For most of us, the saying ‘home is where the heart is’ rings true. Even the most magical experiences in far-flung lands can leave us craving the familiarity and comfort of home. If you love nothing more than being at home, you’re not alone, but not everyone is as fortunate. If your home isn’t quite the sanctuary you dream of, this guide should come in handy. Here are some suggestions to help you create a safe, restful, inspirational environment.
Creating a safe haven
Most of us work incredibly hard to pay rent or afford a mortgage. When you’re spending hours at work every week to put a roof over your head, the last thing you want is for somebody to encroach on your privacy and breach your boundaries. Burglaries are common, and statistics from the FBI available at https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2016/crime-in-the-u.s.-2016/topic-pages/burglary suggest that more than 1.5 million burglaries take place every year in the US. The most important step you can take as a homeowner is ensuring you aren’t extending an open invitation to thieves. You can do this by using deterrents and making it more difficult to get into the property.
Consider your home as your castle, and have a think about how you can strengthen the defenses. The first thing to think about is an alarm system. If a thief on the lookout for easy pickings spots an alarm fitted to the exterior of your home, they are going to think twice about targeting your house. Today, there’s a huge range of systems available from sites like www.suddenlink.com, and you can link your home security system to your tablet or phone to take advantage of innovative features like the ability to turn lights on and off remotely and the option to keep an eye on your home no matter where you are. If you tend to go away a lot for work or you enjoy traveling, being able to monitor the house on a continual basis could provide you with peace of mind. In addition to an alarm, outdoor lighting and CCTV cameras are also effective deterrents. If you have a dog, this may make your home a less appealing prospect. Gates and fences can also make breaking in more challenging. Burglars often look for a quick and easy escape route, and if they have to scale fences or try and negotiate electric gates, this could put them off.
Image credit https://pixabay.com/en/photos/security%20camera/
As well as securing your home, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of burglaries by making it look as if somebody is at home. Statistically, you’re more likely to be burgled during the day, as most people are out at work. If you are out, you can make it look like you’re in by turning the lights on and off using a remote system linked to your phone, leaving a car parked in the drive and ensuring you cancel deliveries before you go away if you’re taking a vacation. It’s also a good idea to ask a neighbor to collect your mail. If you are going to be away for a few days, it’s also wise to avoid spreading the news that nobody is home. Social media is great for staying in touch, but make sure your profile is private. If you’re sharing photos of exotic beaches and anyone has access to them, this can alert people to the fact that your home is empty.
Before you go to bed each night or you head off to work, check the doors and windows. There’s nothing an opportunist likes more than an open window or an unlocked back door. It’s also essential to ensure that you don’t leave keys within easy reach of a door. Once your home is secured, set the alarm and you can enjoy peace of mind that your home will be safe.
Making your home more tranquil
When you’re at home, you want to be able to relax and enjoy quality time either on your own or with family and friends. With many of us balancing hectic schedules, it can be difficult to find time and space to unwind and enjoy peace and quiet. If you dream of coming home to serenity and calm, it is possible to make your home a more tranquil place. Set aside an area or a room where you can indulge your interests, clear your mind and take time out. Perhaps you enjoy reading or listening to music, or you crave more time to paint, draw or write. However you like to spend your downtime, focus on making it easy to enjoy the moments you have at home. If you’ve got a spare room you never use, for example, you could swap a double bed for a sofa bed to free up space and enable you to create a room with dual use. If you have guests, there is a bed for them, but the rest of the time, this can be your place to get creative or chill out.
Think carefully about the tone you want to set if you’re redecorating or renovating. If you’re keen to bring more tranquility to your home, interior design can play a major role. Consider the impact color has on your mood, for example. How do you feel when you walk into a room that’s full of bright colors, bold accessories and clashing prints compared to a room with muted shades on the walls and cozy soft furnishings? There may be spaces where you want to be audacious and aim for touches that make you feel energized, but factor in some space for calm. In your bedroom, for example, you want to be able to relax and unwind, and soothing shades will help you do this. Adding ambient lighting and aromas that are designed to de-stress can also make a positive difference.
Image sourced from https://pixabay.com/en/room-apartment-furniture-home-2269594/
Clutter can be a major cause of stress at home, and it can hamper your efforts to create a relaxed vibe. If you’ve got stuff everywhere, now is the time to have a clear out and find effective ways to store your belongings. Invest in some boxes or have a look at options like wall-mounted units or wardrobes with pull-out drawers and racks.
Getting your tech right
Technology can be incredibly useful in this day and age, but it can also put pay to relaxation. If you’re constantly on your phone, you’re always checking emails long after you’ve left the office or you spend hours watching the TV when you should be sleeping, it’s a good idea to rethink how you use technology at home. Many of us enjoy surfing the web and watching TV, but don’t let them rule your life. It’s really useful to have boundaries. If you work too much or you don’t get enough sleep, making simple changes can be hugely beneficial. Consider the impact of banning tech from your bedroom, for example. If you’re nodding off and waking up with the TV on in the early hours or you’re guilty of reading emails in bed, this can upset your sleep patterns and prevent you from getting the rest you need. Leave phones and tablets in a different room and avoid watching TV in your room. When you’re tired, head to bed and get comfy. If you haven’t got anything to distract or occupy you, you should find it much easier to doze off.
Image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/39908901@N06/8355672587
Adding homely touches
There’s a difference between a house and a home. If you’ve recently moved or your house doesn’t quite feel like home yet, you don’t have to embark on a major revamp or spend a fortune to add homely touches and make your nest feel more comfortable and lived-in. Simple touches like framed photographs or canvases, soft furnishings and candles can add a cozy vibe and make the space more personal to you. Celebrate your style when you’re designing your home and go with trends you love rather than trying to emanate looks that are popular, but aren’t really ‘you’. Your home should be a place that reflects your personality and your lifestyle, so don’t worry too much about conforming to images like glossy magazine showhomes. If you prefer a laid-back, comfortable vibe to pristine perfection, that’s the look you should go for.
Is your home your happy place? If you’re not quite there yet, don’t worry. It can take time to adjust to moving or put your stamp on a house or flat. Most of us dream of having a home, which makes us feel safe, calm and content. There are many ways of turning a pile of bricks and mortar into a sanctuary, from investing in security to provide a safe haven to creating tranquil, homely spaces that reflect your personality and your sense of style. You want your home to be a safe retreat, but you also want a place where you can really be yourself and take full advantage of the downtime you have. Use your creativity and flair when you’re planning color changes or looking at finishing touches and create an area where you can focus on your interests and hobbies and enjoy some time out.