5-Step Process to Turning a House / Apartment Into a Home
Rendering by Life Edited and Bowen Studios
By Tatum Fjerstad
Moving into a new place or closing on a vacation home is exciting. There’s that feeling of being done with the search and knowing that all you have to do is move your stuff in and settle into your new home. But that whole move-all-the-things and put-it-all-away process is fun to think about for all of five minutes, and then the dread starts to set in.
Moving is really hard on humans. In a general sense, we operate best when we feel grounded and safe and our basic needs are met. One of those basic needs are having a place to call home - a place we actually like and feel comfortable in. Even the most seasoned traveler has rituals in place to make a temporary home out of each place they visit.
There are lots of obvious ways to make your house into a home. Pick colors and fabrics that resonate with you. Make sure you have access to lots of natural light. Feng shui. All that. Here are 5 things you can do when you move in to take that brick and mortar space and turn it into a place filled with warm memories that you can’t wait to get back to after a long day.
Architecture by Marmol Radziner
1. Make a floorplan
This is next level nerd but it works. If you have access to the floorplan of your new space, use it. If you don’t, get yourself some graph paper, a ruler and a pencil and do your best to draw a little plan to scale. There are probably apps out there that allow you to do this without using anything but your thumbs, but resist the urge. Using the old school methods of planning has its own grounding benefits.
2. Set an unpack deadline
Nothing prevents the transition from house to home more than stacks of unpacked boxes lying around. I recently moved into a new apartment with my boyfriend and 5 days in, I threw him a birthday party housewarming party. That forced me to unpack everything and make that place look like a home in record time. I probably could have extended my unpack period a bit and it was definitely stressful, but it was less than a week of pedal-to-the-metal stress and I haven’t looked back since.
3. Pick scents for each room and infuse it like crazy for the first month
Scents are powerful. Coming home after a long day and walking into your space and smelling something familiar and warming can be the difference between smiling at the rest of your family and ignoring them as you huff off to the bathroom. Each room can have a different scent. Kitchens should be citrusy while bathrooms should be floral. Bedrooms can also have a floral or clean linen smell. Living spaces can have a more woody, earthy smell. We love cedar or palo santo. If you’re not into burning candles or incense, you can go the old fashioned route and get some fresh flowers and plants! On the mountain, the world of scents is your oyster.
Rendering by Saunders Architecture
4. Have a dance party
If dance parties aren’t your thing, do something unique and silly. Our homes are where we let our hair down, where we feel like we can truly be ourselves. Is there something you do at home that you don’t do anywhere else? Starting doing it right away in your new space and do it as often as you can. Sing in the shower that first morning. Have an underwear dance party with that first morning cup of coffee. Use the bathroom with the door open! Live it up and make it yours.
5. Hang your art last
Hanging art is usually the best part of putting together a new home. It’s the act of putting your personality, tastes and likes on display. By saving this until last, you are giving yourself something to look forward to. Leave all the art stacked in a very visible place as a reminder - like a carrot dangling - reminding you that as soon as you finish putting away all those vases, you’ve got some art to hang.
Whatever you choose to do to turn your house into a home, we at Summit wish you well. A new space is can be stressful, but it’s also very exciting. The stress never lasts and it’s usually always worth it on some level. And remember: Once all the move-in hoopla has passed, you get to pour yourself a tasty beverage, sit back and take it all in.