The first time I stepped into our condo I fell hard for it. Over the course of the next few months (in which we played cat and mouse with the seller) my infatuation only grew, and by the time we closed on the deal I was hopelessly in love. And so began, in the words of interior designer Bunny Williams, my “affair with a house.” That being said, while I saw tons of potential in our new home right off the bat, moving into a new space immediately after the previous inhabitants have moved out can feel a bit like putting on someone else’s clothes. In our case, they left remnants of their things and their style was still apparent in color choices, room configurations, and the upgrades they had made.
Fast forward a few months, and we have had some time to put our own personal touch on our condo. With Valentine’s day just a few weeks away and my affair still very much ongoing, I am sharing a few tips and tricks that we employed to emphasize or create the things we love most about our home.
Paint a room.
While renovating is an easy way to put your own personal touch on a space, simply painting a room can make a huge impact at a much lower cost. Picking colors you love can dramatically change a space and make it feel more like “yours.” The best part? It can be done over a weekend! Just grab a couple cans of paint, rally the troops (or in our case–lure them with pizza…) and you will have a fresh space that you love in no time!
Highlight Original Details.
Our condo was built in 1912, and while it can be drafty and there are some quirky plumbing aspects, it easily makes up for those things with it’s period charm. Rather than take out the clawfoot tub in our middle bath and put in a shower for guests we opted to add a shower attachment to the existing tub. Also, we slapped a fresh coat of glossy white paint on our crown molding and the trim around our marble mantle to help elevate both details.
Create Cozy Spaces Within Spaces.
Since both of us work from home frequently, we immediately create a couple of “nooks” around the house where we can settle in with our laptops, or even a good book or magazine. This was as simple as putting a comfortable chair in our office with a little side table and lamp, as well as throw. We added a similar configuration to our bedroom, which, I’ll admit, also doubles as a catchall for folded laundry.
Make It Work For You.
Everyone has different needs, and customizing your home to make it work for you can greatly increase the way you feel about it. Afterall, functionality is equally as important as ambiance. In our kitchen we added hooks to hang mugs, created a laundry station in an overhead cupboard, and I spent an entire day unpacking and organizing our cooking equipment and pantry. These things aren’t sexy, but they have made a huge difference in the functionality of our kitchen, which has resulted in better meals, easier clean up, and more fun overall in the kitchen.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone.
My favorite room in our home right now is the office because we opted to go bold and paint it a dark and smoky navy blue in a glossy finish. The effect is rich and sophisticated, and for this neutral-loving girl…a bit out of character, in a great way! Every time I look at it it gives me joy, and I love showing it off to people. Whether a daring wall color, a cool modern accent, or a brightly colored couch, getting outside of your comfort zone and taking risks in your home is a great way to express yourself and take ownership in a new space.
At the end of the day, many of us pour our hearts and souls into our homes, just as we do with our relationships. Do you have a favorite room or corner in your home? Is there a space or system that you are particularly proud of? If you are in an affair like I am then it seems appropriate to reflect as Valentine’s Day approaches… What do you heart about your home?
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