Around the House: Making Your House a Home via Homely One

Monday, September 27, 2010

Australia is one of those places that I long to visit. I know that it will probably never happen. But I'm still dreaming and keeping hope alive! I've met so many amazing women from Australia through this blog. One of them has graciously agreed to a guest post for me today. Meet Amanda from Homely One. She has a heart of gold in the midst of the chaos a baby girl brings to one's life. And she does it all so effortlessly. Today, Amanda reports on how to make your house a home!

Image by Janette Baker

Hi Pure and Noble readers! I’m Amanda from Homely One and I was really excited when Brooke asked me to do a guest post for her about ‘Making Your House A Home’ as her blog is one of the ones whose posts I thoroughly enjoy reading. I was so humbled that she was interested in me sharing my thoughts on Pure and Noble. Here goes…

To me, the place where you live is more than a house, it should be your home, a place with character that is warm and welcoming and reflects you and your family’s lifestyle. I like to avoid what I call the ‘display home look’ by following some of the ideas I’ve described below. None of these are new suggestions on my part, I am simply highlighting the points I think we should all remind ourselves of now and then when decorating our ‘nests’.

Have an inviting entryway

The entrance to your home is the first point your guests and most importantly you, see when you arrive and is therefore an area you should be careful not to neglect. It should be an inviting and visually attractive space, but also somewhere that makes it easy for you and family members to head out each day. Baskets for things like shoes, dog leads and hats; a bowl to rest keys and essentials; coat hooks or a mirror to make last minute appearance checks are all things to consider.

Aim for a balance between clutter and tidiness

Don’t get me wrong, my home is no contender for the cleanest or tidiest home of the year award (especially with a toddler under its roof). However, there are things I do to minimize the mess which help create a more comfortable living environment for us all. When my home is tidier and free of clutter, I feel more relaxed and able to enjoy the space. Simple things like keeping baskets in places where clutter tends to accumulate and aiming to empty these frequently, having a quick ‘once over’ of the living areas after dinner and putting things in their place when moving from room to room are all small steps towards achieving this. Think about where the clutter tends to build in your home and think about how you can reduce this.

In addition, I try to follow the quote “have nothing in your house you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”. Do not take up valuable space with items you no longer need or use – donate them to charity, find a way to re-use them (Brooke has lots of great tips for this) or if they are worse for wear, bin them! It is important to make sure however that you aim for balance when it comes to tidiness. Too pristine and tidy a home can feel ‘cold’. A magazine still sitting open on a coffee table, sheet music on a piano or a few toys left lying around are all examples that make your place look ‘lived in’. Don’t be too pedantic.

Bring the outdoors in

Avoid the ‘clinical’ look by placing some pot plants around your home. They are good natural air filters and these little bursts of greenery can add another ‘layer’ of texture to a room. Just don’t do what I often fail to remember and forget to water them, only to discover they are looking wilted and in desperate need of a drink!

Even better for lifting your mood and pretty-ing up your place are flowers. Don’t go rushing out buying an expensive bunch, a single bloom or a few sprigs of greenery from your garden can have much the same effect. See if they don’t make you smile each time you walk past.

Delightful aromas

There’s nothing like walking into your home or another’s and encountering a delightful fragrance. Scented candles, flowers, a home-cooked meal, a freshly brewed pot of coffee or perfume can help achieve this. My favourite ‘pick me up’ for our home is a room spray which is something you can even make yourself. It is a perfect option for freshening up the house at any time. I purchase mine from the West Australian company Tinderbox but there are also plenty available on Etsy.

Injecting personality into your home

Interior decorating magazines, television shows and blogs are all great sources of inspiration for your home. However, if you aim to totally recreate a look or room you have seen in one of these places, it will fail to evoke any homely emotions if you do not consider the actual people living within its walls.

In our home, we have photos around of family, friends and loved ones. Our fridge shows off my daughter’s latest piece of art. Also, many of our items on display were purchased while on holidays or once belonged to family members who have since passed on and therefore bring back memories for us of those happy occasions and special people. It is important to surround yourself with objects that you like, have sentimental meaning or reflect your passions and hobbies and are not solely in your home because they fit in with a particular look or are the latest trend.

Be prepared for the unexpected

Being organized and stocked up on essentials can make day to day living flow easier and means that an unexpected guest can be warmly welcomed with minimal stress. I like to make sure that our pantry stores ‘extra’ staples like tinned tomatoes, pasta and rice and that I have the necessary ingredients always on hand to pull together a simple meal if necessary. When cooking, I often will cook extra to freeze so that a quick meal is always possible if needed. Having such a meal available for when time is short or when you are not feeling up to putting together a ‘fancier meal’ means that you will be able to sit down and spend more time relaxing and doing more enjoyable things in your home. My recipe for scones which I blogged about here is a great one for throwing together something in less than fifteen minutes if necessary.

So, that’s my collection of ‘homely tips’. What else do you think is important to consider in this regard?

Thanks to Brooke for inviting me to do this guest post – it was heaps of fun.


  1. Thank you so much for your sweet words Brooke and for asking me to share my thoughts on your wonderful blog. Don't give up hope and perhaps one day we will be able to meet in person here in Australia :) Hope you're having a lovely day x

  2. What a lovely post Amanda and Brooke. Amanda, you are so thorough! Great tips :)

  3. These are great tips. I especially like the ideas about reducing clutter. My home seems to attract clutter like a magnet!

  4. I have followed Amanda for a while now, and love this guest post and her great tips. Look forward to following you also. Off to read more.

  5. I love these tips, thanks Amanda and Brooke! And thank you for including my 'Home Sweet Home' print in your post!!!!
    Janette xx

  6. These are really wonderful tips! Have a beautiful day, Kellie xx

  7. Well i love Amanda's homey blog already but i can't believe you Brooke, don't think you'll ever make it to Australia?? Australians are big BIG travellers (i think we're the biggest travellers in the world) & most would have visited America (i've been a dozen times). Even Oprah hasn't been here yet?? I don't understand, we're such an inexpensive country with tonnes of variety, you must come, we're so much fun with so much to see. Put us on your to do list, you'll have a blast!! Love Posie

  8. What a great post Amanda thanks for sharing your insight! And for putting me onto Brookes blog I'm about to go have a looksy :)

  9. Fantastic post Amanda! Very handy tips! I'm happy to visit a new blog and looking forward to following it.

  10. Great post. I need to do something about my entryway. You've reminded me!

  11. Everything you have posted are so beautiful. Love all the images you have shared.

    Paula M

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