Turning a House into a Home

June 16, 2020

Cosy Home Photo | Monica Beatrice Welburn The Elgin Avenue

Ever since Oli and I moved into our first flat together, I’ve been focused on turning ‘a house into a home’. 

Or rather – at the time! – our flat-above-a-shop into a home ????

Now that we’ve been in our ‘new’ flat for a little over two years I’ve come to appreciate that feeling of being ‘home’ more than ever. Especially given recent events. 

Lighting a Candle at Home

Home represents security, comfort and calm – a sanctuary where you can cosy up and just ‘be’.

Of course our homes have come to encompass a LOT more of late too: Be it a home office or a new co-habiting space . . . we’re all navigating the new reality of being home for a large portion of our time.

Knowing how important turning a house into a home is, Furniture Village recently conducted a survey of 2,000 homeowners in the UK, to determine what truly makes a ‘home’ feel as such.

The findings are so interesting! I found myself nodding along to so many of the nuances.

Blush Pink Sofa in Home Office | The Elgin Avenue Blog

Here’s what the survey revealed:

The top 20 things that make a house into a home:

  1. Sleeping in your own bed
  2. Family photos
  3. A place on the sofa
  4. Memories made in the home
  5. A fridge full of food
  6. A bookshelf filled with your books
  7. The smell of freshly cooked food
  8. Freshly washed bedsheets
  9. The location of the house
  10. Natural light
  11. Plants
  12. A dining table
  13. Your kids in the house (or in my case, Oli ❤️)
  14. Fresh towels
  15. Flowers in vases (Y E S!)
  16. Candles
  17. A fireplace
  18. Having the bed made
  19. A large TV
  20. Blankets and throws (double Y E S!)

Do you recognise any of the findings in your own feelings? I’d love to know!

Below I’m adding my two cents to the conversation, and sharing 3 of the things which make my house into a home for me:

Turning a House into a Home:

3 Things Which Make a Difference to Me

Spring Flower Arrangement in Blue Vase

  1. A good foundation – aka wall colours!

    Blush Pink Sofa in Home Office | The Elgin Avenue Blog

    When Oli and I lived in our old flat we were renting, and so we didn’t have a say on the wall colours.

    As such we lived with an avocado-coloured living room for a full four years, and though it wasn’t terrible, it wasn’t to our taste.
    When we moved into our current home the first thing we did was re-decorate.

    It was a DREAM to choose wall colours to reflect the feeling we wanted to have at home.

    In order to create the harmonious flow we were hoping for, we went with complimentary shades of grey and blue throughout the flat.

    Getting the foundation of our home decor right meant that the next decisions — furniture, artwork, decorative objects etc — were much easier to make.

  2. Choosing the right ‘big-ticket’ furniture pieces.

    Blush Pink Sofa in Home Office | The Elgin Avenue Blog

    In your home there will naturally be a handful of ‘big-ticket’ furniture pieces which make up the largest investments for your home.

    By this I’m talking about your sofa, your bed and your dining table, and/or whatever else constitutes a ‘large’ item in your home. If you work from home — as so many people now are — this may also include your office desk and chair.

    Work From Home Stationery Essentials | The Elgin Avenue Blog

    These ‘big-ticket’ pieces will form the backbone of your rooms, and so it’s important to give them consideration.

    Furniture Village has a couple of super helpful buying guides which you can use to help you to make decisions on your bed and sofa specifically. I really encourage you to check them out if this is something you’re looking into, since they pose questions I wouldn’t have even thought to have asked myself! I’ve popped them below for your reference:

    Bed Buying Guide

    Sofa Buying Guide

    For Oli and I, our sofas, dining table and bed are the linchpins for the main rooms in our home. My blush pink sofa bed for instance is one of my favourite pieces in our home.

    You can read all about my home office makeover here, but in short I really wanted to create a room which felt inspiring, calm and welcoming. I spend most of my day in my home office and so I spent a lot of time dreaming up how I wanted it to look and function.

    On that note, my home office doubles up as our guest room so the choice of sofa was even more important! It had to look good day-to-day and be comfortable for guests. I’m pleased to report that it does both perfectly!

    You can peruse Furniture Village’s current selection of sofa beds here. The sofa bed in my office is no longer available. However, if you’re looking for a similar 2 seater sofa in pink, the Bond Street collection looks gorgeous.

    Layered Cushions on Blush Pink Sofa | The Elgin Avenue Blog

  3. Trinkets and vintage pieces.

    Painted White Brick Fireplace | The Elgin Avenue Blog Home

    For me, one of the biggest factors in turning a house into a home, is incorporating unique items which are precious to you.

    In our flat for instance we have a handful of items which are hand-me-downs from grandparents, and I love that the items which once made up their homes are now woven into ours.

    Oli and I also love to shop for vintage and second-hand pieces when we can. Given that we live in a Georgian-era property we’ve found this to work well with the decor of our flat.

    Georgian Home Tour With Bar Area | The Elgin Avenue Blog
    As for trinkets . . . well . . . ! We have a lot! Whenever I travel I’m on the lookout for small items I can bring back and weave into our home.

    The tapestry of them prompts memories and it creates a collection which I know is totally unique to us.

    Highlights include two ceramic bowls (one of which you can see above) Oli and I picked up in Menorca in the days after our wedding, and a pretty textured vase I bought while in Austin a few years ago.

All of the above elements help to turn a house into a home for me, and I’d love to know of how you do the same!

Do you have things which truly signify that your home is just that — your home?

Things which I’d like to add more of into our flat include framed artwork (we have a pile of prints ready to go!) and more family pictures.

If you’re thinking of updating your home (it’s one of my most-played thought tracks right now, ha!) I’ve rounded up a small edit of Furniture Village pieces which I personally love, to act as a springboard for your next home improvements: 

My Furniture Village Edit

Bohemian Luxe Furniture Village Edit | The Elgin Avenue Blog

Clockwise from top left

New England Nantucket Fabric Armchair in ‘Venetian Honeycreeper Wo’ – this. chair. Is it possible to fall in love with furniture? If so, I’m head over heels.

Riviera Extending Dining Table – there is pretty much nothing I like more than having friends and family over for a big sharing-plates-of-everything meal. This table is so beautiful, and looks like it could host the raucous family get-togethers we have a handful of times a year. The extending feature is so helpful too since you can adjust it depending on your needs. The matching Riviera Dining Chairs are gorgeous too.

Pearl Cove Fabric Corner Sofa in ‘Lottie Rose’ – this is the same fabric as my office sofa bed. I LOVE this colour, and am a huge fan of a corner sofa.

The Derwent Collection Cavendish Fabric Snuggler Armchair in ‘Sky Mink’ – such an elegant armchair! Imagine curling up in this . . . heaven!

East Street 2 Drawer Desk  this beautiful walnut wood veneer desk has a vintage look which makes it a timeless piece. The dark wood is rich and elegant, and would work brilliantly as a home office desk when you need it, and as a console table if/when you wanted to swap its position out.

Hadley Ottoman Bed Frame in ‘Oatmeal’ – this bed is a great option if you’re looking for something neutral. Added bonus: Built-in storage! This would be so handy if you’re short on space. It would be perfect for a guest bedroom too, and it’s great value.

Serena Bedframe in ‘Upholstered and Weathered Finish’ – this bedframe reminds me of Menorca’s sun-bleached Mediterranean aesthetic. Sleeping here would feel like you’re on holiday every evening, right?!

Destiny Rug in ‘Ash’ – a well-chosen rug is an instant way to add cosiness into your home. I’m always on the lookout for neutral rugs with a subtle pattern or texture. This ‘Destiny’ style is neutral, with a pretty antique-looking motif. This would be ideal in a living room or bedroom.


One of my favourite things about visiting peoples’ homes (and perusing them non-stop online! Hiiii home tours!) is getting to see the unique tapestry of objects, furniture and decor which make up each person’s space. 

All of the little nuances are so distinct to a home’s inhabitants.

I’ve never been more appreciative for that feeling of ‘home’ than right now. I hope that if you – like me – have been giving a lot of thought to your home, that today’s post has resonated with you. 

On that note, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

What turns a house into a home for you? Are there any elements you’d add to the list? 

Love, Monica x

 ~ Thank you to Furniture Village for partnering on this post.  ~

Photography by Charlotte Bryer-Ash. Bar the last pic, which was taken by yours truly.

Turn a House into a Home

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