How to Make a House a Home: A Guide to Personalizing Your Living Space
Did you recently sign a contract for a new house? Congratulations! Or, maybe you’re still searching for “the one”—take your time. This is a big decision.
No matter where you are in the home buying process, now is the perfect time to think about how you can make your new house into a home. Location, decoration, and celebration are crucial to personalizing your living space to make your brand new house feel like a cozy home filled with love.
From the surrounding community down to the drapes in your living room, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to personalizing your living space to build a happy home.
Personalization Starts with Location
Location, location, location. It’s cliche but true! The location of your new house impacts more than just your commute to work. While young professionals may choose a new house near the hottest bars and restaurants, empty nesters may choose a new house with little to no noise pollution. Keep reading to see which location factors make sense for your lifestyle.
|Location Factors to Consider Based on Your Lifestyle|
|Young Professionals||Families||Empty Nesters||Everyone|
|Local Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife||School Ratings||Neighborhood Amenities||Local Attractions|
|Average Commute Times||Parks and Recreation||Maintenance|
|Cost of Living||Neighborhood Safety||Noise Pollution|
For Young Professionals
Young professionals are constantly on the go from the office to a networking event and from dinner to a night out on the town. A new house in a convenient location at an affordable price is prime real estate for up-and-coming professionals.
Local Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife
Young professionals live busy lives both professionally and socially. Living near nightlife, entertainment, and places to grab dinner and a drink is attractive–especially if within walking distance or a short drive. After a long day at work, there’s nothing better than a convenient spot to kick back and have fun!
Average Commute Times
No one likes to spend time in traffic. Young professionals prioritize living near work and play to spend less time in the car and more time having fun. With the average one-way commute in the United States sitting at 27.6 minutes, the average professional spends almost one hour at least five days per week in their car to and from work.
Cost of Living
Purchasing a new house, especially for adults early in their careers, is a big financial decision. You should consider the purchase price of the new house and the cost to cover basic living expenses like food, entertainment, or gym memberships. Typically, the cost of living increases as you move closer to the city and decreases in suburban areas. Other essential costs associated with your new house may include homeowners association fees, property insurance, taxes, and utilities that add to the cost of living and may vary depending on location.
Families with children or planning to have children desire other qualities when deciding on their new houses. Centered around family-friendly activities and education, family buyers look for environments their entire family can enjoy.
Finding a high-quality school district is a priority for families with children and families planning to have children in the future. You may choose a new house based on the school district for many reasons, such as raising your kids with family or friends or to benefit their education or athletic development. Not only will your children benefit from quality education, but top-rated public school districts are more cost-efficient than investing in private school tuition and typically raise property values.
To evaluate how impactful a school district may be for your children, analyze the following characteristics.
- Test scores and performance indicators, like student-to-teacher ratios.
- Curriculum, such as Advanced Placement and career tech programs.
- Extracurricular activities, including band, theatre, and other clubs.
- Athletic programs.
Parks and Recreation
No matter what climate you live in, finding a new house near parks and recreation provides family-friendly activities and plenty of opportunities to play. Recreational and club sports are available for children (and adults) outside schools. Playgrounds offer endless fun and options for exploring nature. Living near parks and outdoor activities improves mental health, cleaner air, and even life expectancy.
If you have children, we don’t have to remind you that safety is a constant concern. It’s nearly impossible to find a completely crime-free area to live in, though rest assured that safe neighborhoods do exist! To understand how safe a community may be, consider asking the following questions:
- What is the crime rate nearby? Many local law enforcement offices offer criminal reports based on address which can give you a better sense of illegal activity in an area.
- Are streets well-lit, gated, or patrolled by security? These security features often discourage criminals from committing unlawful acts.
- Does the neighborhood have a neighborhood watch program? Programs like neighborhood watch add an extra layer of security.
- How do you feel when you drive through the area? If you’re able to visit the neighborhood in person, it’s helpful to get a strong sense of the environment. When it comes to neighborhood safety, it’s best to trust your intuition.
For Empty Nesters
Once their children have left home and they are near retirement age, buyers are ready to settle down in a more relaxing lifestyle, with an active social calendar and neighborhood amenities.
Finding ways to stay active is easy when club amenities are right outside your door! Having neighborhood amenities like tennis courts, golf courses, swimming pools, and other casual sports alongside places to entertain and nurture social relationships and interests will undoubtedly be appreciated for those who are finding new hobbies with their newfound free time.
Forget keeping up with exterior maintenance and landscaping! Low-maintenance and no-maintenance communities offer you the opportunity to live worry-free with none of your precious time spent cutting grass, painting shutters, or even repairing the roof.
A quiet, restful atmosphere surrounding your new house is attractive when you’re ready to settle down in your forever home. Noise pollution from busy streets, city traffic, and loud schoolyards may interrupt the peaceful relaxation you plan for retirement.
One thing we can all agree on–no matter what stage of life we’re in–is we want to love and appreciate all our community has to offer us.
Whether it’s our favorite restaurants, exciting local attractions, or simply the convenience of being near a variety of shops, Brock Built understands that the local community is the heart of the decision. That’s why we build our communities in carefully selected neighborhoods with all the modern comforts and plans to grow. Investing in revitalized neighborhoods that are rapidly growing can double (or triple) the market value of your new house as the community around it flourishes. We’re partial to Atlanta–where there are plenty of fun activities and attractions to entertain you all over the city!
Let’s Decorate! How to Personalize Your Home
Have you officially signed on the dotted line for your new house? Congratulations! Now comes the exciting part. It’s time to personalize your home to make it feel like it’s all your own!
During the Construction Process
If you signed a contract for a new construction home, you now have the luxury of personalizing your new house as it’s being built. With Brock Built, you’ll be invited to join us at Brock Built’s New Home Design Center, where you can expect to personalize your home with the finest features and finishes.
In the New Home Design Center, you’ll choose
- Hardwood, tile, and carpet flooring
- Lighting fixtures for bathrooms, kitchens, and living spaces
- Kitchen and bathroom cabinetry and hardware
- Kitchen and bathroom countertops, backsplash, and fixtures
- Fireplace stone, brick, and other materials
Select communities offer home buyers curated design packages, carefully chosen by our expert designers with the latest trends for your new house in mind. You’ll get to choose from a collection of packages with design selections that fit just right within the style and layout of your new house!
When you have the opportunity to personalize your home as it’s being built, you get to lay the foundation of personalized design selections that make a house a home. No more worrying about renovations or upgrades! Your new house has been built just for you.
Once you’ve moved into your new house, you’re ready to tackle the finishing touches that make a house a home. It’s time to add personal decor to warm up your living space! But where should you start?
Interior Design Tips
- While your new house is empty, set the tone by selecting your color palette. When it comes to the best living room paint colors, classic neutrals never go out of style, but going bold pays off big!
- Incorporate the latest design trends to stay current, but choose the home decor that speaks to you. After all, you’ve got to see it every day!
- Choose furniture that speaks to your lifestyle. If you’re a family with young children, choose soft furniture with rounded edges and durable fabrics. If you’ve got pets, choose easy-to-clean area rugs.
Decorating Your New House
- There’s no reason your decor needs to stay the same all year long! Holiday decor is an easy way to spruce up a room with fun decorations you love but may not fit your everyday style.
- Incorporate as many personal touches in your living space as possible. These may be fresh flowers from your garden, photographs from your travels around the world, or personal notes to your family and guests. The more your personality shines, the more you can make a house feel like home!
- As your lifestyle changes with the seasons, switch your decor for an ambiance that matches the outdoors. Lightweight throw blankets are welcome in the warmer summer air, while heavy flannel blankets keep you and your guests cozy during the winter.
Organizing Your Living Space
- Once the mess of moving is over, you can finally sort through your things and organize your living space! Start with the kitchen and bathroom, which tend to accumulate clutter from daily use.
- For storage space, utilize built-in cubbies and drawers with dividers to separate like items.
- Keep everyday items close at hand on countertop trays or lidded containers to keep things neat and tidy.
Cheers! Hosting In Your New House
You’re all moved in–now what? It’s time to party! Invite all of your friends, family, and co-workers over to your new house to check out your living space and show off how you can make a house a home.
These days, we’ll find any excuse to host a party. After all, isn’t a new house meant to be shared? Get the guest list out because you’re going to have many reasons to personalize your home for these fun events.
- Housewarming party
- Weekend brunch
- Adult dinner party
- TV watch party
Preparing for guests in your new house sounds stressful, but with a bit of planning, you’ll be crowned Host of the Year. Need some tips? We’re glad you asked!
- Create a plan. There’s nothing worse than a disorganized event, especially when a meal is served! Plan out a timeline ahead of your guests arriving so you know precisely when to serve dinner or start activities.
- Be flexible. As with any event, things happen. Your planned timeline may not go exactly as you anticipated, but don’t let that affect the mood. Make sure your guests are comfortable and having fun, and don’t forget to have fun yourself!
- Consider a “test drive.” If you’re trying a new recipe, consider trying ahead of time to ensure you have all of the proper tools and ingredients to complete the recipe, troubleshoot your cooking time, and ensure that your meal is just as delicious as the photos!
- Don’t run out of food or drinks. It’s best to buy more than you think you need so you don’t leave your guests wanting more. You can even send them away with the leftovers as a party favor!
- Create a great first impression. Since the front door and entryway are the first living spaces your guest will see, make sure those spaces are clean, tidy, and welcoming. Add a fresh welcome mat or frame your front door with plentiful planters, and remove clutter like extra shoes, keys, and wallets from the entryway.
- Designate a storage space for shoes, coats, and bags. Your guests may come with extras, so keep a safe space to hang their coats, store their purses and bags, and leave their shoes. Better yet–offer to whisk their items away for them so they can enjoy your new house!
Are you wondering if your new house will be comfortable for your whole guest list? If you’re hosting an intimate party with a small group of friends, ensure that you have enough seats for everyone to sit comfortably. If you are hosting larger groups, open the doors and entertain in multiple living spaces indoors and outside.
The best way to use an open concept space, whether it be an indoor or outdoor living space, is to section off an area of the room for different activities. Gather seating in pairs or multiples, leave standing room for guests to network, and use tabletops for dining.
Everyday Living: Making the Most of Your Living Space
Working From Home
In this new era of widespread work-from-home culture, home life and work life are now interwoven with each other. Your home office may sit right next to your child’s bedroom. Or, for many, your desk may also serve as the dining room table.
The need for flexible space for professionals and students at home has created a new twist on the traditional floorplan, with built-in study space in common areas and private nooks with just enough space for a desk.
How to Stay Productive at Home
We don’t blame you for wanting to stay wrapped in your cozy bed all day! However, at some point, you’ve got to start your workday. Studies have shown that productivity increases 13% for those who work from home, though it takes some getting used to.
If you’re struggling to stay focused, try practicing these encouraging tips.
- Replace your commute with a new routine. In the morning, take 20 minutes to read a book while you enjoy your coffee, then take 20 minutes at the end of the workday to take the dog for a walk. It creates a pleasant start and end to your day.
- Designate a workspace. It may be the kitchen table, or it may be a lap desk in your favorite armchair. No matter where it is, commit to creating a living space designated for work only.
- Create a cozy environment. While there’s little you can do to customize a cubicle, you can personalize your home. Fill your office with cheerful personal memories, light a candle that reminds you of your grandmother’s cookies, and listen to your favorite artist’s new album.
Creating Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is difficult enough when you have to commute to an office, but when your office is also your home, it can be even harder. Practice these three tips to master the balance between work and home when you work from home.
- Schedule breaks. If you struggle to feel a work-life balance, you may need to take more breaks. Commit to working uninterrupted for a certain amount of time, then take a short break to walk outside or make a snack before you tackle the rest of your to-do list.
- Set boundaries. When you work from home, it’s easy to pick up your laptop and do extra work when the kids go to bed or answer the phone while making breakfast. A healthy work-life balance means setting boundaries around when you will be available for work tasks and sticking to those times for your mental health.
- Get out of the house regularly. It’s healthy to leave the house! Schedule a daily coffee run or an afternoon run to the gym, or plan to meet a friend for lunch one day per week.
FAQs About Buying a New Construction home
The easiest way to make a new house feel more personal is to fill the living space with personal mementos, photographs of family and friends, and items that speak to your personality. For example, if you love to travel, a framed postcard from each city you’ve visited would make a beautiful gallery wall that grows with every new vacation.
Choosing the right location for your new home depends on many lifestyle factors, including commute time, cost of living, school ratings, safety, neighborhood amenities, and many more. It’s essential to prioritize the things you want from your community, whether convenience, local attractions, or a quiet neighborhood free from noise pollution.
To be a good host in your new house, consider your guests as if they’re the only person in your home. As a host, your goal is to make every guest feel welcome and special. Do your guests know each other? Make sure you introduce everyone and give them something to talk about! If you plan to serve food, do your guests have dietary restrictions or allergies? If they are staying for an overnight trip, do you have toiletries readily available for them to use? Little touches that make your house a home for your guest create a comfortable environment they’ll never want to leave!
The age-old dilemma–how to achieve a healthy work-life balance. You can balance work and home life by designating a work-only living space, setting boundaries by declaring specific office hours (and sticking to them!), and planning regular activities outside of the house.
Make a House a Home with Brock Built
Are you ready to make a house a home? Don’t waste another second! Personalize your home with Brock Built Homes.
We believe that finishing touches truly make a house a home. We offer personalized details from the flooring to the lighting and everything in between. We carefully select convenient locations in the heart of the best neighborhoods, with community amenities that allow you to stay close to home.