How to Make Your New House Feel Like Home

Welcome to NOVA! Maybe you moved from far away or just crossed the river, either way this is your new home and you are trying to settle in. Whether it is a brand-new construction or new-to-you, you want to feel at home in your new dwelling. One in four homeowners said they regretted purchasing their current home, according to a Harris Poll for Redfin. But amongst the wineries and the monuments in Northern Virginia, you can create a space that is familiar, comfy and fits your lifestyle. Here are a few easy projects to make you feel right at home.


Chances are the previous home owners left their mark with some crazy colors that do not fit your style. Or, the place was painted “realtor white,” the basic beige. Paint is an easy way to revamp a space, and make it your own.

If you have a color scheme that worked in your old space, consider repeating them. Familiar elements may help reduce anxiety and help you feel more at home.

But new colors are also a “fresh start.” Bright colors work well in the kitchen, recalling fresh produce and stimulating the appetite.  

Get Organized

Now is the perfect time to get a handle on your kitchen storage. Hopefully you decluttered before packing, but if not, this is the perfect time. Walk through your new kitchen and set “working stations” that fit your lifestyle, for example a main cooking area, coffee station, kids snack station or even a cocktail station. Now you can unpack according to those stations. Organize items in clear boxes so you can see clearly what’s in them and ease access.

Plants and Flowers

It is well known that the green colors are good for relaxation. An easy way to bring a pop of green into your home are with plants and flowers. They bring bright color for just a few dollars. Plants are also known to help clean the air, and the smell of fresh flowers will cheer you up! How about the front yard? If you have room for some personal touch; spruce it up. And don’t forget an herb garden for the kitchen. There is nothing like fresh herbs to flavor your culinary creations in your new kitchen.    

Get Personal

A chalkboard can add a great personal element. Just a small investment and an easy afternoon DIY and you can convert a boring wall in the kitchen to the family communication command center. You can leave fun notes, write to-do lists, plan weekly menus, and keep track of other reminders.

And if all else fails, bake some cookies! There is nothing that says home like the scent of fresh baked cookies! Invite the neighbors, they will be happy to know there is a new baker in town.

Anna Gibson is the owner and chief designer of AKG Design Studio, an award-winning, certified kitchen and bathroom designer. AKG Design Studio is a boutique design firm specializing in kitchen, bathroom designs and cabinetry sales. Contact her at 571-989-2541 or [email protected], and view her work at


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