Finding Yourself in Your Home
When we meet with a new client, we spend a lot of time getting to know him or her (or them!). Not only do we enjoy forming personal relationships with our clients, but we want to make sure we express their personal style – not just what we happen to like – in their home. After all, they are living there, not us.
This is an important detail to keep in mind as you think about styling your home, whether you work with a designer or not. You customize everything else in your life – even your ringtone on your cell phone – so why not make your home tell a story about who you are? Websites such as Pottery Barn or West Elm are terrific for getting ideas, but you don’t want to replicate everything there in your house or it won’t have your stamp on it. That would be similar to our not taking the time to learn your likes and dislikes prior to decorating your home.
Think about what makes you tick and what makes you happy. Don’t worry about what’s popular. For example, your coffee table books should reflect what you are interested in, whether that’s gardening, sports, wine or something else. Monogram towels or bed linens. Hang a favorite quote or song lyric where you will see it and enjoy it.
We recently designed a home where we noticed the client’s Phish posters in the garage, so we made sure the family room bookcase included a book about Phish (a rock band). In another home our client was a veterinarian so we incorporated bookends fashioned like dogs. As much as the client said he loved the finished result, he kept remarking how much he really enjoyed those surprise dogs on his fireplace mantle. Personal details matter!
Another way to add that touch is through photos. But instead of the traditional 4×6 in a frame on your end table, try enlarging a few prints and displaying them in a group as wall artwork. If you have a more contemporary style, use black and white versions, which tend to have more of an arty feel.
Don’t forget about family heirlooms. If you inherited beautiful antiques, and you like them, that’s great. But even if your heirloom is just a single item such as a piece of art or even a lamp, you can still incorporate it and perhaps make it a focal point. Sometimes larger heirlooms might not work where they were intended so get creative and figure out a way to repurpose them. A cedar chest is just as nice in a family room as a bedroom, and a dresser can be used as a dining room buffet or cabinet.
Whatever you choose to do to make your home your own, be sure it is a glimpse into who you are and your history. If we can help you thread more of your personal style and interests into your home – or with any of your design needs – please contact us.