Having a beautiful home is a goal for many homeowners, but no one wants a cookie-cutter approach to decorating. Part of the joy of home ownership is the ability to personalize your space, making it a reflection of who you are and what is important to you. And think about it: the more comfortable you are in your own space, the more time you'll want to spend there and share it with your loved ones. Adding a dose of your personality to your living space is simpler than you might think. Here are a few ways you can make your home a place that is uniquely YOU.
Choose a theme
Personalizing a space is about surrounding yourself with things that are important to you. However, if there's no order or focus to your items, they can quickly begin to look like clutter instead of a prized collection. Having a specific theme to a room can bring some unity to the look and feel you want to create. Developing a "theme" doesn't mean it has to look juvenile or contrived. A theme is simply a way to showcase something that you love, and that can be anything from your favorite sport to your family photos. Here are a few examples of themes that might interest you:
- Sports - football, baseball, golf, hockey
- Hobbies - photography, fishing, music, reading, camping
- A certain time period or design style - Oriental, Farmhouse Country, 1950s-style, African Safari, etc.
While a sports fan might love a collection of signed memorabilia and framed jerseys, a music fan might decorate his or her space with a retro record player, instruments and a collection of album covers on the wall. World travelers can group seemingly random souvenirs together in a bookshelf to make excellent conversation pieces, and avid readers can assert their personalities by proudly displaying their book collections.
Create a focal point
Use your special collection of objects or art as a focal point in the room. One great focal point is over the fireplace in a living room, but you can use a bookshelf, entertainment center, or shelves on the wall. If you can, arrange furniture around or pointing toward this focal point, and choose colors, patterns, and fabrics to highlight your collection. Adding personality also includes your furniture! Even if you have hand-me-downs that you want to keep, make them your own with a fresh coat of paint, a different wood stain, or new fabric.
Your story in pictures
Most people have some photographs of family or friends on display, but the way you display them can give them more prominence and personality to your space. Collect several generations of family photos, and mix them together in different frame sizes and styles. Consider enlarging some of your best photos to create even more interesting dimensions in your collection. Try using only black and white or color-tinted images to create one unified "gallery" on a wall.
If you love different cultures but don't have souvenirs or objects to display, try framing postcards or maps of cities you've enjoyed visiting or favorite places you've lived. Some are free online to download and cost very little to print. Similarly, your hometown newspaper may have vintage photos of your birthplace that they're willing to sell or let you copy. Your favorite resort may have a promotional photo of their most spectacular view - ask if they'll email or send you the image, and then frame it alongside your own candid shots.
Remember, less is more
To get the full effect of your theme, don't go overboard. Too many objects just makes your prized possessions compete for attention - or even worse, look cluttered and messy. Accessorize in small groups, and leave some space around the collection so that it stands out better.
Having trouble deciding which ones work best? Stick with the things that are the most unusual and interesting conversation pieces. One of the easiest ways to give your room some personality is to add photos, pieces of art or furniture that guests can talk about. Even if you don't entertain guests very often, having your most unique items on display will make your space even more personal for your own enjoyment.