Tips on How to Make Your New House Feel Like Home
Have a housewarming dinner for your family
Don’t feel pressured to hold a housewarming party and invite everyone you know. Instead, prepare a special dinner for your family. Encourage family members to participate in making the meal by preparing ingredients, washing the dishes, or just hanging out in the kitchen while the chef works. Make sure everyone sits down at the table for the meal. Enjoy conversation over wine and coffee (or milk and cookies for the kids) afterwards. Entertaining is a great way to bring laughter to a home, and the best way to start is to practice with the people you share it with.
Display personal items and loved objects
The best homes are lived in and show signs of humanity all around. Displays of meaningful personal objects like photos, collections, and books in your home surround you with things that constantly give you pleasure. Don’t overlook the power of scents you love—the scent of soap in the bathrooms, the smell of freshly baked cupcakes in the kitchen, the lingering aroma of baby powder in the bedroom—these evoke strong feelings and create memories to treasure in your new home.
Create common spaces and use them
Many newly decorated homes have living rooms and dining rooms that stay unused and impersonal. Encourage your family to use your new home’s spaces for everyday activities. Let the kids do their homework and read at the dining table. Let dad put his feet up on the sofa while watching TV while the kids play with their iPads on the rug. Keep computer workstations in family rooms, and position them so that users don’t have their backs to the room. Add benches or a small table in the kitchen so people can enjoy coffee and conversation while doing the dishes. Spaces that bring people together create warmth and life in a home.
Discover your neighborhood
Enjoy early morning or evening walks around your neighborhood. Visit the clubhouse and try out the shared facilities like the pool, the jogging path, or the community center. Drive around the surrounding community and find the best cafes and shops (or sari-sari stores, if you still have them) nearby. Find the best routes and shortcuts to avoid rush hour traffic. Learn how to commute to and from school, the office, or church. Knowing what is available around your home makes you feel like part of a bigger whole and helps you integrate into the community.
Get to know your community.
The old Sesame Street ditty asks “Who are the people in your neighborhood?” Make an effort to answer this question. Share a box of cookies or pastries with a friendly note of greeting with the folks who live next door. Learn the names of the guards who man the village gate or reception area. Smile at the traffic enforcer you pass by every day on your way to work. Getting to know the people around you expands your concept of home from a small house or building to the community at large.