Create a home that feels like you. 

By Katie Holdefehr
Updated September 03, 2019
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Whether you've lived in your house for years and years or just moved in, it can be a challenge to create a home that feels authentically "you." Sure, you (and maybe your partner, your kids, and your pets) live there, but designing a home that reflects your personal style and celebrates your favorite memories and experiences requires a little extra effort. To make your house feel more like a home, start by introducing the tiny changes below. Small details like incorporating family photos, displaying your favorite mementos, and adding a house plant or two may be all it takes to bring a little personality to your space.

Incorporate Family Photos

Leaving out family photos where they can be admired will remind your entire household of parties, vacations, and gatherings past. To create a display that matches your home decor style, try a gallery wall of enlarged black-and-white photos in sleek black frames for a modern look or polished brass frames (from $21, westelm.com) for a glam effect. Resist the urge to display every single photo in your collection, but curate a few favorites for a more impactful arrangement.

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Display Cherished Mementos

Small souvenirs from a favorite vacation, shells collected from a beach trip, and Polaroids from a family wedding all deserve to be shown off. Order a glass shadow box (from $21, westelm.com) that can stash everything from stones to ticket stubs. Leave the box out on a coffee table, side table, or shelf—it will spark memories for family members and serves as a conversation piece for guests.

Add a Signature Scent

Whether we know it or not, most of our homes have their own particular scent. To make sure the smell of your home is pleasant and personal, pick an aroma you love. It can be your favorite peony-scented candle, soothing lavender essential oils dispersed in a diffuser, or fresh eucalyptus left out on display. Keep the scent subtle so it won't overwhelm.

Invest in Live Plants

The difference between a house and a home is a subtle distinction that can be measured by commitment. When you get house plants, they not only breathe life and fresh air into the space, but they also signal that you'll be around to care for them and to water them regularly. While you probably wouldn't bring a plant with you to a hotel for the night, bringing plants into your home is one way of putting down roots there.

An even bigger commitment? Planting outdoor plants your family will be able to enjoy for many years to come. Bonus: It could even boost your home's curb appeal.

Choose Art You Love

If you've lived in your home for a while, it's possible you haven't considered the artwork on the walls in years. And if you just moved in, you could be dealing with blank walls in need of decoration. In either case, choosing art you love and that has personal meaning to you will make your house feel like a home. Even a piece of your child's art can make for meaningful wall decor, and when matted and framed, will fit in with the rest of your decor. For a piece that really matches, commission your kids to make artwork in a color palette of your choosing.

For more personalized pieces, search on Etsy or consider a customized map from My Ever Map of a city or area that has special meaning to your family.

Make Room for Your Interests

Whether your hobby is playing guitar or doing puzzles, make room for it. Dedicating part of your home to your yoga practice or creating a designated painting nook will not only make it easier to do what you love, but it gives your guests a glimpse into your life and interests.

Create an Inviting Entrance

The front door and entryway have the power to transform the vibe of your home. It's the first thing you see when you come home and it's the first thing guests see when they come over, so it sets the tone for your entire home. To make your front stoop more inviting, add a welcome mat and a few potted plants. Keeping the entryway neat and greeting guests with a bench where they can take off their shoes is a simple way to make a great first impression.