I realized a few days ago that I know very few people who still live in homes with formal dining rooms or sitting rooms. As more and more people turn towards a casual, relaxed lifestyle, they are also choosing to live in homes that reflect this feeling, where they, their family and their friends feel welcome and comfortable. If you have any home improvement plans in the works, here are some things to think about to make your home feel casual and inviting.
Opening up your home by taking out non load-bearing walls is the perfect way to create a casual feeling. Open, mixed-use areas such as great-rooms encourage everyone in the home to interact together more regularly. It also keeps the family cook involved in what is going on in the living room and creates perfect flow for entertaining.
If you don’t want to, or aren’t able to take out walls on the main floor, remodeling the basement to include a large cozy family room can give you that casual living space that you’re looking for. Family rooms are perfect for billiards tables, games, TV watching or just lounging.
When choosing furnishing for your casual home, don’t include anything that is too fussy or too precious to put your feet up on. You will want fabrics that are easy to clean or that won’t show stains if there is a little spill at the next meeting of your wine club. And, you’ll want to select comfortable furniture that invites you to take a load off and stay a while. Soft carpets and cushions strewn about also encourage lounging and relaxing.
Don’t be afraid of color. Casual living spaces should be cheerful, so choose a bold color that makes you happy either for the walls or to use as an accent color in your accessories.
When I think of casual living, I automatically think of the outdoor “rooms” around the home. That means a hammock in the garden, reclining chairs on a deck or patio, a fire pit and barbecues with friends. Porches, too, are wonderful, casual areas to entertain or to simply sit and recharge after a long day.
Whether you’re building a new house or remodeling your existing space, for more information on turning your home into a more casual and inviting living environment, talk to your local home improvement expert or your general contractor.
If you enjoyed this blog post, you may also want to read our do-it-yourself article How To Build a Backyard Fire Pit.