3 Tips for Creating a Space You Love (Our First Home)

I’m so excited to give you guys a sneak peak at our first home (my boyfriend and I). This place is so special to us. Welcome in!

Front entry way in our home. Creating a space with blues and neutrals.
The front entryway into our three story townhouse.
Small entryway design.
Our entry is small with no closet, and we’re still working on it. I love the process of making our home work for us.
Small office space with wooden bookshelves and desk. Home design with what you have.
This office has already been changed pretty dramatically, but here’s what it looked like when we first moved in.

Instead of just sharing pictures of our home, I thought I would share a few tips too! We considered three things when designing our spaces: hospitality, hygge, and heart (see what I did there?!).

Hospitality at Home

Hospitality was ingrained in to both of our upbringings. From the very beginning of house-shopping, we wanted the space to accommodate many gatherings. We’ve done just that on a few occasions already! The open-concept kitchen/living/dining space allowed us to host thanksgiving dinner, with 25 family members.

Rustic dining room with wooden table and leather chairs, complete with a dark buffet table and industrial lighting.
Our dining room flows perfectly between the kitchen and living area on the second floor. So glad we got to pick out this beautiful light fixture!
Highland Cow perched upon a navy buffet table in a rustic dining room.
We’re still looking for art to hang above the buffet table, but our Highland Coo seems quite at home.

Sometimes you have to get creative to make things work for entertaining, and that’s okay. Instead of opting for a giant sectional (I find most people won’t squish over anyways – especially here in America where everyone has a space bubble), I chose to find less obvious seating solutions.

Cozy living room decorated with neutral colours and navy blue.
Our cozy living room.

Our chair is oversized and perfect for the snuggly couple. The bench by the window? Great for two more when the couch is full; it can be moved around the room depending where we need the seats. Footstools are a great option for extra seating when tight on space. I picked up a thin reclaimed wood bench right before Thanksgiving that tucks nicely behind the couch when not in use. Otherwise, it works perfectly for the table when extended to its full size.

Oversized leather armchair from Pottery Barn.
The best investment chair.
Nordic living area with a neutral and blue colour palette.
Our living room.
Large metal cow skull hung above TV wall-mounted in a rustic living room.
It’s the little things that show our true personalities throughout our home.

People always make do, whether they find seats in the staircase or stand around the kitchen. It’s not about the size of your home, but the company you share it with.

White cabinet kitchen with black counter tops and subway tile backsplash.
Traditional white cabinets and subway tiles make our home feel timeless.
Traditional kitchen mixed with modern elements. Black and white kitchen design.
Our kitchen.
A black and white classic kitchen design.
The kitchen is my favourite room in the house.

Even though we’re still working on our guest room/home office, we’ve had plenty of people stay the night. A blow-up mattress or cot do just fine to accommodate friends and family after a fun night in. This is just another reminder that you don’t need to be fancy to be a good host.

Guest bathroom design.
Our guest bathroom and bedroom on the third floor. This area needs a bit more love.

Hygge at Home

Hygge is something us Canadians really haven’t picked up on. If you’ve ever been to Europe, especially in the cooler months, you’ll notice this feeling of coziness that you can’t quite put your finger on. A lot of countries have different names for it, but my favorite is the Danish word “hygge” (pronounced hyoogah). There’s a lot to the concept, and if you’d like to read more on the subject, my favorite books are “How to Hygge,” “The Little Book of Hygge,” and “Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness“.

Hygge at home with plants and candles
Adding dashes of hygge with candles and greenery.
Cozy blankets and succulents in  neutral nordic home.
Cozy blankets make our home a little more warm and inviting.

The easiest ways that I like to add hygge into my home are with candles, blankets, plants, and natural fabrics or design elements, like wood and fur. I  gravitate towards pieces made of real stuff. That’s why I shop for homemade things or antiques instead of new plastic furniture.

Snowshoes hung on the walls for decor and a tartan rug in this nordic home design.
I hope to make our room even cozier with a big linen duvet and maybe another fur throw. I love the wood element with the snowshoes!

When building our home, my boyfriend and I were insistent upon good lighting, as this is essential to good hygge. Our living and dining rooms both have dimmer switches on the lights, allowing us to get that cozy feeling in the evening without a lamp in every corner or burning through hundreds of candles every year. We also opted for warm-coloured lightbulbs.

Cozy bedroom dressing table with fur stool and dried flowers.
Antique wood furniture adds coziness to this space.

The one thing that we are really missing is a fireplace – maybe in our next home!

Heart at Home

The final thing we considered while creating our home is heart. And by heart I mean things we love to do and things that make us into the people we are.

Wooden rustic book shelf.
Our random book shelf – I’ve since made better use of this but I love it just the same.

I’ve added whales throughout because my boyfriend used to want to be a marine biologist when he was young (he loved whales especially). We brought the wooden Highland Cow all the way from Scotland because I fell in love with the creatures on our first trip. The Lumineers poster framed in our room reminds me of when my boyfriend surprised me and took me to their concert. Much of the artwork was collected on past travels. So many pieces are antique heirlooms.

Lumineers poster framed above a black dresser.
Our Lumineers tour poster and a fur rug from Texel, Netherlands.
Whale picture in the bathroom above a floating shelf.
Floating wood shelf in the second floor powder room, complete with whale art
Tiny bathroom design
Even our tiny powder room can be made to feel more welcoming.

There’s not much in our house that isn’t special to us. I never went out and bought a bunch of decorations to fill an area perfectly. The little quirks are what make your home you. 

Creating a Home you Love

Creating your home is a process that’s meant to take time. I’ve been collecting home things for years, like I mentioned in this post. I think the best way to make a house a place that you love is to create memories and decorate along the way.

Scotland map with metal key holder.
Our map of Scotland by our drop zone.

If you’d like to read more posts about creating a home you love, leave a comment below!

Thanks for stopping by,

Cate.

2 Comments

  1. December 15, 2018 / 12:49 am

    I literally love your house. I wanna come visit in the summer!!

    • catekittlitz
      Author
      December 19, 2018 / 6:28 am

      Thank you so much!! I would love a visit from you…hopefully I’ll have my guest room in order before then 🙂

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