly and affordably. I believe there are many ways to instantly achieve an amazing look,” says interior designer Martin Brudnizki. “Every object and every space should make a contribution to the home – even a single work of art can make a significant and immediate difference.” Here are some of my easy wins to help you make your house a home.
1. Create instant appeal
Welcome visitors, yourself and your family with ways to make a front door more attractive.
The term “curb appeal” refers to the attractiveness of a home’s exterior appearance, particularly its appearance from the street – that all-important first impression that shapes the opinion of every visitor and passer-by. Designing a home with universal aesthetic appeal is a difficult task, but it’s worth it when maintaining a welcoming and inviting home.
If you want to add instant appeal, consider introducing symmetrical elements to add the most appeal. Symmetry in interior design is a technique used by designers to create a space that is incredibly cohesive and bespoke – and therefore welcoming and inviting. A simple solution is to introduce a symmetrical pair of topiary planters into your front decorating ideas, as this space by Margaret Ash Design demonstrates. (opens in a new tab). Trimmed evergreens are great for creating a punctuation point in your planting plan, for introducing low forms to front yard walkways, and are the optimal choice for making your front yard look nice.
2. Create a welcoming place for visitors
Creating a punchy yet functional, aesthetic yet entirely practical entryway is a delicate balance. However, it’s a vital area of home design to get it right, despite the fact that the only time spent there is when we’re passing through. So, while browsing through the most beautiful entryway ideas, what should you consider? The priorities are to create an inviting entrance while minimizing clutter – the two go hand in hand.
“To make a home feel welcoming, think about the impact the entryway will have when you first walk in,” says luxury home accessories maker Birdie Fortescue. Take inspiration from this space by designing a cozy nook for sitting, covered in piles of throw pillows for added warmth and beauty. “If you have the space, a rug with a practical texture is a great addition, especially under a well-proportioned hall table,” says Birdie.
It is certainly worth designing an entryway with other areas of the house in mind. “Many rooms face the entryway, so the design not only sets the tone for your home, but also creates an inviting place for guests,” says Tom Cox, co-founder of Hám Interiors. (opens in a new tab).
3. Build a collection
If you want a home to feel welcoming, it’s important to make a home really feel like a home. Your home is the expression of your life: its contents should reflect your travels, your experiences, your loves and your stories. It’s not just a place to rest your head and cook dinners. “I strongly believe in owning and building collections – from restaurant ashtrays to Murano glass fruits and vegetables,” says interior designer Martin Brudnizki. (opens in a new tab).
“First, find your niche of interest and start building the collection. They may be Italian engravings, Meissen ceramics or 19th century landscape paintings,” he says. ‘Don’t be afraid to really get under the skin of the collection. I think it’s healthy to develop interests and expertise in a small area. Reading alongside my shopping sprees allowed me to deepen my perspective.
“Once the collection is established, focus on presenting it. I believe the key to any room is to create a mix to make it look like you are a serious collector with a diverse set of artwork, antiques and objects. However, in this mixture, you have groupings.
4. Arrange your seats for conversation
Perhaps more than any other piece of furniture, the sofa is the keystone of comfort and relaxation in the home. For this reason, you want your living room seating to be perfect.
“When you have people for gatherings, you really notice when you have the right seating arrangement,” says interior designer Nina Campbell. (opens in a new tab). “Seating plans are very important – and not just at the table. I like to think of seating plans for the living room or family room when I have guests over, and for that you need what I call “conversation seating.”
“The number of chairs you have available is an important consideration. Odd numbers are good for seating plans in general as they allow for some rotation of guests. Interior designer Elsie de Wolf wrote in 1913 that a chair should never be placed alone in a room; she was very shy herself and noted that it’s always the shy person who arrives first, sits in the chair alone and then often roots in it for the whole party. But two next to each other doesn’t always work either. I find that two people sitting side by side don’t always talk to each other, so having the occasional chair pulled diagonally can create conversational triangles.
Sofas and larger pieces of furniture should be covered with a strong, resistant and relatively plain fabric, so as not to get tired of it; they are expensive to recover. You can brighten them up with cushions and throws.
5. Soften sharp corners with curves
Move on thin profiles and hard angles – voluptuous curves are where the most desirable and inviting homes are headed.
Modest materials can play a harmonious role that softens the richly curved patterns. “Curves are my addiction – they add instant dynamism while allowing people to feel uplifted and relaxed,” says interior designer Colette van den Thillart (opens in a new tab).
“I strive to use them in more unexpected ways, like the urn silhouette here, which has a lovely simplicity and humility to it because it’s made from the most humble material: fiberboard. The arch gives a hint of grandeur and lends a certain architecture to the simple space, but again because the materials and painted finish are modest, the overall effect is so nice and homey! »
6. Introduce delightful decorative moments
Use open shelving to introduce decorative moments that make a home feel welcoming and inviting.
Whether decorated with ceramics, vintage glassware, plants or cookbooks, shelves can be used to add individual style to a kitchen, as Mike Fetherston, design director at Hetherington Newman (opens in a new tab), Explain. “As kitchens are increasingly at the center of the home and where families gather for meals and to socialize, display areas are important to personalize the space and add interest, giving a more relaxed and welcoming.” Choose from floating shelves (without visible supports) to those with sleek supports, from plate racks to cabinet-integrated lockers.
Simple LED strips or miniature spotlights can be used to illuminate displays, boosting their impact and adding subtle glamor in the evening, especially useful when you want to create a softer ambiance for dining.
7. Master the art of curated color
Choosing the right hue for an inviting space can present endless choices and subtle nuances to figure out and overcome, but get it right and you can create an inviting home.
Color theory and the entire color wheel can be complicated, but there are a few basics to help point you in the right direction, says Farrow & Ball Brand Ambassador Patrick O’Donnell. (opens in a new tab).
“Painting ideas and painting tips are the perfect way to easily transform a space, adding personality and character,” says Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director of Little Greene. (opens in a new tab). “Bright, bold tones work well in rooms designed for entertaining or to see a lot of activity, such as kitchens and living rooms. A pop of color is a great way to add impact and an element of surprise. to a scheme.Bright colors are also ideal for very bright spaces and can be used in larger proportions without being “too much”.
Colorful art is another way to be bold. A favorite painting can be a good inspiration and art is always the starting point for any project by Sophie Ashby of Studio Ashby. (opens in a new tab) who is known for her dynamic designs. “Ideally we would work from a client’s own collection. From there, we can then build a color palette and design references,” explains Sophie. ‘
8. Add plant life to your home
One tip that comes to mind when thinking about how to make a home welcoming is plants and bringing the outdoors in. The best houseplants have never been so affordable and accessible: a quick visit to your local garden center or nursery and you can choose from a whole jungle of greenery that will instantly bring a dull corner to life. Pot up all sorts of containers with bulbs or, if that’s not for you, simply treat yourself to fresh seasonal flowers in a pretty vase or jug.