When you move into a new place, you often consider essentials you’ll need — utensils, a couch, a lamp, etc. But what about the hidden essentials? I term ‘hidden essentials’ the little things that create homeliness. I came across this situation after I moved into my new duplex and couldn’t get myself to feel comfortable. I brainstormed, but realized I had everything needed. I had the bare minimum. What was missing? Why was I still stressed out?

These are what make a difference between coming home to a house and truly coming home to your space, all while advocating for simplistic living.

Hidden Essentials to Make House a Home

  1. Comfy Chair – The place you spend the most time at home should be your coziest, and I don’t mean small in size. How you make your room cozy can be in a variety of ways. For me, I had to add a comfortable chair and a nice, fluffy throw. These were things I formerly considered frivolous to my wannabe-minimalist room, but they made the difference. Sometimes this doesn’t even require adding anything to your space. Consider moving around your furniture many different ways until you can sit somewhere and feel comfortable. For example, if you spend a lot of time at your desk and your chair aches your back, that’s absolutely something that should be fixed, swapped, or replaced instead of tolerated.
  2. Clean Room – There should be at least one room in your home completely free of clutter. Clutter stresses you out, and does not allow you to visually relax. It also makes finding something specific very difficult. Consider cleaning the room you use the most by moving around in chunks — start with a corner and move clockwise throughout the week until you’ve covered the entire space.
  3. Mementos – This one is a huge mistake I see a lot of people make. I’ve seen blogs featuring beautiful spaces, but unfortunately many of the decorative pieces were items you see sold all over the place. (Sorry, The Everygirl, but I’m looking at you!) Your space should be beautiful and reflect you, but the best way to do that is to utilize pieces that have special meaning to you. I have a jar of sand from the beach I grew up near, a vase from my special someone, and a German print from my mother. Surround yourself with good memories, not just good items.
  4. Artwork – While this may be a given, it is sometimes misused. Everything on your wall should speak to you. If you’re displaying a print someone gifted that you don’t actually like, it needs to go down. I also got into the habit of selecting prints that I liked, but that I also thought would be received well by visitors. Another mistake! Be bold, display what strikes you even if it is unliked or controversial to others. To save money, utilize my strategy on printing. Don’t like art on the walls or want to be extra-minimalist? Totally fine, but incorporate creativity in another way.
  5. Guest Entertainment – This one took me a while. I had essentials, but not all of my friends understand that I value company for discussion over coffee rather than watching TV together or doing something else. Give yourself options without sacrificing looks or space for storing games! A few items that are space savvy are classic cards, Cards Against Humanity, Charades, or even Pictionary Card Game.

What makes your house a home?

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  • Marlena

    This is SO true!! I can’t agree more. I am always pinning beautiful spaces on Pinterest, but I always notice that they are never very personable. They are spaces that maybe photograph beautifully, but aren’t realistic home spaces. Comfy chairs are very important!! And so are mementos!

    • MJ @

      I totally agree about the Pinterest thing. There was a time I felt badly (“Why doesn’t my house look like that?!”) but a house just isn’t the same without those little things that make it yours! :)

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