Making a House a Home

6 11 2008
Beautiful juicy green!

Beautiful juicy green!

Sometimes my bedroom is perfectly arranged, everything in place, the rug vacuumed one way and the windows thoroughly Windexed. This is about three times a year, after which things exponentially deteriorate into a feral cave. But on those days when I can leave my door open without shame and when my closet is color-coded, my room is much nicer. It feels more calming, and is much more attractive.

So what to do with a room that’s dull and dreary? Spice it up, of course!


– Paint the walls a color that speaks to you and makes you happy. I believe that color is therapeutic, so choose a shade that you can stand to look at constantly and is soothing to your eyes. If that color is a vivid scarlet, go for it. If it’s simple white, go for it! It’s your room and it should carry your personality.

– Bring in elements of what you love. Whether this involves dedicating half the wall to your collection of porcelain dolls or just picking out a delightful marshmallowy comforter to snuggle with, take time to think about things you enjoy and like to be around and incorporate them.

– Embrace unorthodox décor. One of my friends screwed bolts into her wall and hung a hammock; it’s the only place she sleeps, and she loves it madly. My own dream is to paint a mural on all my walls and ceiling with streaks of glitter all over it. Things that you won’t see in a magazine can still work beautifully and uniquely.


-Avoid things that are going to annoy you after a few days. Don’t haul in five palm trees in a bid for a jungle-like atmosphere if you know the daily watering just isn’t going to happen. Similarly, avoid five-inch shag carpeting if the upkeep is impossible.

-Be practical, to a point. Sweeping acres of space can be mod and sleek, but if you have no place to keep the things you use every day, it’s no good. I keep a bedside table, even though it doesn’t quite flow with my room, because I need somewhere to put my incense burner, books, alarm clock, etc. You have to be able to get to your necessities without digging through your closet.

– Above all, think carefully about drastic changes. Make sure you love it before spending the money on new paint/curtains/chairs/whatever.

– Don’t get hung up on cleaning, if you’re naturally a bit messy. I don’t advocate dirt, but clutter can be cozy. The Victorians would have been aghast at a room without knick-knacks everywhere; they viewed them as an extension of personality.

Things I recommend: Rich vanilla air fresheners. Stringing twinkle lights on everything. Scattering beanbag chairs all about. Setting books you love on a shelf in place of honor. Lots of pictures of friends and loved ones. A bed for your pet. Piling mattresses to boost your bed up high. Intricate oriental-style carpets. Dangling things from the ceiling. A vase full of fresh flowers. Strange antique doorknobs.