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Top tips on making your pad a home

When you make the big move, it’s important to feel at home in your new house/flat/maisonette/castle-of-dreams. Here at Pad HQ, we put our heads together to come up with some handy tips on how, with the simplest of tricks, you can begin to feel settled.

Start minimal and build your way up
Moving home means moving stuff. And more stuff. So you’re going to want to keep things simple. Whilst you find room for your influx of clothes/laptops/shoes, it’s nice to create a feeling of calm. Start with plain white sheets and you can layer on top of this. Colourful pillows and blankets will give it that kick. But plain walls and plain bed sheets will be your friend.

Don’t ignore the cheap deals
You might think it’s John Lewis or bust when it comes to new homeware, but trust us – you haven’t seen the half of it. While high street shops like H&M offer a great, affordable range of useful items and trinkets for your home, places like Primark are also handy when it comes to things like bedsheets and laundry bags. eBay is also a strong contender. Don’t be put off by second hand. Most of these people barely use the things they sell and you’ll save yourself a lot of pennies! Hang some prints if you can (but check with your landlord first). A blank space turns into a friendly space with a bit of artwork on the walls. Prints don’t even have to be colourful and bold, they can be black and white, they can be quotes, or they can be photographs of your favourite family pet.

Music is key
Picture this; you’re cooking up a feast. It looks good and smells great. You’re having a fine old time. Except one thing’s missing; there’s no dancing, no atmosphere. If you can, get your hands on a radio. Doesn’t have to be a sophisticated thing – heck, your phone will do. Just create some background noise. It makes such a nice addition to a place.

Plants make everything homely
We’re not saying you have to be the next Alan Titchmarsh, but we would argue that plants will bring a lot of good vibes to your pad. A little pot plant here, a hanging plant there; you won’t regret it. Plus, watering them and taking care of something feels good for your soul.

Blankets and rugs will be your best friend
And we’re not just speaking for the winter months. They can splash colour into any living space and make a room feel that much more cosy. Plus they’ll inject some character and keep your feet toasty. For both big and small sizes, we’ve found the rugs at Ikea to be a good range.

Good lighting is essential (and candles help too)
We’re not encouraging you to burn the house down, but we do enjoy candles because they create atmosphere in a home (but please be careful!). Use them for a winter’s night in or light them up for a summer’s evening around the dinner table. You could even place them by your bath or shower for that ultimate relaxed feeling. Lamps are also a great addition to any room and if you search around, they can be cheap as chips.

Get a good book shelf going
OK, we’ll admit it; you’re going to struggle if you own a Kindle. But fear not – we're sure you’ve got a stash of old books hidden somewhere. They do make a great accessory to a space, after all. What better way to show off your knowledge than with a display of your latest musings? Or it’s a handy place to stash your cook books and the odd photo frame.

Get some good storage
You’ll be surprised where you can conceal things around a home. Under beds, on top of cupboards you never knew existed, within sofas. It’s madness. But essential. There’s nothing more useful than some good old space to store your possessions. Especially in cases where you don’t have that much room. But don’t be put off; storage doesn’t have to be ugly. You can find practical and useful furniture in the most unsuspecting of places.

Create good smells
If you’ve ever walked into a home and smelt baking, I imagine, much like us, you might have felt like you’ve been transported back to an old-school American film where there’s a pie in the oven, the house is spotless, and a fire’s burning. We might not be in America right now, but you get our jist. Nice smells make everything feel calm. So our final tip has to be: cook up some nice food! Especially cakes. You’ll have people beating down your door.