Especially during busy times, we consider our home a personal sanctuary. A place where you can appreciate a little silence, be (by) yourself and enjoy spending your time off. But not everyone has a knack for decorating, or simply wants to put in the time and effort to completely personalize their home. Luckily you can “make your home more you” by following a few simple steps. I’ll even share some personal tips with you!
3 steps to make your home more you
Step 1: Discover what makes you tick
I’m a strong believer that your home should be a reflection of who you are. It’s your dwelling space. It’s where you cook, read, sleep and spend your leisure time. So, what is it what you do exactly? Do you start your day with yoga, or do you need a strong cup of coffee before you can face your mornings? Would you rather crawl up in bed with a good book, or do you prefer watching a movie? Do you like entertaining people, or would you rather spend your evenings drawing or painting?
For some the answers to these questions might be simple. To others it might take a little bit more time to realize what their behavioral patterns are and how they act accordingly. Don’t hesitate to take a moment to think over your daily preferences and write them down.
Step 2: Cater to your needs
When you have determined how you like to spend your time at home, you can start catering to your needs. Odds are you have done so already, without even realizing it. Someone who is fond of cooking probably has a couple of olive oils or fresh herbs sitting on their counter-top. And a pianist probably keeps a piano or a keyboard in a prominent place of the house. In fact, I even know a guy who loves photography, who keeps his studio-lights in the living room (because admit it; they look pretty cool)!
It’s not only useful to keep your utensils within reach; it also underlines what makes you “you”. So rather than tucking everything out of sight, keep your precious things somewhere visible. And consider giving them a designated spot where they can truly shine!
Step 3: Decorate according to your preferences
Anyone can walk into a store and select a range of things they find appealing or beautiful. But you can really make your home personal by displaying items that have a special meaning, or even contain a little bit of history. Wouldn’t you rather put down a beautiful souvenir purchased during an amazing holiday, rather than a generic store-bought vase?
Take another look at the things that make you tick. If you love fashion and magazines, consider framing some of your favorite magazine cut-outs. Do you like photography? Start collecting old camera’s, which you can stall out in the living room. Or even consider making a funny, yet personal decorative pun, simply because you can*.
* I keep a frame with a 3d postcard of a bat in my downstairs toilet. Every time I look at it I’m reminded by the highly chagrined specimen that almost chased me out of a Costa Rican toilet!
Some practical tips to make your home more personal
Family photos are an obvious way to make your house more “you”. But even if you don’t like people staring at you from their frames (like me) you can incorporate some personal snapshots in your interior. What about some beautiful holiday landscapes, or a snapshot of your feet in the sand?
I briefly mentioned them in point 3, but I genuinely think souvenirs are the best way to decorate your home with some personal meaning and memories. When you’re traveling, keep an eye out for some lovely eye-catchers that don’t only fit your interior, but are also easily displayed. Instead of making a grab for a tacky fridge magnet or coffee-mug, consider something you’d like to look at every day. My favorites are bowls and plates, (unframed) drawings and paintings, and various woodwork. Usually it’s definitely worth the extra trouble to fit it in your suitcase!
Decorative piles of books
Why would you keep your books shelved? I usually I grab a couple with matching pretty covers and pile them up to put on display. They also come in hand when you feel your decorative composition (I know, that’s nerdy!) could use a little bit more body or height. I actually use a pile of books to put my table lamp a little higher!
Currently, my favorite books (with pretty covers) are “How to be Parisian, wherever you are” by Anne Berest and a rather uncommon edition of Alice Sebold’s “The lovely bones”. On my wishlist are “The life-changing magic of not giving a f**k” by Sarah Knight, and “Crazy Rich Asians” by Kevin Kwan.
Some coffee table TLC
Speaking of books; put some extra effort in what to put on your coffee table. There are heaps of amazing coffee table books (among my favorites are Ellen von Unwerth’s “Fraulein” and National Geographic’s “The photographs”) on every topic that could possibly interest you. They don’t only look beautiful: They also provide you and your visitors an easy and casual flip-through. If I’m not opting for one of those, I usually go for a potted plant or some flowers, combined with candles.
I mentioned them before in my article about making things koselig and I will mention them again: Scented candles don’t only provide a soft and decorative light, but also a lovely smell that can really make you feel like home. Consider picking a signature scent* which you’ll use in different area’s of the house, like the living room or the bedroom. Although I’m currently picking cheaper brands, I still have an uncanny fondness for this particular one from Rituals.
* Speaking of signature scents: I have one particular washing detergent I use for my bed linen. That way my bed always smells like home!
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How do you make your house more you? Share your tips in the comments!