The Home Stylist

vintage bottle decor


Make It Personal

by Jodi Kines

Today’s demanding lifestyles mean that while the world is demanding  more from us, we must demand more from our personal space. Your home      should offer refuge from the hustle and bustle of everyday life; it should draw you in after a long day and feel like your very own escape. Your home should be a reflection of you, your personality, and your style. Your home should be your ‘happy place’.

Start by surrounding yourself with colors, patterns, and textures that make you feel joyful, calm, & at ease. While current trends and mainstream style will often influence overall design decisions, adding your personal flare is what will ensure your home feels like your own, personal retreat. Allow yourself to choose a palette of color and texture simply because you feel drawn to it and then work around that concept to pull the remainder of the room together. Let your lead design decision be about what you love – the fabric you keep coming back to or the paint color you just can’t stop holding up to the wall – and let the rest fall into place around it. Personality can be seen in our color pallet and furnishings, but really shines through in our art and accessories. Start with your walls and be selective about the items you display throughout your home. Focus more on personal, meaningful artwork to set the tone of your space.

Photo collages are a great way to add interest and personal style to your walls – and they don’t have to include just family portraits. In a recent client’s home we filled a hallway with a simple photo collage that included family portraits as well as images from all of the cities where the couple has lived. This is a wonderful way to tell your personal story and accessorize your walls at the same time Photo collages also don’t have to be just about your immediate family. In our home, we used vintage photographs of multiple generations to create a gallery-style display. It’s a fun way to pay tribute to our ancestors and makes a wonderful conversation piece. Taking the vintage concept a step further, we recently used old license plates to create a collage above the bed in a little boy’s room; each of the plates represented a state his parent’s had lived. As a car fanatic, the little guy loved the idea; it added a wonderful pop of color and texture AND had a personal connection to their family.

Gallery wrapped canvases also make great artwork! Don’t be afraid to go big and bold to make a statement – and don’t feel like you have to use just formal, posed portraits. Candid images often best convey your family’s personality and offer a more casual, comfortable feel for the room.

When it comes to accessories and final touches, again, think personal, think meaningful. Imagine making a personal – even emotional – connection with the items that surround you instead of just meaninglessly ‘excess-orizing’ shelves and walls merely to have them look ‘finished’. Don’t be afraid to reuse and repurpose vintage or keepsake items. Consider using smaller heirloom silver or crystal serving pieces to accessorize not just your dining room, but your family room end tables or your bedroom nightstands. I use my grandmother’s vintage colored-glass candy dish to hold my jewelry by the sink in my kitchen; not only does it add a welcome splash of color, but I also love seeing it and being reminded of her as I go through the routine of my day. We have also chosen to accessorize the built-in bookshelves in our family room with many found objects from my husband’s family farm. Most of the old buckets and bottles were dug out of the dilapidated barn and given a good wash before being displayed on our shelves; however, we maintained their dents, dings, rust and patina to add character and charm. These items add great interest and texture to the space, but they also tell help the story of our family and our farming heritage.

Whether you start by surrounding yourself with a design palette dictated by personal taste or by adding furnishings and accessories that are personal and meaningful, even the smallest step toward personalizing your home can go a long way to creating your own personal retreat, your own getaway from the world, your own ‘happy place’.