For most of us, our homes are an extension of ourselves. We want them to reflect who we are—the things we value and the experiences we’ve had. And while decorating a home can be exciting, the thousands of inspirational decorating magazines and websites vying for our attention can make it feel overwhelming. But we’re here to help! Here are some thoughtful ways to approach designing your space for a home that is truly and uniquely yours—and not something you’ll see in a magazine anytime soon.
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Use your hobbies as inspiration.
What is it that you most love to do? Are you a book lover? A musician? A birdwatcher? A cook? One of the simplest ways to make a home that reflects the things you love and the experiences you’ve had is to incorporate your hobbies into your décor. You might be afraid that using your hobbies as decorating inspiration will leave you with a house that looks like your childhood bedroom, but if you think creatively, you can find interesting and beautiful ways to incorporate the things you love while keeping it classy.
An open-backed bookshelf on a painted wall can be its own statement piece. Try arranging books in various ways—by color, height, title, etc—to achieve your favorite look.
Or if you’re into something a bit more quirky, consider finding or making some book art from the pages of your very favorite novel (your extra copy, of course).
Framed records or concert posters don’t have to be just for the man-cave or dorm room. A sophisticated or interesting-textured frame can turn a poster into a piece of art.
Music-themed items can also be repurposed into functional and eye-catching pieces, like these records.
Bring your love of the outdoors inside with an indoor trellis or some hanging vases.
Come from a family of hunters? Use antlers in a way that doesn’t scream “hunting lodge.”
Remember the places that you’ve been.
Do you love to travel? Are you constantly going on adventures? Maps and globes make great decorations on their own, but if you want something more personalized, you can find a scratch-off or color-in map to track your travels.
Or what if you brought a piece of those places home with you? Not those cheap knickknacks that were probably all made in China anyway, but useful items you’ll see and use every day. Let your clock from Germany or your candles from Spain and your coasters from Japan remind you of where you’ve been.
Maybe you’re not much of a globe-trotter, but your best memories are of your annual family vacations to Door County. Frame a print of cherry season or put a model sailboat on your mantel.
We all have places that have been meaningful to us for one reason or another, and incorporating these places into your living space is a great way to add the heartfelt touches that make your home your own. Whatever places have meant something to you, make a place for them in your home.
Honor the people you love.
Perhaps the most important part of who we are is in our relationships with the people we love. The most obvious way to include and honor the people we love in our homes is through photos.
Wall galleries of family photos or snapshots fun snapshots of special moments together are a great way to make your home your own, but photos aren’t the only way to include loved ones in your home décor.
Most children love to create, and they almost universally love to have their creations displayed. Consider creating a gallery somewhere in your home to display the work of the budding artists in your life.
What details do you remember about the people you love? Was your beloved grandfather a photographer? Maybe some antique camera equipment would fill that empty spot on your bookcase. Did you visit a vineyard on your honeymoon? Stencil the name of the vineyard onto a regular wine rack and suddenly you have a functional piece with a meaningful memory of someone you love.
Hopefully you’ve been inspired with ways that you can curate a home with details that tell a story about who you are and where you’ve been. Your home, just like your life, is an ongoing project. If your home as a reflection of who you are, then it’s okay for it to grow and change as you do. Just remember that anyone can order a beautiful set of perfectly coordinated furniture, but only you can add the pieces that make your home uniquely yours.
How does your home reflect your passions and experiences? In what ways have you incorporated your story into your home? We’d love to hear from you.