My Tips For Creating A Welcoming Atmosphere At Home*
For the past few years, between moving in together, getting married and then moving again, it took a while before we felt settled and I was able to create the kind of space we wanted. We have been in our current location nearly eight months and I really love it. A few simple tips really helped me so I thought I would share them here:
Figure Out Your Personal Style
Before moving I decided to compile a Pinterest board of images I loved. After about ten minutes or so I realised that everything I had chosen looked bright, neutral and free of clutter. At that stage my space was far from that and I realised one of the reasons I never felt our home reflected us was that it was the complete opposite of how I wanted it to be. I would suggest keeping tabs on images you are drawn to and assess why you love them. Is it the bright colours? Is it clear crisp spaces or is it bohemian patterns? You will begin to see a pattern and it helps create a theme. With that in mind I felt much more relaxed letting go of things that, although in good working order, were not to our taste at all.
Only Hold Onto What You Need And Love
With the above tip in mind you may need to let go of some things. I work from home and when it gets too cluttered it's not a nice space to be in. I was scrolling through the archives on my phone and there was a photo of me at my desk from two years ago. There was piles of clutter, newspapers, magazines and products to review all around. Rather than looking bohemian as I might have imagined, it looked overwhelming.
Whilst we were packing up to move into the home we are now in I donated so many books, clothes, even crockery and homewares and honestly it felt great. I think it's really important never to allow your home to be a dumping ground and if someone else could be enjoying something you're not using, what's the point in holding on to it?
Think Of Storage Solutions When Buying Furniture
Whenever you look at beautifully styled home shoots in magazines or on TV you will always notice a lot of clear space. One clever addition we got was two presses that we have on either side of our fireplace. Both house so much stuff I want to hold onto but don't need every day such as our Christmas tree decorations, all our engagement and wedding cards (that I can't bring myself to part with), some really special DVDs I just love to have even though we usually just stream stuff. Look for deep presses, cabinets and basket style storage that hide their contents away. It is a case of out of sight, out of mind here.
Create A Space That Makes You Happy and Prioritise What Matters
We have a wall on our landing with all our photos from childhood right up to this Christmas. It's one of my favourite spaces. It also shows off the original beams in the house that we were luckily able to keep. The frames are all mismatched, and I keep adding more to it but I think it works well. Also I really wanted a comfy chair in our bedroom that technically doesn't fit but we squeezed it in anyway. In this little space I like to journal, read and just take a little time to myself. It's a quiet corner to escape and reflect. Also I'm really into home fermentation and make my own Kombucha and kefir as well as coconut yogurt -so having a little space for those to brew was important.
Think Of Internal Hygiene
With the arrival of Julie to our now three cat family, ensuring internal hygiene became essential. We have a cat flap and I love them all going outside but we're extremely conscious of what they bring in with them. We started investigating air purifiers and came across the Dyson Hot + Cool Link. This is an incredible device that captures 99.95% of potentially harmful particles as well as eradicating pollution, pollen, mould, bacteria, pet dander and odours from the air.
As well as this, I’m cooking a lot more lately and have noticed that the smells that used to linger, such as garlic and onion, are no longer there when this is in use.
It syncs with an app which you use to activate, schedule and monitor, which is very handy coming home on a freezing day to know the room will be cozy on arrival.
From the app you can see the live air quality which is something I’m aware of much more since getting sick, and then passing it onto Andrew, before we had the purifier. It also has a night mode so it can be quietly on while you sleep.
From a heating perspective we use it to heat the room we are in, rather than turning on the central heating all the time, which is more efficient. In the Summer, when it eventually comes, if it gets too hot we can use it to stream cool air. All in all it’s been an amazing and worthwhile addition to our home and given us peace of mind.
If In Doubt - Go Neutral
Deciding what colour to paint your walls is actually a very big commitment as you will be looking at it constantly. Whilst in some spaces a strong primary can work so well, personally I always think neutrals create the perfect background. My mum actually helped us choose lots of very pale grey colours. To bring this out, we went for a light blue carpet and pale couch. The cats seem to think this is their scratch post or bed and we invested in some washable throws that thankfully they seem happy to lie on. We were also gifted some lovely bedlinen, crockery and towels for our wedding, and had asked people only to give us white. Even if the designs or patterns are different it all works well together.
Most importantly a space is to be enjoyed and shared with those you love. After the wedding and our honeymoon, it feels so nice to be settled here and I'm looking forward to finally inviting all those people we promised we would have over for dinner!
I really hope you enjoyed this little peek into our home!
Lots of love,
*Thank you to Dyson for collaborating with me on this feature. The Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link purifier fan heater is priced from €549.99 and is available now at www.dyson.ie.
Images - Johnny Mcmillan