Don’t you think the best-designed homes tell you something private about the people who live in them? By private I mean, photos on the wall (Who lives here?) and meaningful items on display (What do you get up to?). I think most of us will agree, homes feel more authentic (and better styled) when you personalize them. Personalized spaces draw us in with a hug, and we should all be going for that. If you agree, I want to share some ideas to style your home and add your beautiful personality to it.
Let’s hear it for collections!
Those family photos I mentioned, they look so much cooler when they’re grouped as a collection, don’t they? Collections look like you tried, and they make your space feel more intimate. They work with your hobbies and interests too. Whether you’re an art collector or vase collector, a hockey fan or a musician, you can show off what you love impressively using collections.
And she scores!
The Ikea Hack
Hacking mass-produced items from Ikea and West Elm in unexpected ways is another clever way to add your personality and to style your home. Hmmm? I recognize that piece! Yes, it’s your Malm dresser that you added pulls in a gold finish and some legs to.
Lady, I bow to you!
The Gallery Wall
The gallery wall is one of the longest-running and nicest decorating trends for a reason. They’re so versatile and add instant drama. When Sarah Huggins (see video) renovated her home, she took it from ’90s drab to looking modern and on-trend. One of her features was the gallery wall in her living room. By displaying a collection of her grandfather’s Bauhaus-era sketches, she created quite the conversation starter, which is one great way to add personality. The sketches in her display were her grandfather’s very first as an architect in the 50s and have become a family heirloom. Now, Huggins says, the family make a space for them in every home they live in.
Bright and Unexpected Colors
A sofa in a bright or unexpected color like yellow, lime or pink shares your colorful side with us. It also adds that wow factor. If your sofa or most of your space is neutral, a pop of color, such as in your pillows, will give it more interest and personality.
A large oversized piece such as a piece of artwork add a sense of grandeur and makes no apology for what you love. Go with it!
Objects that represent your heritage or culture and that means a lot to you is another great way to add your personality. For this very reason, I’ve been trying to find the right black and white African print fabric to recover some sofa pillows. But to be honest, I may give up soon if I don’t find one. Still, it’s the instinct I’m referring to. Follow these instincts to bring in your heritage into your home. A small collection of masks or a collection from your travels is another great way to find and decorate with foreign objects.
Hobbies on display
Oh, you guys are a tennis family? I like knowing things like that about a household when I walk into someone’s home. I also love seeing smaller musical instruments (not oversized pianos, unless you have the space for one) in a home. I especially love seeing guitars. I have one in my living room that I strum as a way to relax. Even though I don’t know how to properly play, I really love guitars. By the fashion and travel books on my coffee table, you can tell I love that too.
Whatever you’re into, see if you can incorporate it into your decor. For example, bicycles that are mounted and look like it’s part of the design—not just sitting in a corner because you have nowhere else to put it—tell us you’re an active person.
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. Bring your personality into your decor by choosing fixtures that capture your vibe. The Possini Euro Alley pendant from Lamp Plus, tells me you like that mid-century vibe (Me too!). There are so many ideas out there that it’s not hard to find and bring in YOUR style.
I love it when others use a little levity in their designs. I’ve tried but I don’t quite have it yet. When they’re tasteful, whimsical pieces help your space feel welcoming and is another great conversation starter.
Clever Use of Space
How we use our space says a lot about us. Use yours in a clever way to add your personality. Here are a few things that I’ve seen in decorating that I found so inspiring and creative.
- Wall-to-wall bookshelves or storage.
- Nooks with a purpose. Using the area under stairs as a home office or for a photo gallery.
- Overhead storage that wraps a room and is filled with tchotchkes you actually want to see.
I hope these gave you some ideas or make you want to go and find some to try. Whatever you do, why not show off more of your personality. It will make your guests feel more at home and a little closer to you.
Christine is a lifestyle coach living in Los Angeles. Using systems, routines, and some psychological trickery, she can help almost anyone hack their mind and life for greater productivity. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if she's available for one-on-one work.