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What makes a house homely?

(52 Posts)
Meta4 Sun 18-Dec-11 19:19:41

Arrgghh. This frustrates me so much.

My house just doesn't feel homely to me, and I just can't put my finger on why.

So what makes a house homely - and what doesn't?!

OP’s posts: |
PigletJohn Sun 18-Dec-11 19:22:51

A contented cat

people that aren't arguing

people that love each other

not too brightly lit

not too much new stuff

smell of cooking

what else?

Akiram Sun 18-Dec-11 19:24:54

Hmm I don't know. People say things like books, pictures, etc etc but I know that my last home never felt homely even with all that. No matter what I did it didn't change the feel of it. The house I live in now felt homely from day 1. We haven't got any new furniture and it isn't decorated to our taste but it has a totally different feel to it. Even friends comment on how homely it is.
Sorry that wasn't much help was it

discrete Sun 18-Dec-11 19:26:27

A wood stove.

Cozy rooms.

Smell of nice food cooking.


PeppaPigandGeorge Sun 18-Dec-11 19:27:13

My house didn't feel homely until I re-arranged the living room furniture. Nothing new, just moved, made a massive difference.

Actually, that isn't true - I bought new lamps and I think they helped a lot.

Akiram Sun 18-Dec-11 19:27:21

I think Piglet has a very good point. Lighting can make all the difference.

mistressploppy Sun 18-Dec-11 19:30:07

I think the right level of tidiness/untidiness is key. Too pristine and it feels show-homey (to me) and too messy and it feels sordid and unloved.

And lighting, like Piglet says.

And having ticking clocks and radios on in the background

fannybanjo Sun 18-Dec-11 19:30:48

Lamps, cushions, rugs, photos of family, warm colours, furniture not pushed against walls is very important in rooms where you have too much space. Flowers, not too much clutter but not clinical. Lots of pillows on beds, throws. Mirrors. Candles.

Get0rf Sun 18-Dec-11 19:31:37

I would say lamps at below waist height as opposed to ceiling lights.

It is all very personal though isn't it. I have has this conversation with my (much loved) MIL. She thinks her house is homely - but to me it has too much clutter and furniture. She thinks that my house is spartan because of the lack of curtains, carpets and soft furnishings, but to me it is very cosy.

sweetboysmum Sun 18-Dec-11 19:34:19

I'm beginning to think some colour on the walls makes a difference. We moved in to this place in a hurry and had it all painted pale cream. Apart from one wall it's still the same 3 years later. My neighbours have the same house, high ceilings etc, and there house is cosy and has some colour. Ours is a bit cold and clinical.

BastardDog Sun 18-Dec-11 19:36:33

Soft furnishings
Clean, but not totally tidy.
For a house to be a home, not everything in it should be new and pristine.
Happy, contented occupants.

fannybanjo Sun 18-Dec-11 19:40:26

Children playing with toys is what makes my house a home. Nothing lovelier than sitting on couch and watching them play nicely with jigsaws or their Sylvanian families.

DillyTinsel Sun 18-Dec-11 19:41:41

My house has laminate and I hate it! So unhomely. Lamps are important.

Get0rf Sun 18-Dec-11 19:42:21

I would disagree with a lot of these!

My idea of homely

Clean and uncluttered. No shit or ornaments or stuff.
No cushions. I think they look messy.
Books on shelves.
Lots of space, half empty rooms look cosier to me than ones full of furniture.

FriedSprout Sun 18-Dec-11 19:46:10

Lots of different textures in furnishings, some stuff on display that has been home-made by you and/or the kids and green plants that are healthy. Also soft bulbs in lamps.

PigletJohn Sun 18-Dec-11 19:47:15

I think we can all agree that shit does not help.

Get0rf Sun 18-Dec-11 19:51:23

grin ok then piglet I will change my 'shit' for 'bric-a-brac'

teacoupons Sun 18-Dec-11 20:07:43

Colour makes a huge difference. Since painting the kitchen a rich forest green with red accents it feels much more warm in there whereas before it often seemed a sterile environment.

Lighting is a big one to me. I like lamps and clear fairy lights but I'm not a fan of ceiling lights.

Rugs, photos, scented candles, the smell of baking, pets, throws, scatter cushions - things you like to personalise the space can often help.

fannybanjo Sun 18-Dec-11 20:19:16

My cushions NEVER look messy!

Alouisee Sun 18-Dec-11 20:26:08

I think that the flow is key to having a good feel in a home. Taking photographs of the rooms and layouts and looking at them rather than the room itself helps with placement.

lambethlil Sun 18-Dec-11 20:36:29

Not central lighting- ie side lamps. Real smells- cooking, fire- not air fresheners.

cantpooinpeace Sun 18-Dec-11 20:38:51

Framed lovely photos of precious people/moments.

The right temperature.

In winter a fire/wood burner.

A settee that looks comfy & is comfy.

The smell of a hearty meal cooking.

A full coat rack!

Curb appeal - still love the look of my house each time I pull onto the drive <double fronted like the pictures I used to draw as a child>

exoticfruits Sun 18-Dec-11 20:38:56

Pictures, photographs, lots of books, indications that people have interests and hobbies and not ones where the carpet comes before people!
Also Christmas cards at this time of year, not where people don't put them up because 'it spoils their decorations'!

sarahfreck Mon 19-Dec-11 13:32:26

Books and plants make things more warm and lived in I think.

HughBastard Mon 19-Dec-11 13:33:41


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