This subject covers a wide spectrum! There are material ways to beautify your home, and also ways that you can contribute to this by your disposition (see A Cheerful Smile). Right now I will focus on the material ways to make your home welcoming and beautiful.
• Keep it clean! I suppose this is a rather obvious point. A tidy home is usually more attractive than an untidy one. No, it is not always easy to keep things spic and span, especially if you have a lot of younger siblings. I am not saying that your house has to be spotless! But you can do little things, such as pick up and put away out of place items, keep the furniture dusted, etc.
• Light some candles. Candlelight lends a softening glow to atmosphere of your home, especially in the evening. Obviously, make sure that candles are out of reach of little hands and any pets you may have.
• Set a nice table. At meal times, make things a little more festive or elegant by using a nice tablecloth (protect it with a plastic cover if you need it!). You could fold your napkins in a fancy way (click here for instructions on how to do several folding techniques) or put them in pretty napkin rings.
• Flowers! Fill every nook and cranny! Well, you don't have to take that literally, but I think you get my meaning. :-) You could have an indoor garden, with potted plants in your house, or cut fresh flowers from your garden and fill your vases with them. If you don't have a cutting garden or simply don't have flowers available, use silk flowers, which stay fresh year round!
• Play some music. I have found that a little music in the background can completely change the atmosphere of a home. Quiet classical music would be the most "beautifying," but if you need a little motivation with your chores, etc. you could put on a livelier tune.
• Make the house smell good. Find a scent your family enjoys and find an essential oil or home fragrance oil in that particular smell. There are several ways to diffuse the oil. You can purchase a jar that has a "bowl" on top for the oil and then space for a candle beneath, which heats the oil and releases the scent into the air. Or there are small bottles or jars where you just put the oil inside, and then place three or more thin reeds into it; then the reeds soak up the oil and diffuse it into the air. You could also go the freshening spray method, which would be to mix the oil with some water in a spray bottle and just spray some in the rooms. And don't forget that baking cookies gives the house a delicious aroma... "Yeah, mom, I... uh... wanted to make the house smell good! Yeah, that's it..." :-)
I hope to add more to this page as more ideas pop into my mind... and I'd appreciate your help! If you have any ideas on this subject, feel free to drop me a line through the contact me page!