Home is where the heart is. It's where you retreat after a long day at work. It's where you nurture your family. A home, your home, is a place you call your own, share with those closest to you, and create the atmosphere you desire. Your home is uniquely yours and it should be obvious to anyone who knows you that it is indeed your home.
How do we give our homes personality? There are many ways. Lots of people think that can happen with a fresh coat of paint, new furniture, etc. Which is true, if it is done right.
Hotels aren't able to feel like home because if they were designed to fit one person's personality, others would feel alienated. So the designers need to keep the 'personality' of the hotel neutral. Thankfully, you don't need to do that with your home.
One of the best ways to add personality to your home is to use items with stories of their own that mean something to you. Antiques, keepsakes, favorite pictures, gently worn items, and items that help remind you of a good memory all help add your personality.
Did you take a family trip to the sea that really stands out in your memory? Find a paint color that takes you back. When traveling, don't visit the souvenir shop and get the tourist trappy items that you'll end up throwing away. Go find a local shop and find something there that you could live with and add to your home's decor.
Don't worry, you don't have to stick with only antiqued items. I love to have a mix of new and old in my living spaces. While others will prefer the more modern, newer items and others prefer to stick with the traditional. What matters is that each piece speaks to your or another member of your household.
Try this technique when pulling together a space:
- Pick one item of inspiration - doesn't matter what it is. All that matters is that it represents the feel you'd like to create in that room.
- Using that item, pick a color pallet of 3 colors: primary, secondary, and accent. Each piece in the space needs to contain at least one of these colors in any shade (to achieve various shades of one color, you can darken or lighten it).
- Now, take a look at the textures represented in that item. Note that textures have just as much, if not more, of an impact on the feel of a space as color does. You are going to want to have a nice balance with the mix, but the nice thing about is that the ratio is completely up to you!
- Before you start shopping, take one more moment to decide that the 'mood' of the inspiration item is. Is it cheery and energetic? Calming? Or more moody? Now you need to decide if you want that mood to be predominate in the space, or secondary to another mood. (You also might want to take a look at the colors you chose to see what moods they inspire to help you with this one!)
- Measure out the space and draw it to scale on graph paper. This will help you down the road with furniture layout, making sure you're not buying pieces too large or two small, etc. Take note of windows, doorways, architectural details, the pattern of natural light throughout the day, etc... As you're drawing this out, be sure you're jotting down ideas and notes about how the space is coming together inside of your head for future reference!
- Now with that information in hand, you need to start scouting. Visit craft shops, grab paint and cloth swatches, take pictures of items that you think might go well, and tour various websites for inspiration and print out pictures. Use these to help you finalize the picture inside your head (as well as a realistic budget).
How do these tips help? I'd love to hear about your projects!