We’re all familiar with the oft-uttered refrain, “Home is where the heart is.” Structurally, a house provides us with physical shelter, but it’s a home that offers us shelter from the weather in our own lives – and all the storms we battle emotionally. Or as Ellie Rodriquez so eloquently put it, “The light is what guides you home; the warmth is what keeps you there.

More than likely, you reside in a dwelling you call your own. Perhaps you settled in just recently, or maybe you were guided home long ago. What if the structural foundation is there, but you’re still missing that warmth in the hearth of your home? And, more importantly, when you find it…how can you ensure it keeps you there?

Here are some tips on how to make not just a house, but a safe haven that’s truly your own.


  1. Keep in mind: Light attracts light.
    Obviously, it’s understood that a well-lit home signifies a cozy home. But intellectuals and some in the science community actually propose a seemingly simple method for attracting positive energy in the home: proper lighting. That said, make it a daily practice to open all of the blinds throughout your home – therefore optimizing as much natural light as possible in each area. According to science, any darkness that exists in a physical dwelling causes the vibrations within that enclosed space to slow down, and studies show that light deprivation seriously affects the brain … even leading to depression. So reach for the blinds and let the natural light in.

    {Tip: Not a fan of natural lighting? Have vampire tendencies? Try LED lights, instead! Light-emitting diode bulbs are not only energy-efficient, but a great alternative lighting source that can also influence the energy your home.}


  1. Enhance (and maintain) the natural way: using the salt of the Earth.
    Fresh flowers add to any dwelling and are an easy fix for instantly brightening an otherwise plain space – and at little cost. Not to mention, keeping plants in the home cleanses the air, and it’s been said to help with securing and centering energy. If you’re looking to enhance the color scheme within your home, simply adorn said space with beautiful flowers, fresh-cut, in vibrant shades. These days, it’s so easy to keep fresh flowers around with online ordering and delivery options. Maybe you want to spruce up an entryway that’s too small for furniture, or a space currently absent of ornate furnishings.

    Before you turn to the paint rollers, try experimenting with color choices using different petal types – a cheap alternative to testing interior color schemes in every possible spectrum. Envisioned a blueprint to refurbish a specific room in your house? Have a certain design aesthetic in mind for part of the interior? Try it small-scale, first. Test the waters by adding a minimal touch – a vase, or a piece of china  – belonging to a collection or occupying a design that fits your current vision. Not only is this a good method for showcasing creativity, but it’s a sure-fire way within your home to determine the tangible look and palpable feel of your design ideas…all without breaking the bank.

    {Tip: Interested in a DIY project that exudes class and elegance at virtually no cost? Look no further than a glass Mason jar. Sold at virtually all craft stores and superstores (also available to order in bulk via Amazon), Mason jars come in a variety of sizes, shapes colors. Hydrangeas, roses, peonies… you name it- there is no wrong flower for this project, and you’d be hard-pressed to choose a type that doesn’t look beautifully arranged as a Mason jar centerpiece. No matter your petal preference or the specific look you’re after, this simple project can result in a beautiful arrangement versatile enough to fit your every design idea or need.}


  1. Integrate touches of old to pair with the new.
    The best way to achieve that old, lived-in feel within a new dwelling? Make your haven extra homey by incorporating relics of the past throughout the home. An ordinary bookshelf displaying aged novels, an instrument passed down from generations, or just a simple piece of vintage furniture – any antiqued item will enhance the home and help garner a timeless look, no matter how small or minimalist the furnishing. On a serious budget? Try perusing your local paper for listings of upcoming estate sales and locally held auctions. Also make sure to check out neighborhood yard and garage sales for that diamond in the rough; when it comes to procuring antique pieces – without the exorbitant price tag – look no further than a neighbor or member of your community looking to purge old mementos. Priceless items don’t always come at a price, and achieving that timeless look for your home is possible without breaking the bank.

    {Tip: Have a bunch of hardcovers or bound books lying around? Simply remove the covers and display the assortment within a space of your home. Exhibiting your entire book collection – bare – will make each appear older and create more character for that aged feel… no matter how new the book.}


  1. Include one space just for you to fully achieve that unique feel.
    Whether it’s a wall, a corner, or even an actual room, designate at least one space within your home as the “ode to you.” Feel truly at home by featuring a collection of tangible items that exudes what’s most important to you.

    {Tip: For a simple trick (that also helps a great deal with minimizing clutter), put together your own personalized corkboard of black and white photos, original sketches and artwork, or any ticket stubs and souvenirs from events worth remembering. Once completed, display the corkboard in a prominent place in the interior of your home. Now, any guest to your home can absorb that visual and leave with an actual sense of you. More importantly, your house will evolve into, truly, your own – your own safe haven with the warmth to keep you there.}