How to Make Your House Feel Like a Home

Nearly two years ago, when we first moved into our forever home, we had limited furniture. We moved from a two-bedroom townhouse into a four-bedroom home with places for not one, not two, but THREE sofas! This is obvious, but there were some very empty spaces in here for quite a while. Truth be told, we still haven’t fully furnished the place, but we are still making progress… Slow and steady, right?!

When we first moved in, I asked myself, self, tell me how to make your house feel like a home… especially when it’s this empty!? That was my goal. With limited funds and a focus on getting our finances straight with more significant expenses (including not yet having tenants in our suite, having a full house to maintain, and a child on the way), I knew I had to pick and choose the places to decorate in my home relatively smartly. As I approached sections of my home, I always did it with the question of “how to make your house feel like a home” in mind.

Without a doubt, this house now feels like our home. As I continue to furnish it, I have that question in the back of my mind less and less because of the items I put into our home to begin with. Despite being unfinished, our house already feels like a home and the rest seems to come naturally. Each new item seems to fit in more perfectly than the last.

Signed Samantha adjusting her gallery wall of nine white picture frames, each matted, containing family photostalking about how to make your house feel like a home

Making  Your House Feel More Like a Home With A Gallery Wall

This gallery wall was one of the first things we put together in our home. It was shortly after we moved in. Before this gallery wall, we had one sofa that was two sizes too small for the space, a dining table and chairs, and that was pretty well it. This was what I needed over and above all other things in that moment to make our house feel like a home.

Immediately after it was up, I felt a warmth that the space was lacking before. When talking about how to make your house feel like a home, a gallery wall, or even bringing out family photos in general, brings the most personal touch you can into your space.

The warmth I still feel each time I walk past this wall is magical. When I see it, I’m overcome with this moment of relief and happiness. Like “ahhhh” this is home.

These frames are non-expensive ones; it was still an investment wall ringing in between $350-$400 (including frames and images). Compared to the other gallery walls I’ve seen, I would say this is still somewhat affordable.

I picked up my frames from Ikea and printed my prints at London Drugs. I’ve also seen some very affordable frames at Indigo or Michaels. But Ikea had the exact style I wanted, so I went that route.

If you need a priority item to home-up your house, this is it!

Signed Samantha sitting in her bar area talking about how to make your house feel like a home

Make Your House Feel Like a Home With Personal Decorative Pieces

We have a ton of personal art/decorative pieces throughout our home. As you saw in my dining room tour, we have the Vancouver bus rolls, which are special to McGregor, having a multi-generational born and raised Vancouver family. We also have a few art pieces specific to Vancouver and Deep Cove (where each of us grew up).

However, my favourite pieces are geared towards Sloane. If you’ve been following along for a while, you’ll know that Sloane had two open-heart surgeries when she was younger, and there are a few pieces in our home that represent those moments in our lives.

As traumatic as it was/is, we still came out with a significant understanding of what a little warrior our daughter is and feel that what she overcame should be celebrated around our house.

Enter this beautiful heart vase my mom gifted us last Christmas. An amazing reminder of the warrior we have and all she can overcome. It’s a piece of our family history in our home. Making it all that much more personal.

Making Your House Feel Like a Home With Blankets and Pillows

This one was hard. I wanted to make it “add a signature scent to your home”, but I already did that in my post on how to make your home feel like a hotel. I also feel it is applicable for how to make your house feel like a home, BUT I didn’t want to get redundant. So there’s your sneaky fourth item.

The real third item actually came from my friend Stephanie (who you can follow on IG here). She has a beautiful aesthetic in her home and an eye for perfection. Anywas, in brainstorming with her, she suggested the last item for how to make your house feel like a home be pillows and blankets.

Pillows and blankets make a space feel warm, cozy, and inviting. Exactly what you want your home to feel like. Genius idea, Stephanie!

I love this because it was also one of the earlier things I did (I mean, I clearly still don’t have some art up on the wall, but I have pillows!!). Once again, without having art on the walls, it has still cozied up our family room and is a place where we are all happy to hop onto the couch and cuddle up for a movie.

Throw pillows and blankets for the win.

Have you done anything else recently that makes your house feel like a home?!


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  • Erin

    Aww I love all of these tips! Especially your gallery wall – I’m obsessed. Hiring you to come redo my entire aparment. :))

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