The 5 Best Things You Will Ever Do for Your Home

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Kate Daigneault/Stocksy)

Kitchn and our sister site, Apartment Therapy, are all about improving your home and making it a better place to live, so it’s very bold of me to use a superlative here. Of course, as we say, nothing you do for your home is ever wasted, but over the years I have found that there are a few things that are especially transformative — things that go beyond decorating and get to the very core of what makes you happy at home.

These are the five best things you’ll ever do for your kitchen.

1. Add art that you feel strongly about.

There’s a reason people use hanging things on the walls as the mark of having really moved into a space. It’s art that gives a home its soul, a certain indefinable quality that sets it apart from other places. I say art that you ‘feel strongly about,’ and I’ve left that open-ended on purpose: The right art for your space is anything that makes you feel deeply, whether it’s a vintage wall hanging from a thrift store that caught your eye, a painting that your grandmother made, or a blown-up photo from your last vacation.

(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

2. Buy that one big piece of “adult” furniture you’ve always wanted.

If you’re still holding on to an old hand-me-down dining table, replacing it with a new piece you really love (or a vintage piece you really love!) can completely transform the look of the room. Don’t feel like you have to replace everything at once, or match your new purchase with other spendy things, though. If you have one really great-looking, high-quality piece, like a table or a light, everything else will kind of fall into place around it.

(Image credit: Diana Paulson)

3. Do a really deep clean (& declutter).

A kitchen that’s really, truly clean doesn’t just look cleaner — it feels cleaner. There’s a certain lightness to the air that comes from rooting out all the gunk. If you’re not one of those people who gets inspired by the idea of spending a weekend deep-cleaning your space, consider hiring a cleaning service. I personally hate the idea of paying someone else to clean my house when I could do it myself. But the thing is, I don’t do it myself. Before I sold my old house, I paid a cleaning service to do a move-out clean. A very nice, professional lady came over and scoured the whole place, top to bottom, in about three hours. I had never seen my house that clean — and it made me wish I had done it on the regular (say, twice a year) the whole time I lived there.

(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

4. Share your kitchen with a furry friend.

I realized, when writing a tribute to my departed feline friend, Chloe, that one of the things I missed the most about having a cat was how warm and joyous my house felt with her around. I realize that pets aren’t for everyone, but for those of us who are inclined to love animals, I would say that, even though having pets at home is a bit more work, it is totally worth it.

Read more: Why There Is Always a Comfy Spot for My Pets in the Kitchen

5. Fill it with people you love.

Of course, it’s wonderful to have a really beautiful home, but I’ve always found, in the past, that the thing that made me love my home the most was sharing it with other people. Having people over — whether you’re hosting a big party or just inviting a friend over for dinner — will help you create memories in your home that enliven the space for years to come.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: The Very Best Things You Will Ever Do for Your Home