It’s always an interesting experience when you visit a friend or family member and discover that their home genuinely reflects their personality. Sometimes it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why this is. In fact, it may well make you wish you could alter your own home to create a similar effect. As it happens, this is not such a tricky task if you give it some thought, even though, unless you own a unique property, most homes are pretty similar regarding size and shape, especially new build homes. There are some fundamental changes you can make if you are keen to put your stamp on your personal space. Here are a few ideas you may want to try.
A few of your favourite things
Start by gathering together a few of your favourite things and work out how you can best fit them into your décor. For instance, if you are partial to specific colours, flowers or perfumes, you can make the most of simple home accessories, including houseplants and scented candles, to create in your living room the sensory stimuli that will lift your spirits. Carry the idea of using your favourite things through to other parts of your home and select photos or pictures of the parts of the world you’ve visited and liked, friends and family you treasure, and occasions you’ve enjoyed.
These small touches are particularly useful if you live in a rented property, always remembering that you may have to seek permission from the property owner to hang pictures. Recent housing reports suggest that up to one-third of Millennials will struggle to own their own home, so they may be renting on a permanent basis. If that is the case, one or two pieces of vintage furniture, perhaps handed down through the family or even acquired in an auction house sale, can make all the difference to an interior, adding character and a touch of class to a rented home.
Dressing it up
Window treatments offer another opportunity to be different. Usually, curtains or blinds cover window openings, however, wooden shutters are a great alternative. They can look stylish and sleek in a modern home, as well as rustic and charming in a traditional one. They are also better for controlling the amount of natural daylight in your rooms and for ensuring your privacy.
Don’t be shy about sharing your hobbies either. If you love to paint, then display your work on easels or on the walls; if music is your thing then keep your instruments to hand so you can immerse yourself when the time feels right. You may also want to create and display collections of small objects that you like, or to which you have a sentimental attachment. They don’t have to be items of particular value – as long as they are important to you, they are adding to the personality of your home.
Opening up your home
Although we’re often encouraged to hide things away in the course of ‘decluttering’, openly displaying one or two pieces that relate to your passions is a good thing. As long as you introduce a theme or narrative to a collection you are telling a story. For example, bathrooms are a great setting for a nautical theme – add seashells, a mirror shaped like a porthole and photographs of lighthouses or seascapes for extra effect.
If you enjoy craft activities make sure you display some of your work, whether via a cushion cover or a knitted toy, as handmade items are a great way of showing who you are and what you love to do. In fact, if friends admire one or two of your achievements, it’s a great incentive to create something for them in return. There is nothing to match a gift that you have made from scratch as it demonstrates a caring nature and true friendship.
In the end, it’s the little personal touches you choose to add that set your home apart, and it’s much nicer to replace fairly standard items of furniture, wall art or soft furnishings with something you have created or commissioned yourself. Even in a guest bedroom, a place we’re encouraged to keep as neutral as possible regarding décor, there is certainly room for one or two bits and pieces to remind your guests whose home they are visiting. Don’t be afraid to experiment a little until you achieve the right balance.