8 ways to make your house feel like home

There’s nothing quite as exciting as a freshly built or renovated home. Stepping inside for the very first time after years of planning, designing and problem solving feels akin to crossing the finish line at the end of a marathon.

But while soaring ceilings, skylights and a sparkling new kitchen are a lot to celebrate, it’s the smaller things that breathe life into the interiors, turning a new house into a home. Here are eight easy home decorating ideas that will deliver your signature style to every room.


Choose art with heart

Nothing screams new build quite like blank walls, so art is the perfect place to start when you’re looking for home décor ideas that will turn your house into a home. The secret to success is to invest in art you genuinely love – it can be something from your favourite artist, a landscape of your favourite holiday spot or a piece you just simply love to look at. This way, the art on display is sure to be a reflection of your personal style, rather than a space filler.


Embrace texture

Whether you are crazy about colour or prefer a more pared-back palette, there’s one element of design that all homely homes execute well and that’s texture. There’s an endless list of ideas to consider, from a show-stopping wallpaper wrapping an entire room to subtle touches of timber that inject warmth and charm through furniture or floating shelves. Vertical Joint (VJ) cladding, such as Axon™ Cladding or Hardie™ Groove Lining, can be used to create a feature wall or define a space, such as a reading nook. It is also a timeless way to introduce texture, create visual interest and add depth to the design without overpowering the room.

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Photographic memories

It’s time to press print on those family photographs, because nothing will turn your house into a home faster than seeing your favourite moments with your favourite people proudly on display. A gallery-wall-style installation of framed photographs along a hallway is a design-savvy way to celebrate your loved ones, while placing smaller framed photos on the mantel or on floating shelves is more subtle, but just as sweet.


Stylish focus

Coffee tables, kitchen benches and bookshelves present an opportunity to embrace the art of display. Channel your inner stylist and create vignettes from designer utensils and stylish accessories. Just group accessories by colour, texture or theme; stick to the rule of three; and ensure they are of varying heights for maximum impact. In the kitchen, a chopping board, pretty jug and scented candle make a lovely focal point; on the dining table, group a vase, pepper grinder and shallow fruit bowl. Follow Justine Orton on for clever inspiration.


Common scents

The feeling of home is about more than just the aesthetics and the lingering smell of fresh paint is anything but homely. Fragrance is often overlooked, but it’s an impactful way to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere – you only need to bake a cake to realise how quickly it can change the mood. Splurge on a luxury candle (which can double as décor) or invest in an oil diffuser to fill your beautiful new home with your favourite scent.


Layered textiles

Soft furnishings such as throw cushions, rugs and throws are a great way to bring colour and character to your interior spaces, but be careful of falling into the show-home trap of a perfectly matching set. Choose your palette first, whether it’s an existing theme in your interiors or pulled from that artwork you love, and take your time selecting in varying sizes and fabrics for a more effortlessly stylish look.


Nature's touch

Nature has a unique ability to evoke a sense of calm and tranquillity, so bring a little of the outdoors in with indoor plants. Larger varieties such as rubber plants and fiddle leaf figs are perfect for wide open spaces, while trailing vines like devil’s ivy can sit neatly on a shelf in compact spaces while still infusing your home with green goodness. Similarly, including a variety of potted plants on your porch or verandah will give your home’s exterior added street appeal.

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Light the way

Ambience is essential to take your new build from house to home, and lighting is the secret ingredient. Incorporating table and floor lamps is the perfect way to add layers to your home’s lighting, easily changing the mood or accenting a particular corner or piece of furniture. Use a tall floor lamp to draw focus to a thoughtfully styled armchair and side table set, or create a vignette with a table lamp, framed print and decorative ceramic bowl.

Hone your interiors vision with Style Sourcebook, a handy, interactive online tool where you can refine your look and feel by dragging and dropping real products from a range of retailers. Find more advice on creating beautiful interiors here.

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