Not Just Another Designer Photo: How To Personalize Your Space

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How can you make a space yours, and not just another designers’ portfolio pictures? With these tips, of course!


colorful personalized home decor house exterior

I love to look at great designer spaces. I really do. There are so many ideas to glean from them and and so much inspiration to take in too. But sometimes, doesn’t it feel like lots of these spaces end up looking all the same? By this, I mean that it’s not always obvious that a real human is actually living there. Sometimes it just seems like it’s a space for endless decor photographers to visit and snap up.

The difference between successful home decor and a space that ends up looking rather flat is the personality in it. You can ask any designer to make your space look pretty… but will it be somewhere you want to live?

Here are some tips to add personality to your home decor while avoiding the trap of designing like in the magazines just because it’s in the magazines.

Add your life experience

My favourite home decors are those that reflect the experience of the owners. Whether it’s having triplets, owning thousands of books or traveling around the world, our experiences shape us and define us.

One of the best ways to make a space truly yours is to make it reflect those experiences in beautiful and practical ways, too.

Eclectic Staircase by New York Architects & Building Designers SLADE ARCHITECTURE

I bet you don’t see that kind of wall every day. This is a great collage of photos that, I like to think, are taken from the owner’s own album. I’m not much of a photo taker, but I can imagine that someone who enjoys snapping up memories would rather have them displayed than held up in dusty albums. It’s a super original way to keep your experiences and memories close.

Contemporary Bedroom by Parker Interior Designers & Decorators Designer Premier

This interesting bedroom is also linked to the owners’ experience. Inspiring quotes, meaningful to the owners, are painted on the wall. It’s easy to wake up inspired if you keep you favourite quotes so near! (Also, the design choices are bold and definitely personal. See below!)

Inject your interests

When you love something, you can probably live surrounded by it. I would rather live in a house filled with books than a space dedicated to cars, for example.

So when it comes to interests and passions, your space is the best place to express them.

Eclectic Family Room by Chicago Photographers Cynthia Lynn Photography

I love this space because it tells me quite a lot about its owner. It’s someone who loves fashion and elegant things. That person probably has a stack of vintage fashion magazines somewhere, and gorgeous fashion-focused coffee table books. The wall is a great way to display what makes your heart beat with love.

Here’s another example:

Eclectic Living Room by Amsterdam Media & Bloggers Ninainvorm

This wall tells me that this person loves contemporary art. The cushions reflect that love in patterns and colors that would fit with any of these paintings and drawings. This is definitely a collection to be proud of!

Refuse conventions

It’s easy to just go with whatever everyone else is doing. Zen is back in fashion? Add a rock garden to your living room. The 60’s got featured in a magazine? It’s time to get a pod chair!

Really? If you want to show personality, be yourself and, in the end, do whatever you want. Like the owner of this kitchen:

Contemporary Kitchen

This kitchen is insanely bold. Pink cabinet doors. The most garish wallpaper I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Lime green kitchen chairs. And you know what? It works. It works because the owner isn’t afraid of color and of reclaiming her (or his) space.

Here’s another great example with a similar use of bold color choices:

Eclectic Dining Room by Sydney Architects & Building Designers Scott Weston Architecture Design PL

Pink, red, purple and black don’t often come together in decor magazines. But gosh, I would totally have tea with that person. He or she must have fascinating stories!

Just be you

In the end, injecting personality to your home decor is just another way to express yourself. Personally, I would rather be me than what some designer magazine thinks I should be. Although great ideas can come from magazines and decor blogs (we love to help!), in the end, you’re the one who lives in the space, and the one who should love it too.

How have you injected personality in your home decor? Tell us your stories!

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Anabelle Bernard Fournier

Anabelle is a freelance writer, writing teacher and blogger. She spends a lot of time at home, so she likes to make sure that it's cozy and nice, especially in her reading nook. In her free time, Anabelle knits, walks and learns how to write stories.