Your home is your sanctuary, your space. It is where you find utmost peace, where you can let go and truly be yourself. So, your abode must be a reflection of you, of your personality and your life. If your bold and vivacious, be brave and incorporate lots of color, patterns and texture into your home. If you find utmost tranquility in subtle shades of ecru, beige and grey, bring it to life with greenery. Here are ten simple ways to make your home feel more like YOU, more warm and welcoming without any compromise on elegance and sophistication.
How many times have I walked into a home that resembles more like a hotel room than the window to my host’s life! The furniture fashionable and gracious, the bed impeccably made and the bathroom luxurious but absent are the personal touches, knick-knacks and picture frames. Decorating your home with snapshots of your life is a simple way to bring your own self, your own personality into your space. Place a few on an entrance table, on your fireplace mantle or dotting your bookshelf. Vary your display with different sized photos and distinct frames. Think: sterling silver, beautiful mahogany, mosaic of shells, and coconut husks. I love to personalize my bedside table with a few photos my loved ones – nothing says good morning and bids goodnight more beautifully than seeing wonderful memories with my loved ones.
Personal Memento’s and Personal Collections
Another way to bring a sense of YOU into your home is by showcasing some personal momento’s and personal collections. This can be daunting for some, especially for the non-hoarders (oh how I admire you!) who like to purge seemingly superfluous trinkets because they can be seen as ubiquitous dust collectors. But to those purifiers, I urge you to keep (at least) a few personal trifles that you absolutely love. Whether it’s a collection of shells or stones you pick up on the beach, a glass jar filled with matches from your whereabouts or hand painted pillboxes and perfume bottles. For the avid collector and builder, showcase your latest creations of model cars or sailboats on your living room sideboard or bookshelf.
Cork Boards and Bulletin Boards
Homes should look, well... lived in. They should display your happenings: some invitations and postcards received, magazine cutouts and inspirations and you and your children’s calendars. My preferred way to display all my occurrences, events, and even dry cleaning invoices is a by pinning them up on a bulletin board. I love cork boards so much that I actually have two – one hanging by my front door and the other by my desk. I can therefore separate my life and work affairs into two separate boards!
I absolutely love this idea of putting two large cork board strips flanking a bed of a teen’s room. It is such a fun and unexpected location for the board but I think it works really well there. If you’re looking for a next DIY project, consider creating a bulletin board for you or your children’s room!
My mother used to tell me that I was a gypsy in my past life – anything bohemian, colorful and full of pattern and texture always drew my eye. So as you can expect, my home is filled with lots of artsy accents: mismatching pillows and rugs, bold color walls and offbeat lighting.
Even if you are not as daring as I, an easy way to incorporate some spirit and vitality into your home is by accent pillows. Brightening up your couch, reading chair or bed with some pillows makes the space feel more lived in, more used. If using lots of color isn’t your trait, you can use pillows made out of natural fibers and in natural colors.
Libraries are my favorite rooms in a home – they are the one room, well in my home, where you can put your feet on the table (without repercussion) and slouch on the couch captivated by a great book or thrilling movie. For a twenty-something living in New York, it is near impossible to have a library in my apartment – I can’t even fit all my shoes in my closet, it’s only a dream to have a library! (But in fact, I hung some floating shelves on an empty wall and filled them up with my favorite books!)
Having books around the home make the space feel more personal and warm. The titles all speak about your personality, your interests and passions. My bookshelf, for example, is filled with a hundred pages of interior design, art, flowers and travels. It is a real luxury to be able to have a library to showcase your favorite books but if you’re in a similar situation like mine, a DIY floating shelf works perfectly!
I like to layer accessories on top of accessories – bracelets on top bracelets, placemats on top of tablecloths, and rugs on top of rugs. Area rugs bring lots of life into a space and I especially love to put them in unexpected places. Rugs in breakfast nooks, entrance halls or kitchens are a delight to see. In the living room, I like layering various rugs of different sizes. Rugs bring together all the elements of the space, allowing the furniture to seem grounded rather than floating in space.
When speaking of interiors, a little greenery goes a long way! Adding a live plant, into your home literally brings life into the space and, in my opinion, is absolutely beautiful. Maintaining plants indoors can certainly be tricky, finding the right amount of light and nourishing it with the right amount of water, but there are lots of varieties that thrive indoors. Even if you don’t have space for a tree, a coffee table adorned with orchids or a snake plant looks much more… ALIVE! Click here to read about some thriving indoor plants!
Everyone knows that candles create the most romantic, warm and cozy ambiance – and who would not want that in their home? An arrangement of candles in unexpected places like the dining room, on top of your fireplace’s mantle or suspended on a bathroom wall makes such a dramatic impact!
Mood lighting comes not from overhead lighting but from lamps – floor lamps or table lamps – that have a dimmer. I love when homes use lamps out of unconventional objects like old milk jars or tea cans, old Chinese blue and white vases or even reclaimed pieces of wood!
Barren walls do not exhibit the resident’s soul, her tastes, her passions and interests. I believe that there is no such thing as too much art on the wall, and I am particularly drawn to mixing periods of art – contemporary drawings with seventeenth century oils and even finger-paint masterpieces given to me by my nieces and nephews!