Break in Anything From Jeans to Your New Home
How to make even the most stubborn items work, fit, feel, look, and behave better.
With its unfamiliar smell and dated stenciling in the kitchen, a new house can seem haunted by its previous owners. To exorcise the ghosts and make it feel like your own, decorate with art and family photos as soon as you move in, recommends H. Don Bowden, president of Bowden Architecture, in Mobile, Alabama. "Your home will instantly feel more familiar," he says. Or pick a room and attack it. "Even if it's just the bathroom, totally customize it to reflect the way you live. It's a way to claim your territory." Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, an interior designer and the host of Changing Rooms on BBC America, suggests painting a room in an adventurous shade. "You might end up with a dining room that's poisonous green," he says, "but paint is cheap, it's easy to change, and it makes a personal statement."