Celene CollinsInspirations

Create a Warm Welcome for Yourself

How does your home make you feel when you come back to it? Is it welcoming or does it feel like you’re returning to your cell?

For a lot of people, the experience of walking in through their front door isn’t a highlight of their day. It should be, but it isn’t.

It might be because they’re greeted by a cluttered corridor, shoes on the floor, bulging coat rack and the day’s post left on the stairs. There’s nowhere to put their keys, let alone their soggy umbrella, and they’ve walked into a dark hallway that is about as inviting as a dimly lit alleyway.

Or it might be because they’re laden with grocery bags that have to be dragged through the house to the kitchen. That’s if they can get any of the inside doors to open, using their elbows while they hang on to the bags.

Whatever it is that makes the arrival home a trial rather than a triumph, it’s usually down to one thing. The home is working against them. As a result, coming home is a challenge, sometimes even a battle.

Your home is speaking to you. And you might not like what it is saying.

Your relationship with your house will change over time. At the start, everything is wonderful. Not a fault in sight.

Then you start to notice small issues, tiny really, barely worth mentioning. A door that could have been placed more conveniently. The lack of an electricity outlet where one would have been helpful. But nothing that’s going to dent your enthusiasm for the house. It’s your house and you love it. It’s the best house.

But those minor niggles grow. Really that door is in the wrong place altogether. Also, it should open the other way. And why isn’t there a power outlet in the hallway? While we’re on the topic, if they’d just laid out the driveway a little differently to begin with, carrying the groceries into the kitchen wouldn’t be the Olympic-level effort it is now. And another thing…

Suddenly you’re seeing faults everywhere.

After living in your home for a while, you find it’s starting to talk to you. It’s telling you what’s wrong with it. Now that you’ve grown accustomed to it, you realise it’s maybe not as perfect as you thought it was. It isn’t the best house anymore.

Now what? Do you find another house?

Not so fast.

The secret is design

Built-in storage and mirrors are two ways you can create a clean and pleasant entrance into your home

The essence of fabulous interior design is ease of use. Proper interior design means you move smoothly and effortlessly through your home, regardless of what you’re doing. Nothing is a hindrance. Everything is designed to support what you want to do.

Fortunately, interior design is quite powerful. A few small adjustments can make all the difference. They can transform an entrance experience that feels like fighting your way through an obstacle course into an elegant and uplifting arrival.

Lighting your way
Exterior lights make a huge difference on dark evenings. As can leaving a light on in the hallway so you walk into a lit environment. Modern LED lights, sensors and timers mean you don’t need to run up a huge electricity bill by leaving lights on all day, just so they’re burning when you get home

And, if there isn’t a conveniently placed electricity socket in the hallway, you can get a battery-powered lamp placed on a small table.

A place for everything and everything in its place
Creating dedicated spaces and places for things like shoes and umbrellas is an easy way to keep your entrance way clutter-free. The same goes for adding sufficient coat hooks. Even better, if you are able to, have a dedicated recessed cupboard for all of these items. Any design solution that gets things out of the way entirely is the one to go for where possible.

Don’t forget about a place for your keys. How many hours of your life have you spent looking for your lost keys before you go out? Having a dedicated spot will help you keep track of them. (The routine of putting your keys in their place when you come home will also help prevent you from leaving them in the lock on the outside of the door—look, we’ve all done it.)

Interior décor adds the magic

Picture of a tidy hallway with a big circular mirror

A mirror adds light and depth to a hallway

A well-lit, clutter-free entrance is only one part of the experience. Let’s face it, hospital entrances are well-lit and clutter-free, but walking into one hardly feels like a friendly embrace.

For a start, you can make the lighting in the hallway warmer. That’s simply a matter of choosing the right bulb. It will tell you on the box.

Next, you can put down a rug or a runner. Not only does it make the underfoot experience feel softer and more welcoming, it will add colour and a visual spark to the hallway.

Speaking of visual spark, hanging a piece of art or wall decoration in the hallway that makes you feel happy is a terrific way of setting the right tone when you arrive home. It doesn’t have to be brightly coloured or loud. Anything that triggers a fond memory or feeling. The key thing is that it is something that lifts you, makes you smile.

Finally, if your entrance way is compact, consider adding some mirrors. Not only do they help brighten the place up, they add an illusion of space where there is none. A single big mirror, or a collection of small mirrors, or a combination of both, all work to bring sparkle, depth and light to an entry space.

There is a lot you can do with small interior design and décor adjustments to make coming home an uplifting, comforting experience. Try some of them and you’ll notice you’ll be met with an experience that says, “Welcome Home!”