how to make my house feel like a home (for non-designers!)

house design ideas purple home with woman wearing cozy black jacket

Having a recording studio nestled right inside our home means every corner of our living space and a is potential birthplace for our next big idea. We’ve learned that treating our home like a creative oasis is just as important as ensuring it’s a comfortable abode. As a musical couple, it’s about creating a cozy […]

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March 11, 2024


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Having a recording studio nestled right inside our home means every corner of our living space and a is potential birthplace for our next big idea.

We’ve learned that treating our home like a creative oasis is just as important as ensuring it’s a comfortable abode. As a musical couple, it’s about creating a cozy space and fostering constant inspiration, flow, and creativity.

If you’re wondering “How to make my house feel like a home?” here’s how we did it as total non-designers!

How to Make My House Feel Like a Home (Even If You’re a Non-Designer, Like Me)

1. Marie Kondo It Up

When we first heard about the KonMari method, we were really intrigued by its simple yet profound principle: keep only what sparks joy.

It wasn’t about getting rid of a certain number of things or going through these insane seasonal rotational patterns to fit everything in. Keep everything that makes you happy. Live in abundance.

A year into living in our home, we decided to give it a try, and it was a game-changer! As she instructed us in the book, we didn’t rush out to buy fancy organizers; instead, we got creative with our storage solutions.

simple house designs woman in a cozy white bedroom

Gradually, we’ve been replacing items with more efficient and organic organizers, which not only decluttered our space but also aligned with our values as creative individuals.

Before you make another move, read or listen to the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Here are a few tips I learned from the book:

  • Start with one category at a time, from the least sentimental to the most. The order is clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous), and sentimental items.
  • Ask yourself if each item truly brings you joy or serves a purpose by holding it to your heart. If not, thank it for its service and let it go. Every item has a purpose in your life, even if it’s to show you what you don’t like.
  • Use boxes, baskets, and jars you already have to organize items. You’d be surprised how repurposing containers can create a more cohesive look.
  • Embrace the process as a journey of self-discovery. Decluttering can be therapeutic and lead to a more mindful and creative lifestyle.

The psychological benefits of a tidy home are undeniable. A clutter-free space fosters a sense of calm and clarity, which is essential for our creative flow. Plus, it goes along with a lot of the modern house design plans that are trendy nowadays— clean, simplistic, and cozy.

When it comes to how to make my house feel like a home, this is the first step I always recommend! 🌊

2. Make Paint Your New BFF

Contrary to what most people do, the first thing I did when we stepped into our rental was paint.

After all, it’s just paint! It can be repainted!

The cost and effort of painting when we moved here and repainting when we leave is such a small price to pay for living in a space that truly feels like it reflects who we are.

Close your eyes and think of some colors now. A bright yellow— how does that make you feel? A dark grey— what about that?

We all have different affinities for different colors, and they might not be the same ones the homeowners wanted to paint their rental units. So head over to Home Depot, pick a color, grab some paint-friendly clothes, turn on some music, and have a good time.

(One of the great parts of making my house feel like a home is being able to get my hands dirty and do the creating myself!)

3. Get Familiar with the Thrift Shops (And Start Thrifting)

When we settled into our new home in Greenville, one of my first missions was to get acquainted with the local thrift shops, flea markets, and estate sales.

Thrifting has been a game-changer for us, allowing us to add character and charm to our home without breaking the bank.

I love thrifting for so many reasons: it’s sustainable and doesn’t create more waste, and it’s elevating your home with pieces that would be so expensive if you were to find them new. You’re saving so much money just by having a little adventure for yourself.

It’s too fun. Some of my top tips when I’m thrifting:

  • Look for the shape and size. The color can likely change.
  • Knock on it. If it feels hollow, it might be plastic. The heaver it is, the more likely it’s a good quality material.
  • Have some of your favorite color paints always on hand. Those rainy days will serve a purpose when you finally want to tackle repainting one of your thrifted finds and you have everything you need.

4. Make Your Bedroom Your Calm Getaway

Amidst the chaos of moving and unpacking, I made it a priority to keep our bedroom a sanctuary.

Even now, when things can get pretty messy in the studio, kitchen and office, having a bedroom that’s “zenned” out gives us a little place to escape when we need a day to get things organized.

I tend to lean towards dark-colored bedrooms, because I feel like it inspires me to calm down.

house design ideas purple home with woman wearing cozy black jacket

5. Gradually Replace All Plastic with Organic Material

As we embraced the simple house designs of the KonMari method, we also started to rethink our use of materials in our home.

Gradually replacing plastic with organic materials like bamboo, wood, cotton, and jute has not only elevated our decor but also aligned with our environmental and health values.

We make the switch for a few reasons:

  • Natural materials bring a sense of warmth and authenticity to our home. They add texture and depth that plastic simply can’t replicate.
  • Organic materials are more sustainable and biodegradable. Reducing our plastic footprint is important to us.
  • We’re cautious about microplastics. By choosing organic materials, we’re minimizing our exposure to potential toxins.

6. Make Your House Smell Like a Spa with All-Natural Candles

Creating a spa-like atmosphere at home starts with the right scents.

With 4 cats, we can’t have an essential oil diffuser, and traditional candles and scent plug-ins are loaded with synthetic fragrances and environmental toxins.

So, I’ve been on the hunt for candles that are homemade, beeswax, and only made with essential oil (with no solvents and paraffin). I had to ask around, but eventually found Bluecorn, which told me that they don’t use solvents in their blends.

They also have a great “unscented” beeswax candle, which I think has a warm, light, honey-like scent!

7. Get Our Place Cookware

Our Place is a brand that has caught my eye with its focus on creating versatile and stylish cookware.

I’m particularly smitten with their Always Pan, Perfect Pot, and Wonder Oven, and am planning on grabbing their Dream Cooker. All of these have beautiful matte finishes in a range of gorgeous colors that literally make cooking so much cuter.

There’s something especially comforting when a kitchen feels homey. It’s not an easy thing to achieve, either— kitchenware usually has that silver look, which makes things feel industrial and cold. Our Place’s matte feels make cooking actually bearable (at least for me, who likes eating way more than cooking).

how to make a house feel like a home woman wearing all black in kitchen

8. Have Cleaning Spray and a Rag Easily Accessible

Why is nobody talking about this?! Musicians always talk about the importance of having your gear set up so you can write and record— it’s the same with cleaning.

I’ve recently discovered Branch Basics, an all-natural, scentless cleaning concentrate that has revolutionized my cleaning routine.

I set up this all-purpose cleaning spray by the kitchen (and plan to have one upstairs, too), along with a rag on top of it, so the counters are always ready for cleaning. These bottles are high-quality glass with a rubber covering over it with a cute and minimalistic look.

9. Use Canva to Draw Up a Mood Board

A mood board is essential for visualizing your house design ideas. It lets you gather and organize your ideas and make sure your space reflects those Pinterest posts you love!

Start by gathering inspiration. Pinterest, magazines, and home decor blogs are great sources for images and color schemes. You can even get color inspiration from images of the outdoors.

Within this mood board, make sure you find some furniture pieces you like the vibe of, too. It doesn’t have to be the exact piece, just the essence will do.

You can directly paste images from Pinterest and then do a background remover feature to add it to your mood board.

From there, play around with the layout and arrangement of your images until you’re satisfied with the overall look. Add text or color swatches if needed to define your theme.

Once you’re done, use it as a reference while decorating your space to ensure consistency and harmony.

10. Have Cozy Music or Cozy Shows Playing in the Background

Imagine the warm and fuzzy feeling you feel when you walk into a nice restaurant or cafe— there’s usually always beautiful music and/or visuals in the space.

For a musical backdrop, consider streaming STATiC and our dear friend, Bobbie La Day’s song, Sunday Morning Love as the perfect start to your cozy playlist. Then, let Spotify’s radio feature build a playlist around it to discover more similar vibes. 🍵

For visual ambience or a little friend behind the screen, check out XO MaCenna’s YouTube channel for beautiful and calming content that’s perfect for background viewing. I’ve also been putting out some vlogs of my own that might also add a cozy and inspiring vibe to your space!

“How can I make my house feel like a home?”

Implement these steps for a cozy, clean, creative vibe for your humble abode. 😉





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how to make my house feel like a home (for non-designers!)


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