I have lived in 13 places in the past 7 years, and have made each one of those residences really feel like home.
For many travelers used to living out of a suitcase, the concept of making and building a home can be foreign in and of itself. The good news is it doesn’t take a lot to pull off!
I have learned how to make just about anywhere feel like home using a few key pieces I bring from home and incorporating elements that make a place feel more homey.
If you’re moving abroad, are considering becoming an expat or need to move into a new space, here are my top tips on how to make just about any place feel like home.
1) Make it your own
The key to making a home from anywhere is to make it your own. This means packing with you at least a couple of personal items that you can put up in your new space, so that it feels familiar. It needs to feel like you.
I have a small felt camel that I got in India that I bring with me on any big move, and a small turquoise pendant that was my mom’s that I never leave home without. What sorts of items are irreplaceable to you? What makes your space feel more like yours?
2) Surround yourself with things that make you feel most like yourself
Things that inspire you, that comfort you and that make you feel that you have a space that you can call home. For me, I always put up pictures of family and friends, postcards, art and photography from my travels and a homemade quilt that all encompass my home. Check out these great laser levels for hanging pictures for your next DIY project wherever you may be!
3) Shop for local statement pieces
Go to the local shop or market and find tapestries, paintings and local finds to decorate your new home. I love to buy fabric at the market and make my own curtains to incorporate a part of the place into my home.
Every home doesn’t look the same and shouldn’t feel the same but it should reflect who you are in that moment.
4) Invest in comfort
I once spent months avoiding buying an actual bed, sleeping on an inflatable mattress that wasn’t actually inflatable, because I didn’t want to spend the extra money. How silly I was! Investing in your comfort while at home is paramount — and ends up saving you money in the long run. If you feel comfortable and protected while at home, you’ve created a shield from the stresses of the outside world. Plus, a good night’s sleep is priceless.
5) Stay connected
Keep connected with your friends and family while living abroad, and they’ll help you feel more at home. With Facetime and Skype and Google Hangouts – there are so many ways that technology has helped us to stay in touch.
Invite your family to a weekly chat, start up a game night, or schedule a time to watch your favorite bad TV together. Keeping connected is a great way to feel at home. Just don’t get too carried away with talking all of the time, or you might find home sickness starting to get the best of you.
6) Remember that home is wherever you make it
Making a home from anywhere also means living like a local. After you’ve decorated, consider hosting a little get together in your new place. Invite people over and you’ll feel a sense of pride in where you live.
Every time I move to a new home I always tend to decorate it differently. My home reflects my style and personality within the context of where I live. When I walk into my home, whether it be a flat in Wales or a mud hut in Rwanda, it feels like it’s really mine.