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How to make your home more welcoming

Elise Stephens blogs about relationships, life, and inspiration at www.elisestephens.com. She received the Eugene Van Buren Prize for Fiction from the University of Washington in 2007. Her novel Moonlight and Oranges was a quarter-final...

Welcome home

Beauty is something that’s made and nurtured, and it flourishes under the proper care. Learn how to make your home a place where you can refuel and relax.

Welcome home

During the cold, blustery winter season, it's easy to feel trapped inside your home, which gives you all the more reason to make it a sanctuary where you want to spend time. You don't have to be a professional designer to make these quick fixes.

1

Open space

Sometimes, a room needs nothing more than less stuff lying around. Make a room feel spacious, open and full of light by stowing small objects out of sight. Buy some large, good-looking storage boxes and dump your odds and ends into them as an easy clean-up. Don't have time to tidy every room every day? Solution: Pick just one room to keep neat so that you can count on it.

2

Color tints

Accent walls really do spice up a room. If painting sounds too overwhelming, try hanging some exotic fabric. A few festive couch cushions and a colored blanket can lift the entire mood of your living room. Experiment with flower arrangements and vivid wall art.

3

Light touches

In the dark months, there's nothing as scarce as light. Christmas lights don't go out of season if they're single-color strands. A little lamp positioned next to your favorite chair makes the mood cozier. Push your most-used furniture closer to the windows so that you automatically soak up the rays.

4

Healing sounds

Music can bring us to tears or make our hearts soar. Make your music work in your favor. Build a tranquil playlist for your return from work that calms you and reminds you that your home is a refuge. Create a "good morning" playlist that gently rouses your from your pillow. Experiment with gentle sounds rather than high-intensity adrenaline pushers.

5

Scents of calm

Make a tradition of lighting a few scented candles or incense sticks to create an aura of gentle ease. You could also use a diffuser with essential oils.

A beautiful home must be something that's sustainable for you. Find the solutions and ideas that appeal to your personality without piling on more stress to your existing responsibilities and prepare to become enchanted with your humble abode.

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