So you just bought a house, but now you need to make it a home.  Where do you begin to put your personal stamp on the space?  First, it’s important to recognize that little touches go a long way toward making your place feel more like you.  You don’t have to break the bank personalizing your home, things like finishes, fixtures and paint colors can help make your house feel like home.

  1. Paint the front door. It’s far less commitment than painting the exterior and has more bang for the buck. While you’re choosing a paint color, consider whether you want to update the hardware as well — shiny new hardware can give your home a fresh look, and you can change the locks at the same time (always a good idea when you buy a house), so it’s a win-win.
  2. Hang personal photos. Getting a few favorite photos up on the wall is one of the quickest and easiest ways to make a new place feel like home.
  3. Paint a wall or two. Picking colors for your whole house can be a daunting prospect. Save yourself some trouble and just commit to painting an accent wall or two now. Getting color on the walls will make your place feel more like you and can help determine the rest of your home’s palette.
  4. Buy fresh flowers. A bouquet of freshly cut flowers, whether from the grocery store or your backyard, can instantly make any room feel friendlier. Make a single arrangement go further by pulling out a few single blooms to display in bud vases around the house.
  5. Roll out a fluffy rug. Even if you generally prefer bare floors, having at least one space with a sink-your-toes-in squishy rug makes a house feel comfortable. If you’re concerned about keeping a shag or deep-pile rug clean, put it in a room away from entrances and heavy foot traffic — a bedroom or den is ideal.
  6. Clean from top to bottom. It may sound a bit strange, but when your home begins to smell familiar, it’ll feel more like home.
  7. Make a place for your keys. Save time on your way out the door by designating a spot for keys and other important items. Install a row of small hooks, or use a tray or dish; just make it convenient and use it consistently.
  8. Upgrade window treatments. Whether you go for tailored Roman blinds or textured bamboo, simple roller shades or a layered look with curtains, having a window treatment you love (and that works) is a decorating detail that can make a space feel more polished.
  9. Tuck plants into unexpected spaces. Plants add personality and color, freshen the air — and they look great in any room. Large houseplants and potted trees are wonderful, but also try placing little pots of cactuses, succulents or ferns among the bottles on a bar cart, on the bathroom sink or on open shelving in the kitchen.
  10. Create a special spot for little ones. Give young children a secret hideaway or comfy area to curl up with a favorite storybook. Just about anywhere can become a cozy nook — just add a few squashy pillows, a snuggly throw and a basket of books.
  11. Upgrade bathroom details. Can’t take on a full bathroom remodel? That doesn’t mean you can’t freshen up the bath with a few smaller swaps. Change the faucets, cabinet hardware, towel bars and light fixture, and replace an old medicine cabinet with a mirror.
  12. Add a fun outdoor feature. Think fire pit, hammock, alfresco dining table or barbecue area — something that will entice family and friends to venture out.

If you’re never around, your place won’t feel like a home at all. So make a point to cook at home a few nights a week, read on your patio, or spend regular Lazy Sundays in bed. The more time you spend actually using your place, the more it’ll feel like yours.