By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer

Have you recently moved into a new house and it still doesn’t feel like home?


Maybe you bought a house someone else used to live in and you were having a hard time making it feel like your own home.

This is not unusual. I’ve heard it many times over the years as a designer, so I want to address it and make a few suggestions that will make you feel at home in your own home.

I’m not only addressing this as an Interior Designer, but also from the standpoint of someone who has recently moved myself, so I understand the importance of making your new house “YOURS”.

Perhaps some of this was also influenced by the fact that growing up, our family moved 9 different times and I always marveled at the fact that my mother was always able to make each of our houses a “home”. As I look back on that experience, I realize what she did was much of what I am sharing with you now.

Once you have moved in and unpacked most of your boxes, take time to focus on one room that would make the biggest difference for you and your family to really start feeling at “home”.

For purposes of this discussion, let’s focus on the family room.


1. Always start with a furniture floor plan that works best for you and your family… one that invites you to sit, read, talk, and relax.


2. Add an area rug to not only define that space, but also to add color, warmth, and texture.


3. Strategically place several lamps that not only function to serve a purpose, but add that warmth and coziness that invites you in. 

Pink vintage lamp on top of a lamp tab;le

This Lamp Makes Me Smile


4. Next, place those special pieces of accent furniture and accessories that are unique “you” … those pieces that you’ve collected over the years and make you smile just to look at them!

They will also likely remind you of a special time or experience you’ve had in your life.

This step is especially important to making your home feel like YOUR home because it is your personal stamp or signature.


5. Hang artwork that is meaningful to you and serves to help pull the room together via color, texture, theme, ambiance.

The right pieces of well-placed artwork also draw you into the room, inviting you to enjoy just being there.

Vintage plate holder Art pieces hanged in the wall Vintage British Wall Clock

A Few of My Favorite Things that Make Me Feel at Home


6. Personalize your bookcases and cabinets with a few well-chosen family photos and accessories that capture the essence of what “home” means to you.

A couch pillow that has a life message printed on it. A picture frame with two boys as it's photo.


7. Strategically place greenery around the room, perhaps one tall tree with white lights and also a few well selected green plants in beautiful pots.

A statement lamp A side table with greens and lighted lamp.


8. Light the candles, turn on your favorite music, bake some fresh cookies, and pour a great cup of tea.

Often, we’re tempted to try to decorate the whole house at once which is overwhelming so it never really gets “done”.

So, if you want to start feeling “at home” in your own new home, I recommend trying this method of starting with the one room that would make the biggest difference for you and your family, surrounding yourself with things that make you comfortable and happy.

Make it a room you never want to leave …because you are finally at home!

Enjoy “YOUR” home!

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You can schedule a free 30-minute phone consultation with me if you have any questions regarding right-sizing, downsizing and decluttering.

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Rita Wilkins bio