IMO, the most stylish homes tell you something important about the people who live there. And by stylish, I mean they have personality. What do I consider personality? It’s doing things in unexpected ways, sharing who you are, and executing well on your chosen theme. Some people will use “out there” furniture to give the impression that they’ve got sophisticated taste and personality. But the truly sophisticated have a deft hand. Their rooms draw you in without it being obvious that they’re trying to.
A great example of showcasing your personality (and sophistication) is displaying family photos as a collection. These can look impressive, unexpected, and give a room that “styled” appeal. Ditto for showcasing your hobbies and interests whether you’re an art or vase collector, a hockey fan or a musician. Decorating with furniture that looks current and timeless all at the same time is another great way to show your personality because we know that finding just the right piece takes time and intention. Hacking mass produced items from Ikea and West Elm is unexpected and that’s another clever way to add your personality to your space.
The gallery wall with loads of personality
A home that has a conversation starter absolutely knocks it out of the park for me! That’s what Sarah Huggins achieved when she incorporated things she loved into the design of her space. She renovated her home taking it from ’90s drab to looking modern and on-trend. My favorite part of her reno is her gallery wall where she displays a collection of her grandfather’s Bauhaus-era sketches. It’s quite a conversation starter. The sketches were his very first as an architect in the 50s and have become a family heirloom. Now, Huggins says, they make a space for them in every home they live in.
And that, my friends, is how you add personality, family tradition, culture and a conversation starter to your home!
Other ways to add personality
- A sofa in a bright or unexpected color like yellow, lime or pink.
- Wall-to-wall bookshelves or storage.
- Nooks that have a purpose. The area under stairs as a home office, for example.
- A large oversized piece such as a piece of artwork.
- Something foreign that represents your heritage or a culture that means a lot to you. For example, at the moment I’m obsessed with finding the right fabric made from black and white African print to recover sofa pillows. A small collection of masks or any collection from your travels are other examples.
- An arrangement of family photos. Whether they’re on mantles or gallery walls when you walk into a home and see photos of everyone who lives there, including their furry friends, it makes you feel as if you know the family better.
- A pop of color—if your sofa and most of your space are neutral, a pop of color will give it interest and accent.
- Hobbies on display. I personally don’t like seeing pianos taking center stage in a space–too big–but I love when smaller musical items are on display; especially guitars. Bicycles that are mounted and look like it’s part of the design–not just sitting in a corner–and other hobbies and awards on display lets a room represent you and tell the story of you.
- Interesting light fixtures. There are so many amazingly beautiful and stupendous light fixtures out now that I’m almost angry when I go into a home and see the plain old ones, circa 2002.
- Texture. Textured walls or ceilings. They give you the feels!
- Whimsy. Nothing gets a room personality like a little levity. It helps spaces feel welcoming and is another great conversation starter.
Christine is a lifestyle coach living in Los Angeles. She believes the way we live affects everything we do, especially our motivation.