A few days ago I was approached by a friend, who’s parents had recently lost their home to a fire, she asked me if I wanted to take on the task of redecorating and finishing the interior of their new home that has yet to be built. Of course I was in for that challenge! My first large residential experience, how exciting! As I talked with this mother of four girls and many grandchildren, I felt an overwhelming burden.
Here I have been studying hours on end on what to do when confronting a client, on how to design model homes, and different design styles. She, however, stressed how she wanted her house to feel like a home – not a design home.
I was stumped, and was later humbled. Here I had thought all there was to a home was ensuring the best products, decorating, getting the measurements, and finally making sure my sustainable design was beautiful according to the style that my client had chosen. This new challenge, was nothing that school had taught me.
How do you build a home that feels like it’s lived in and like the home itself has experienced life, love, and laughter? Rather than a home that is plainly admired and wished for. After much thought, here are ten easy ways to personalize your home.
1. Throw Some Color Around. Dorothy was right when she said, "There's no place like home." But there's really no place like a home that's inviting and reflects your personal taste. For starters, think color! Your favorite colors are yellow and blue? Go for it! The way you combine your favorite hues is as individual as you are. One easy (no painting) way to spread some color is through decorative pillows. Mix (don’t match) throw pillows in the same color story for a fresh and lively look.
2. Go To New Heights. Give your bath and dinning décor a lift with a footed cake plate. When you put everyday items on a pedestal, you make the ordinary extraordinary.
3. Share Your Travels. This one is huge. You know how at every dinner party you’ve had you tell stories of the friends you met at your vacation away from home, and my gosh that food in that country was supreme! Show off that country. Use their art, furniture or simply a music instrument purchased there. To have an object that is a little more personalized than the one you bought at your local Super market will mean more to you and seem more appealing to your guests.
4. Put Your Hobby To Work. Why spend money on meaningless decorator accents when you can shop from your own or your families own hobby? Whether it’s the quilt you’re stitching or your music stand, or the painting in progress, display your interests.
5. Become A Mix-Master. Kick up your collectibles by displaying two different collections together. Merge your Fiesta-ware with your state glass collection. Mixing it up works, it creates a bold contrast in any room.
6. Seek The Unique. Go on flea market adventures, take a day to yourself, and you might be amazed at what catches your eye. Rather than settling for a generic table or chair, consider that unique something that will give your room personality. Likewise, great-grandma’s armoire warms up a room with a patina of family memories that you just can’t buy.
7. Make A Scene. Set your decorating apart by creating small surprises. Put your favorite childhood photo in a funky frame, set your crystal clock on a mini stand and collect bright and interesting books. See what kind of scene you can create from small household items you have lingering around your home.
8. Go To Nature. Bring the outside in with freshly cut flowers, branches, river rocks, pinecones and whatever natural, organic ingredients you can find. This is a great thing to get the kids involved in. Place flowers and branches in a tall glass vase, group your rocks, pinecones on platters and trays. You will feel more in tune with your backyard as soon as you find the perfect spot for them.
9. Pull The Photo Boxes Out From Under The Bed. Dust off those old photographs and display them proudly. Hang them on your prominent walls – in living rooms, bedrooms and hallways. Create a gallery in a mudroom or entryway. Photographs are the perfect way to personalize your space.
10. Mirror, Mirror on the wall. Add oversized mirrors to your space. Mirrors will open up your space and enhance the room’s natural lighting. Large mirrors need simply lean against a wall or rest on a mantel for a simple and perfect touch. Your room will feel larger and your party guests will feel more willing to open up.
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