This afternoon I got Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson down from my shelf and came across a nice little chapter on decorating and making your home more "homey." Here is what she has to say:
Decor usually gets too much attention at the expense of other influences, but it certainly matters. It is best to know and follow your own real taste confidently instead of worrying about impressions and image. As a general rule, anything you really like works.
There are ways of living in your home that make it homey as well, consciously introducing habits and touches that make your place seem cozy and inviting.
~Sheets turned down.
~A newspaper left where someone will read it.
~A habitual cup of tea.
~Remembering people's favorite dishes, particularly on their rough days or when there is a celebration to mark.
~A hook where a person wants to hang his cap.
~A basket where one tends to leave keys and odds and ends from a pocket.
~Fresh flowers, a bowl of good fruit, and homemade baked goods are easy, pleasant touches in your home.
~Many of us feel at home in places where there are good books, not only on shelves but on tabletops or other places where we might want to pause to read in moments of leisure.
~Guests appreciate a thoughtful assortment of books left at their bedside table.
It is cliche, but true, that a room that looks lived in looks more homey. This implies not that you should be less neat but that you should actually live in your rooms. When you talk, read and write, play music or games, or sew, you leave traces of this in the room. These traces then invite people not simply to look but also be engaged. It makes them feel as though the room exists for people to live and do things in. Signs of real life make the room comforting and warm.
What sorts of things do you do, to make your home cozy?