How to make our house a home?

How to make our house cosy and homelike? It has a high vaulted ceiling with spiderwebs up there impssbilbe to clean (any ideas welcome). It's Antique White all over with timber floors. White leather lounge. Beige cushions and drapes. It doesn't feel cosy. It's narrow with a staircase on one side so it feels a bit like a corridor, open plan to dining area. We have the TV under the stairs. We have pictures , a massive brown toned painting and a clock etc but it just is all cold and not a friendly welcoming place. Thinking of doing a feature wall of the low wall with the main window (bec don't want to do the vaulted walls - need scaffolding!) something to warm it up. Maybe red? or brown? DH doens't like red, he likes green, but green is a cold colour and I hate green.

Maybe wallpaper? A florence broadhurst style.

The lounges are like ice cubes... white and cold and very square! How to 'warm' them up!

I spent $80 on Guardsmen leather cleaner and it didn't work to clean our lounge. You know what works a treat - Aldi brand baby wipes!! I guess its' all skin.
Maybe some throw rugs on the lounge. They serve 2 purposes, they look warm and inviting and also help protect the lounge surface.
How long have you been there?
Do you have photos of yourselves and family around?
nick-nacks from travels or childhood?
Do you have kids? I find mine make my house look lived-in :rolleyes:
When you think of "home" what do you picture in your mind?
Moutard, you will hate my reply :D

Rent out the house you are in and buy yourself a smaller cottage like place (or even unit/apartment if don't need a yard) - this will cure "cosiness" any day!

Leave or sell the flash furniture, get some second hand sofas from Vinnies or Salvo's - much more homely than a ice cube lounge - and you don't have to worry about keeping it too clean - just replace when required. :)

It's funny - we never use our lounge either - it's just sort of "there for show".

The Y-man
Antique white is a soft and warm white.

Instead install lighting that illuminates away from the ceiling (and hides the cobwebs).

Both wall and pendant lighting can create a whole different atmosphere if done correctly.

Add the right floor rugs (big soft fluffy ones), some thow rugs on the sofa like joanmc suggested, and hang warm coloured wall hangings/pictures on the walls, and it should look much more cosy.
large light fittings in natural timber colours like cane or wicker, hanging down from the vault. go the contrast - avoid painted, stay the course with timber colour.

eliminate all plastic from the room - even put the telly in a cabinet.

a very large (like 2.5-3m) shade palm etc in the sunniest corner as a focal point will bring some enclosure and height and earth into the room.

all timber products should be the same shade.

a tall lamp next to the telly - something imposing and highly ornate.

the room needs to be broken into zones not with furniture impeding movement, but with light fittings, plants, artwork etc.

minimalism works only in small tatami style rooms - it doesn't suit australian architecture.
Throw rugs.
Perhaps a new coat of paint? Stick with warm earthy colours.

I think everything I just suggested has alreeady been suggested by everyone else. :)
Lots of cushions on the couch and some warm looking throw rugs - mink works a treat! i personally dont like most browns.. but it is a popular colour and should work well with cream. A floor rug will help the it feel warm too. Use floor lamps to offer a soft lighting - like the light an open fireplace gives.

A feature wall can help, but it is hard to tell without seeing a pic of the rooom...
Throw rugs.
Perhaps a new coat of paint? Stick with warm earthy colours.

I think everything I just suggested has alreeady been suggested by everyone else. :)

and i agree , also add , pictures of the kids, the rugs will stop the eckoing, this helped us,
a but of mess wont hurt also ;)
Use floor lamps to offer a soft lighting - like the light an open fireplace gives.

This would be my first choice. We rarely turn on overhead lights. I find the light from most light fittings depressing and we use table and standard lamps every night as general lighting in our house, with task lighting when needed.

Pools of light or spots of light do more for the ambience of a room than anything else in my opinion.

Of course, that doesn't help you in the daytime, so a photo would be really helpful :).
I can loan you a toddler if you like?

I'll even toss in a crate of toys and a packet of textas to really add that lived-in feel to your white couches :D (white couches just scream "no kids").

Or you could just get some nice rugs, cushions, and knicknacks (photos, ornaments, magazines, books). Does your house look like it is from a designer magazine with no personal items anywhere?
coulda woulda shoulda - my Monday morning blues

Hi guys,
You guys are great. In fact, we have a toddler and a baby so the white leather rapidly turning beige anyways. we had throws but they slide off and crumple underneath so it seemed even more messy. I just want to sit on the sofa, not sort out a big tangled velvety throw first!

Ah, the real reason is .... I HATE OUR HOUSE. I think that no matter what I do to it, I'll hate it.

We settled on Friday the 13th 2007 (should have known) and already I had BIG misgivings but I brushed them off, because in the same month I got married and moved interstate for a new job (NOT RECOMMENDED). SO it's true: buy in haste, repent at leisure. I HATE it here, am SO unhappy. Think WHY WHY WHY didn't I WAIT till I'd moved here, rented a while, settled in, then look around at our leisure? Why, because I'd rented for so many years and just wanted a 'home' when we got married.

Worse, we're getting nowhere with mortgage. We had $35k saved when we bought, have spent $20k p/a on interest only loan. 3 years, that's 60k. SoThat's total so far of 95k down the drain on this stupid place. Plus about 15k on: new floor, painted it all, some minor repairs, garden.

Plus, it's gone down or remained static in value.

So....if we'd stayed where my fiance was living before we married/bought this place ($90 pw per room and we had a good friend in the other room, therefore $45 each for us), then we'd have a 100k deposit.

And yes, we would have been disciplined. Bec I used to save 70% of my income when saving for the deposit.

OH WEEELLLL! Thanks for listenign!!
Perhaps you need to add some darker feature walls behind the couch and as everyone said,some rugs to warm the place up.

On reading your post more carefully,perhaps you are really missing your good friend? :rolleyes:

Maybe you need to rent a room out to someone for company ;)
You have admitted you dont like the place, so what are your options now??

Short term, ad some colour, photos etc, as mentioned above.

But maybe now is a good time to look at your options in the bigger picture....
Sell and repurchase? Rent out and rent/purchase elsewhere? Rent out a room?

Homeliness comes from the clutter the room accumulates, those little knick nacks and family momentos are what makes it more a home.
To make it "homely":

(in order of priority)

1. Soft paint - often creams and light greens make it. Dark feature walls give warms.
2. Storage Furniture - The "homely" look can only be achieved with one material: timber
3. Rug
4. Wall items - i.e. paintings, features
5. Curtains - this usually makes or breaks most rooms.
6. Knick Knacks - Small items put up around rooms on shelving and storage ads that "homely" touch.

My 2 cents:D