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Expert tips to make your new house feel like home

(BPT) – You know that moving into a new home can be one of life’s biggest stressors – the packing, the paperwork, the unpacking and of course finding the nearest coffee shop. Making your new house feel like your home can help alleviate some of this stress and provide a safe-haven for some much needed relaxation.

“Everyone has a different sense of what home is,” says Elizabeth Lindmier of The Art Institute of Colorado. So while the same aesthetic won’t work for everyone, she offers her top five tips to start you in the right direction.

1. Texture and textiles – Instead of having a bunch of hard surfaces, cozy up your home with something soft or textured. This could be a blanket, curtains or area rugs. These items will also provide some acoustical value so noises aren’t echoing in an empty space.

2. Comfort – Have some place in your home where you can relax, recharge and feel at ease. “Make a space where you would like to spend time,” Lindmier says.

3. Color – A monochromatic scheme with pops of colors can bring you into a place where you feel comfortable and happy. “Do your research on color theory before painting any space,” says Lindmier. “Different colors can spark different moods, emotions and even behavior. Discover what you’d like a given space to accomplish, and use colors as a tool to create such environment.”

4. Lighting – There should be aesthetically pleasing lighting. Look at the difference between warm and cool lighting colors to decide what helps achieve the look you want. Also consider task, ambient and accent lighting for your space. “Lighting plays a key role in any home,” Lindmier says. “Through lighting design you can highlight design and architectural features, create lighting which is more useful to the human eye, and work with natural light while keeping energy use to a minimum.”

5. Clutter/stuff – “Less is more, but make it more meaningful,” says Lindmier. Get rid of your clutter. When sitting in your space, make sure you can look around and adore the things you see.

“Mies van der Rohe’s old adage, ‘less is more,’ certainly holds true here,” says Jackie Barry, Interior Design instructor at The Art Institute of Houston – North. “Select significant pieces of furniture and art to move. You don’t need to have or show everything you have all in one room.”

Barry also advises incorporating a concept called biophilic design, which recognizes the inherent need of humans to interact and affiliate with nature to achieve and maintain optimum health and well-being. “Bring the outside in; don’t neglect good views to the outside, accentuate them,” she says. “Let your garden and landscaping work for you on the inside. Connecting with nature can also have a calming and a comforting effect.”

For more information about The Art Institutes, visit artinstitutes.edu.

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