NEW YORK – One of the biggest motivations for setting up a home will be comfort. While everyone’s values, tastes, and needs vary, for many, nothing matters more than feeling at home.

Consequently, if comfort is paramount, avoiding certain things will be essential. From particular types of furnishings to color schemes, this list will serve as a handy guide for every homeowner and renter.

1. Structured furniture

Choosing couches and chairs for your home will be one of the most important decisions anyone can make. It might be tempting to choose very structured pieces, such as sofas that look stylish but offer little support or cushion. However, one won’t feel entirely at ease with these pieces.

Those who want to cuddle up on their chairs and couches or put their feet up to watch a movie should choose furniture with a lot of cushion.

2. White carpet and furniture

White carpets and furniture give homes a bright and beautiful feel, but they do not exactly scream comfortable for one vital reason. The rugs and individual pieces may be cozy themselves, but the color eliminates the inherent comfort level.

White or light colors get dirty easily, and there will always be the tremendous fear of spilling something like red wine, chocolate, mustard, or spaghetti sauce. In this sitcom moment waiting to happen, one’s sense of peace will turn into fits of anxiety.

3. Provocative artwork

Comfort levels in the home do not just include occupants. People should also think about whether guests would feel at ease visiting. Keeping that in mind, you should avoid displaying any overly provocative artwork.

While I believe in freedom of expression, some art has subject matter that might make others uncomfortable. This will be a judgment call, but it would be best not to hang up any revealing portraits or paintings with graphic depictions of violence.

4. Pet odors

Another thing to consider regarding the comfort level of your surface guest will be pet odors. Pets become family, and properly taking care of them includes grooming, bathing, and cleaning up their mess and waste.

Failing to do so will cause many unfortunate odors throughout the home. Sometimes, residents become nose-blind to them, but guests do not. Proper pet care remains essential to save yourself from embarrassment and make your home as comfortable as possible.

5. Fine china

Most love the idea of fine china, and many couples register for it when getting married. On the surface, owning china does not necessarily make a home uncomfortable, but the potential for it remains — especially if you don’t also have everyday dinnerware.

China may be beautiful, but there will always be the fear of damaging or breaking such expensive and fine dishes. Chandler and Monica’s discussion in the Friends episode, “The One With Rachel’s Other Sister,” hits the mark. Why have dishes you’ll never feel comfortable using? The excuse that the Queen may pay a visit doesn’t cut it.

6. Overly cluttered spaces

Individuals should try to keep clutter at bay to maintain a comfortable home. While messes are inevitable, especially with busy lives or families, keeping areas free from clutter will help.

Unnecessary clutter could include too many things on kitchen counters or living spaces. Instead, invest in types of storage such as bins and baskets. It will help your home look better, and feel more hospitable for yourself and any guests.

7. No natural lighting

Lighting in homes can be tricky. Not every house, condo, or apartment sits in a place where natural light flows in. Likewise, natural light requires windows in just the right spots.

However, one cannot deny that a lack of light can make a home feel dreary and cold. So, what’s the solution? Work with what you have. If possible, install a skylight, which will add more natural light. Curtains on windows that do let in sunlight will also curb it a bit if it becomes too much.

8. Breakables everywhere

Knickknacks and fun décor always personalize a living space. They bring color and life to any home. However, if some of these pieces can break easily, having too many around will cause needless stress.

Those with small children or pets will attest to this fact. Still, too many around lessens the comfortable feeling in anyone’s home. Just imagine a friend pops by and accidentally knocks over a figurine. They’ll feel terrible.

No comfortable home should inspire feelings like that.

9. Unconventional paint colors

Adding unconventional paint colors to rooms can be lovely and even exciting. After all, colors add variety to life. However, one should be careful not to overdo it. Having everything in the home painted colors such as black, orange, or neon green can feel off-putting and claustrophobic.

At the same time, homes with only white or beige walls can feel boring. According to Sally Augustin for Psychology Today, colors affect our moods. For example, painting in only one drab color will be under-stimulating, while something like a light blue will be calming. It’s all about balance.

A few bold colors here and there will look fine, but think before you roll.

10. No carpet or rugs

Many people want a home without carpets and rugs. In truth, the added benefits make sense, especially in terms of cleanliness. Hard floors are easier to clean. However, no carpet whatsoever lacks warmth or physical comfort.

Speaking from personal experience, having only hardwood or tile floors can contribute to back and knee pain and make a home feel somewhat cold. Adding area rugs adds cushion for the feet and warmth to the living space.

11. Empty walls and shelves

Have you ever visited a friend or family member’s home with nothing on the walls or shelves? No artwork or photos adorn the rooms or hallways, and no books, figurines, or other décor line the shelves. Such emptiness inspires hollow and sad feelings.

On the other hand, homes with fun movie posters or family photos everywhere feel warm and inviting. Surround yourself with the things that make you happy, and the comfort will come.

12. Piles of laundry or dishes

Everyone’s tolerance for cleanliness varies, and one should avoid judgment. However, being surrounded by piles of laundry or seeing dishes stacked up in the sink does not inspire comforting feelings.

Such messes can add to stress and anxiety and potentially make guests uncomfortable. For instance, if a friend or family member arrives for a long stay, they should not have to contend with piles of laundry to find a place to sit or dirty dishes to make themselves a snack.

13. Plastic couch covers

Plastic couch liners sound great, in theory. A covering to keep the sofa clean and dirt-free would entice anyone. However, will sitting on plastic ever be comfortable? If anyone exists that likes sitting on these sticky and noisy plastic covers, especially in the heat, they may be an alien.

Watch any episode of the sitcomEverybody Loves Raymond that highlights Marie and Frank Barone’s couch, and the discomfort becomes apparent. The show plays it for laughs in the series, but it definitely exposes the truth about these practical but uncomfortable accessories.

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