Get nesting: how to make your house feel like a home in an instant

Do you feel like you’re at home? From personal touches to decorative finishes, these products will no doubt make your place feel more comfortable

Woman drinking coffee in her kitchen at home

by Emily Farquhar |
Updated on

Now that more of us are working from home, it's more important than ever that we can finish a long day of work and feel we can unwind and relax in our houses.

Especially now with all the uncertainty in the world, we need to feel we are living in a place of love, comfort, and security. A home is called a home for a reason. They're not only extensions of who we are as individuals, but they shape our mood, impact our productivity and influence how we perceive the world around us.

All they need is a little bit of love - personal touches and decorative finishes - and you’d be surprised just how much they give back in return. Simple yet sentimental, this is your need-to-know guide to creating your own safe haven - without the heavy price tag.

A couple of questions before we begin: what's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of home? Do you think of nature and the outdoors? Or, are you more the cosy indoors fireplace type? Are there particular scents you love? Once you know what you want, the senses that matter and what brings you the most happiness, you'll be able to build a home with calming products that you’re proud of. Let the nesting begin.

Top home decoration tips:

Clean and de-clutter

Create your own colour palette

Display sentimental items such as photographs in your home

Bring nature and a sense of life indoors

Create ambience through light

Put the homely smells into action

Allow music to bring peace into your home

Add pillows, throws, and lots of layers into the mix

Splurge on experience-focused home accessories

Step number one – clean and de-clutter

Do this, and I assure you a weight will be lifted off your shoulders. You'll feel less stressed and ready to progress. All you need to do is invest in some extra storage, be it small storage baskets or kitchen organisers, and you’ll be living with a free mind in zero mess.

Read next: The best eco-friendly cleaning products

Step number two – create your own colour palette

Out of all the five senses, sight becomes one of the most important elements as soon you walk through your door. This may be your painted walls, your doors, or your furniture that grabs your eye. Therefore, it is important you choose a consistent colour palette for your home. Think calming yet inviting, even if this may not be your favourite hue.

And, to make it your safe zone, you should really be focusing on shades that are light, stress-free and put you at ease such as neutrals, greens, blues and pinks. It's then accessories and personal possessions that give the space some personality. Read this article to find out the most popular paint colours in 2020.


Products to Transform Your Walls

TJLMCORP Matte White Grain Wood Textured Wallpaper1 of 2

TJLMCORP Matte White Grain Wood Textured Wallpaper

If you're after a matte white wood grain-textured wallpaper to use as a feature on a couple of walls or on your bedside table to add that little bit of texture to an area, then I would highly recommend this product by TJLMCORP. With more than 1,700 ratings and raving reviews, this vinyl film self-adhesive wallpaper uses a peel-stick mechanism and works a treat. Great as a drawer liner or for a countertop, the price points are based on the variety of sizes (40cm x 300cm, 60cm x 300cm, 40cm x 1000cm). The grid lines on the backing paper makes it super easy to cut, measure and install. All you need to do is peel and paste, as all measurements are included on the back. It's also a great DIY lockdown home decoration activity and one that will make all the difference in creating that natural home style. Although it can be applied to wall, glass, vinyl, lacquer, natural stone, countertops, furniture, dining tables, kitchen closets, dressing table drawers, crafts and so on, make sure you have wiped the chosen object with either a rag or sandpaper before use to ensure there it is not rough or dusty. Any stains (which are prone to happen) can be removed with a damp cloth.

B&Q D-C-Fix Concrete Self-adhesive film2 of 2

B&Q D-C-Fix Concrete Self-adhesive film

For a stylish concrete look, this D-C-Fix Concrete Self-adhesive film is another home decoration favourite. For just £10, you can get a 2.1m (L) by 900mm (W) roll, perfect for feature walls, tabletops, internal doors, cupboards, drawer fronts, shelves, headboards, bath panels, vanity units and wardrobe doors. It is also suitable for bath panels, cupboards, doors, drawer fronts, feature walls and vanity units. It's super easy to apply through its peel and stick application. The simple design of the grey concrete effect is extremely versatile for products around the house and can really brighten up old and worn surfaces. It's heat resistant to 75 degrees Celsius and durable. One customer mentioned, "the process was much easier than wallpaper as this is essentially a huge sticker. I've had it up for six months now and it's surged through heat and cold. No peeling has taken place and I was able to put this up alone. I would recommend two people doing this and make sure you check sizing as sheets are about eight to 10 foot long."

Step number three – display sentimental items such as photographs in your home

We all know that experiences with our loved ones are what we cherish the most. We also know that being reminded of those experiences brings back all those desirable feelings and makes us happy. This is referred to as the cycle of enjoyment – where we can plan, get excited, enjoy, and then remember the experience.

Why not bring this sense of joy into your home through showcasing some of these positive memorable experiences as a pick-me-up on days where you might be feeling down and especially now during lockdown?

Once you've chosen your photographs and artwork, make sure they are properly sized with the correct scale. A little too high or a little too low would drive everyone crazy. You can also get creative with this process and mix a combination of sizes together (different sized frames) to change the style of the space. Is it childhood photos that bring you the most joy? Maybe even a recent trip with friends? Choose what resonates with you the most.


Essential Frames:

Oxford Photo Frame - Perspex Window1 of 3

Oxford Photo Frame - Perspex Window

One way to add that sentimental value (and meanwhile create a feature wall) is to create a minimalistic photo collage. I chose this Oxford photo frame by Photoframesandart as it's not only a number one bestseller on Amazon but also comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Either buying them individually or in a set of four to six, you could use all your memories with friends and family to really create something special. Also available in black, grey and oak effect, this is a stylish, thin photo frame with a delicate grain texture. It's been fitted with a high-quality Perspex window and fittings are attached to allow for wall hanging (and doesn't have a stand).

John Lewis & Partners Easel Photo Frame Matte Black2 of 3

John Lewis & Partners Easel Photo Frame Matte Black

If you want a simple and contemporary matt black, metal photo frame with a stand, then this John Lewis & Partners one would be a good option. It represents an artist's easel with the photo or image floating in the frame between two panes of glass. Holding a single image sized 10cm x 15cm with a floating mount or a 15cm x 20cm full-size without the mount, this freestanding frame is currently £16 (with a 20% discount applied). With very easy-care instructions (clean with a soft, dry cloth), this portrait frame is a great aesthetic and is super versatile.

Milo Decorative Frame Black3 of 3

Milo Decorative Frame Black

For something a little bit different, why not check out this Milo black metal decorative frame by For the price of £29, this 40cm x 50cm frame is a piece of art before you even put your print in! Perfect for any backdrop and especially on those light calming colours, this 3D frame could really spice things up. So modern, so unique – it's something special to showcase some of your fondest memories in. The wall fitting however is not included, so you will need to purchase the appropriate fittings dependent on the wall type.

Step number four – Bring nature and a sense of life indoors

Who doesn’t like plants? They don’t just look great, but they make you FEEL great. Whether it’s a living plant, some fresh flowers or maybe even some stylish dried blooms – they all can play a part in purifying the air and bringing some life into your home.

Depending on the size of your room or space, you have multiple types of plants to choose from, such as potted plants, succulents and flower arrangements. Pick and choose the ones you want, and don’t be afraid to move them around a bit.

If you lack time and don’t want to have a lot of responsibility, then perhaps consider these easy to care houseplants and self-watering plant pots. You can always opt for a plant subscription box. No matter what you choose, any indoor plant whether placed on a windowsill or on a cute corner table, will turn your home into a place of love, care and worthy of celebration.


Essential House Plants

THE PETAL PATISSERIE The Vanilla Pod Panna Cotta Letterbox Dried Flowers1 of 2

THE PETAL PATISSERIE The Vanilla Pod Panna Cotta Letterbox Dried Flowers

Dried blooms, especially ones that capture your essence of home which could be eucalyptus, hydrangea and lavender plants, are exactly what is needed to bring life to an area and make it yours. This Vanilla Pod Panna Cotta Letterbox Dried Flowers by The Petal Patisserie could be exactly what you're after. For £32, this striking black and neutral dried flower bouquet is a classic and stylish design suitable for most homes. Speckled with black accents like tiny vanilla pod seeds, the collection contains preserved Eucalyptus Populus, feathery black Stipa Grass, a white and cream dried Palm Spear, fluffy white bunny tails and more. Not only will this be a very low maintenance option (with no water required) but being dried and preserved, these stems are long-lasting for all occasions (up to one year). Simply snip and style and accompany it with a vase or jar of your choice. The stems are also carefully packed into a handy box which fits through most letterboxes, wrapped in recycled paper and with a care guide included.

IKEA Fejka Artificial Potted Plant2 of 2

IKEA Fejka Artificial Potted Plant

For absolutely zero maintenance, this IKEA Fejka artificial potted plant is great for both indoors and outdoors. The hanging product is rated as Amazon's number one bestseller with over 2040 ratings and great reviews. It is 9cm x 9cm x 70cm and could just add that sneaky splash of green to your base home setup. Whether you perch it on a windowsill or on top of a cabinet, no one will ever know it's fake unless you tell them.

Step number five – create ambience through light

Lighting is another hot topic when it comes to home décor. It’s one that will take a bit of trial and error, but worthwhile when you get it right. In spring and summer, open up all your curtains and allow all that beautiful natural light to shine in. This will also bring the nature elements like the fresh scents and the animal sounds indoors.

Similarly, in autumn and winter, find some big draped blinds to create a cosy and comfortable ambience. This is then when you can introduce a combination of light options into your home. Whether this be a floor light or a hanging globe in the corner, or maybe even a desk lamp or some LED lights, there are always ways you can add a warm atmospheric glow.

Candles will also do the trick. Just ensure you have a nice balance between scented and unscented candles, so the smell isn’t too overpowering. I love to grab all my empty wine and gin bottles (which come in all shapes and sizes - especially during lockdown) and use them as some funky stands for my candles. You’d be amazed with just how much you can do with them.

Combining all these lighting tips and being able to control it will completely transform your space.


Essential Candles & Lights

LA BELLEFu00c9E Succulent Cactus Tealight Candle1 of 3

LA BELLEFÉE Succulent Cactus Tealight Candle

For years I have admired these green cactus succulent tealight candles as a cute little home décor and added home detail. With over 970 ratings, this LA BELLEFEE delicately handmade gift set is smokeless and comes in a set six. Great for the spa, perhaps on top of the bathroom windowsill, on a side table or on a corner bench, these unique home candles are housed in metal holders. Made of quality paraffin wax candle material, the candles don't spill easily and burn for an extended amount of time (two to three hours). Being 152g in weight, 4cm in diameter and 4cm in height, the candles look divine individually or separated depending on your look.

Roll over image to zoom in    Bolsius Tapered Dinner Candles2 of 3

Roll over image to zoom in Bolsius Tapered Dinner Candles

These white Bolsius Tapered Dinner Candles are exactly what can be used in those leftover wine and spirit bottles if you want a fun lockdown activity or to create something new. With more than 1,200 ratings, this pack of 10 is unscented and made of paraffin wax. They have a burn time of 7.5 hours and are suitable for all home setups whether you're after the modern, natural or classic home style. You can also make a statement piece out of them by grouping different bottles together and waiting for the wax to melt around the edges of the bottles. Just be careful with the melted wax that it doesn't burn or ruin the surface of anything. To ensure you are burning them safely, simply put a small saucepan or tray underneath each tray and make sure the candle is firmly secured in the bottle. It also will take some trial and error in matching the dimensions of the candle (4.4cm x 10.3cm x 25.7cm) to the dimensions of the bottle.

Festive Lights Sea Shell Fairy Lights3 of 3

Festive Lights Sea Shell Fairy Lights

Since I grew up by the beach, I couldn't resist including these festive sea-shell fairy lights into my recommendations. Being battery operated, the full string of lights contains 10 warm white LEDs, and did I mention, the shells are real! With more than 1,140 ratings, these lights create a delicate glow, perfect for filling a table of candles or draping over an object, a selection of books or a mirror. Having a 1.5m lit length with a 35cm clear lead cable, these lights also have a convenient six-hour timer function – six hours on and 18 hours off. All they require are three AA batteries (which are not included) and you're good to go.

Step number six – Put the homely smells in action

Whenever anyone asks me what I miss most about my childhood home, (apart from missing the family of course) it’s having a full fridge and the smells of mum’s slow cooks and chicken roasts in the oven. I would also argue that her banana bread is up there in scents. Regardless of the smell, it’s these memories that give you warm feelings - ones that outweigh the negatives you may experience during the day.

Winter Woods Cinnamon Scented Pinecones
Price: $13.95

One other cool scented item apart from essential oils and home diffusers, is this Winter Woods cinnamon scented pinecone. Being 12pkg to 14pkg (L), the size of these brown pinecones average between four-inches to six-inches in height. However, the full dimensions are 33.3cm x 19.8cm x 7.4cm. They not only create a stunning nature-inspired home du00e9cor, potpourri and more but are a unique home accessory to put on display. You can either put a bunch of these in a funky bowl or individually place them on a countertop depending on the style you're going for.

Find out more about the best aromatherapy candles and the best reed diffusers here.

Step number seven – Allow music to bring peace into your home

If classical music by Bach gets you to relax – great. If it’s electronic music like Shrillex that’s more your type – even better. Whatever music makes you feel at home is what you should be playing. And, if that means going out and buying a quality Bluetooth or wireless speaker, then by all means, do what you need to do. If you are more into your vinyls, then up your records or invest in a new record player.

Music can provide people with that extra bit of comfort or the missing piece to the puzzle. It’s what brings back memories (ensure it’s only the good ones), alters the mood and unites us. It’s a trigger point and one I’m certainly taking advantage of as a home lockdown essential.

For people who have a vinyl recorder and need an additional storage accessory for all your home records, this multi-purpose black triangle metal rack by Facmogu could be your next home bargain. Not just your vinyls but also your files and magazines can get their own unique spot in your house. The organizer also comes in rose gold and in an L-type design. The triangle design is sturdy, stable and ensures your valuables don't fall over. The unique design also can add some personality to an area, whether it be in your lounge, music-room or home office. There are nine sections in this wire step file organizer which provides you with plenty of space for storage. You can also categorize your vinyls into different music groups. The surface is electroplated, anticorrosive and has an elegant lustre. Being 10.25-inches x seven-inches x 7.2-inches, this homely product is very durable and easy-to-clean.

Step number eight – add cushions, throws, and lots of layers into the mix

If you’ve survived winter so far without an electric blanket, some extra throws and layers splashed around the house, then I’m impressed. For me, these aren’t just home decorations but have become my little safety net. There’s never a better feeling of a steamy bath and then jumping on to a sofa full of cushions and comfort accessories.

You shouldn’t ever have to experience watching a movie with a stiff neck. What’s the pleasure in that? Layer them up, experiment with different sizes, textures, and patterns. And, don’t be afraid to venture out of your colour palette to add some flair, charisma and a statement piece to the mix. Cushions and soft items often pull everything together. Last but not least, some additional warmth underfoot (sisal or pile rugs) placed in and around the house can be a warm touch and, similar to your curtains, can add some style and break up the seasons.


Essential Cushions

MIULEE Pack of 2 Velvet Soft Soild Microfiber Decorative Square Pillow Case1 of 2

MIULEE Pack of 2 Velvet Soft Soild Microfiber Decorative Square Pillow Case

This MIULEE home novelty decorative pack of two velvet cushion covers are a great splash of colour for any room of the house. From black to blue, lilac, gold, rose, charcoal, teal, aubergine, khaki, mint, turquoise, scarlet, avocado, baby pink – I could honestly be here all day going through the endless colour options covering every angle of the colour wheel. These cushions also come in a variety of sizes such as 12-inches x 12-inches, 16-inches x 16-inches, 20-inches x 20-inches, 26-inches x 26-inches and many more. The luxury square pillowcase has an invisible zip and is 100% grade A velvet. Super soft and environmental, all edges are sewn well to prevent fray and ensure durability. These cushions are not only cosy and add that much-needed comfort, but also look luxurious and elegant. Being made of high-grade faux fur, do you have any upcoming family photo shoots? Because a bunch of these would look great! Just to confirm, this is only the cushion cover and the inner is not included. The care instructions are also easy – as you'll just need to put them on a separate cold machine wash and voila, you've got yourself a keeper.

Haddie Mongolian Fur Cushion2 of 2

Haddie Mongolian Fur Cushion

One of my favourite cushions on the market – this Haddie Mongolian Fur Cushion on is truly a keeper. Being £59, it is a little pricier than most fluffy cushions on the market but well worth the investment. From burgundy, to dusky pink, grey, ivory and tan, these sheepskin cushions come in a variety of colours. The home product is 45cm x 45cm and has raving reviews such as "Literally adore these. The fur is so so soft and you can tell it's of a great quality. One of my fav pieces in our lounge. They are just gorgeous." also mention that "To do 'hygge' successfully, you need a key ingredient: texture. Lots of shaggy, cosy textures." This cushion is special treat for any sofa, bed or accent chair. The Mongolian fur is also one of the most luxurious textures you can get. It's got a distinctive texture and unparalleled softness. The Haddie cushion also is filled with a generous padding, so you can comfortably rest your head after a long day. It does, however, require professional cleaning only being 100% Mongolian Fur and Sheepskin with a 100% Faux Suede backing.

Step number nine – splurge on experience-focused home accessories

As I’ve already mentioned, experiences always outweigh physical goods. But in the case of home deco and accessories, there is a way you can have both. Try to buy home accessories that cultivate experiences and have a purpose. This could mean upgrading that rusty old BBQ of yours, or upgrading your movie setup into a cracking cinema with the best projector and home cinema products. Maybe even splurge a little more on an upcoming date night and make this lockdown Valentines Day a memorable one. Up to you. Only you will know what home essentials will boost your spirits and allow you to relax!

What to read next:

Best body pillows for a great night sleep

The best desk plants to cheer up your office

The best lawn mowers for cutting your grass

Sofa skins: the easiest makeover you'll ever give a piece of furniture

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us