Interior décor is more than knowing how to execute design rules. Learn how to add the personal touch to every room in your home with our tips below.
It’s all very well having a beautiful home. But no matter how flawlessly decorated or immaculately on-trend your abode looks, it can never feel like home unless it says something about us.
If you’re in the process of redecorating, getting inspiration from the best is a great place to start. So, by all means, check out the latest design mags and brush up on the newest trends. But, before you set about turning your home into a patchwork of your favourite show homes, take a minute to consider whether the style, furnishings and finishes touches truly represent the place you’d like to live in.
We think the best way to feel at home in our homes is by filling them with things that bring us happiness, that feel familiar and that represent who we are.
So, we’ve come up with seven tips to help you create a home that’s made especially – and undeniably – for you.
1. Use your favourite colours
A neutral base paired with pops of colour – most homes have a pretty standard system when it comes to their colour scheme. So, it’s in the choice of those colours that brings uniqueness and personality to each home.
When choosing a colour scheme, stick with your favourite colours to bring as much of yourself into your home as possible. Choose the neutral you’re most drawn to – from greys, whites, creams and browns – then mix in your favourite colours or colour combinations. Just remember to check your choices against a colour wheel to prevent clashing.
Don’t really care for Pantone’s latest Colour of the Year? Skip it for a shade you truly love instead. Secretly yearn for electric blue and baby pink, or eggplant purple and bright yellow? It’s time to adorn your home with those personality-filled pairings.
While you don’t want to eschew the principles of good colour pairing completely, embracing your favourite colours is a powerful way to display who you are.
2. Stick with art you like
As with the colour scheme, the same principle applies when it comes to art. No matter how many homes feature a certain Gustav Klimt-painted embrace, if it’s just a painting to you, it doesn’t belong on your wall.
Instead, stick with art that really means something to you. Fortunately, we have it on good authority that art is subjective, so your options are wide open. Anything, really, could be art, which means a homemade display of your favourite objects can count just as well as a painting hung on the wall. All you’ll need is a few open shelving units or display cabinets where you can arrange anything from found objects, family heirlooms, interesting sculptures or a hobbyist collection for display. The best part is, if you go for a decorative display cabinet, like the beautiful acacia wood Fire 3 Door Cabinet, it can serve as a work of art in its own right too.
If your definition of art is strictly paintings, drawings or photos, go for ones that connect to something in your life. Whether this means picking a picture of your favourite holiday destination, choosing work by your favourite artists, or going homemade by displaying your child’s latest drawing in a frame, art that you can talk about in a meaningful way is always better for that personal touch.
3. Choose personality-laden pieces
Add uniqueness to your home with statement pieces filled with personality. Whether you go for a ultra-modern bathroom sink, a gold-gilded kitchen cooker, an ornate bedroom chandelier or some striking display cabinets at either end of your sitting room, don’t be afraid to be bold and quirky with your choices.
If you don’t want to go looking for something new, an easy way to add the personal touch to your décor is by revamping or upcycling existing items. You can giving new life to plain furnishings, storage boxes and vases with nothing but a little craftiness and some store-bought accessories. A quick way to DIY-away? Paint your ceiling a bold colour to make your guests look up in wonder.
4. Use lighting to your advantage
How do you make something as functional as lighting personal? By using layered lighting – that is, different types of lighting at different levels (of height and brightness) – to highlight your favourite bits of the house.
Draw attention to a specific decorative element you particularly like, or use it to reflect how you behave around the house. Love to lounge on your snuggle chair to read? Place a floor lamp with an adjustable head nearby so you can direct the lighting where you need it. Like to spend the hour before bedtime electronics-free? Place dimmer switches in your bedroom so you can gradually wind down the lights as well.
Positioning lamps and light switches in a way that works for you can help you create a home that feels reassuringly personalised.
5. Don’t forget your nose
An element of interior design that often gets overlooked (even by seasoned pros) is the scents and smells that permeate your home.
Make your nose part of your decorating efforts by finding places to dot scents around your home. This could be anything from scented candles, oil diffusers, potpourri-filled bowls, fresh flowers and plants, or even an automatic air freshener.
Want to ramp up that personalisation element? Create handmade sources of scents. This could be something as simple as buying a jasmine plant or orange tree, or you could get more creative. Love the pick-me-up scent of coffee? Fill a ramekin with coffee beans and light a tealight in the centre to warm up the beans. Want a citrus hit? Cut up some lemons and limes, add a twig of rosemary, and place them in a large bowl filled with water.
Interior design isn’t just about working the latest trends and sticking to design rules. For a cosy space that truly feels like it’s yours, it’s important to fill it with things that bring you happiness, and which you connect with. So, instead of languishing in an under-personalised home, it’s time to explore your passions, get creative and make that house a home.