I remember the first time I ever met Heather, in an office on an industrial estate somewhere in Kent. We had come together for a blogger meeting with a baby company. I didn’t get much from the meeting itself, but I gained a wonderful real life friend. From family holidays to blogging conferences we have bonded over the past five years and she was one of the first bloggers I asked to be part of my blog birthday celebrations. Whether we are messaging each other every day or manically busy catching up every few months over coffee and cake my life is much better for having a friend like Heather in it. She also has the best style and when I grow up I want my house to be like hers. I hope you like her top tips for adding personality to your home and if you do you should definitely follow her blog, Growing Spaces. All images in this post are from Heather’s home. That black wall is amazing.
Anyone who’s visited our house (including the lovely Kelly) will be able to tell you that my house is never, ever perfectly tidy. And although I have (many) moments when I wish we were all a little tidier, I do like it that way because it feels like home – it reflects our character and is full of life. While I can be wowed by a totally minimal space where there either isn’t any stuff, or what little there is is all neatly hidden away, I personally can’t relax in a space like that. I’m constantly aiming for a happy medium – not too chaotic, but not too pristine either. I want my home to feel warm and welcoming for guests, as well as being the place that my family and I can play, create and unwind.
When it comes to decorating your home, I reckon there are ten tricks that will help you to express your personality and create a unique space that you’ll feel happy to come home to.
10 ways to add personality to your home
1. Use colour
Your choice of colour says so much about you and can have a massive impact on the feel of your home. Even if you choose to paint every room in the house white, add depth and interest with accent colours – whether these are barely-there neutrals of hits of saturated brights.
2. Get some pictures up on the wall
There’s nothing more depressing than an expanse of bare wall or an empty shelf, so find pictures you like – whether it’s floral prints, landscape scenes of photographs of your family and friends – and put them on display. If (like me) you’re rubbish at getting round to putting them in frames then cheat – pin them to a noticeboard, or show them off on wooden clipboards.
3. Play with pattern
Introducing pattern through wallpaper, fabric or accessories, is a great way to evoke mood in your home. From delicate florals to graphic stripes, pattern adds visual interest. Always changing your mind? Opt for easy-to-change shots of pattern such as cushion covers, or hang a framed piece of wallpaper instead of papering the whole wall.
4. Layer textures
Appeal to the sense of touch with an array of textures in your room – this will give your scheme depth and warmth, especially if you’ve chosen a very restricted colour palette. Use texture to reflect the season – knits in the colder months and lighter fabrics in the summer.
5. Curate a display
I’ve got too much stuff but I find collecting knick-knacks (as my mum calls them) irresistible and they are key to creating a unique home as no-one else will have the same collection as you. They will also fill your home with memories as these objects will often remind you of a particular time and place – from holiday momentos to beach-combed finds to a treasured family heirloom.
6. Prioritise storage
I know I’ve just told you to keep things out on display, but the key is making sure your less-beautiful possessions are stashed away properly to avoid your home feeling cluttered and oppressive. Baskets and storage boxes are hard to beat – add a couple to open shelves, or use them to tidy away toys at the end of the day.
7. Define your zones
If a room feels difficult to relax in, it may be that it’s trying to meet too many needs all at once and the overall effect is confused. Use your furniture to create smaller, well-defined zones within the space such as a reading nook, compact office, or dining space. A rug is a great way to define a zone within a larger room.
8. Reuse, renew, recycle
Personally, I love to include vintage elements in our home, whether it’s a larger piece of furniture or just small things I’ve picked up at car boot sales or junk shops. Not only are they much more unique so you know no-one else you know will have one the same, but they also add a sense of history.
9. Focus on smell
I’m partial to a scented candle or two, or I’ll often choose fresh flowers or foliage for their gorgeous scent (eucalyptus is my absolute favourite). There’s a reason that estate agents say that you should bake bread or brew some coffee just before holding viewings when you’re trying to sell your house – the right scent can put people at ease and make them feel at home.
10. Lighten up
Bad lighting is a real bugbear of mine. I’m not a fan of having the main overhead light on (unless you need it for a particular activity) – I far prefer the softer pools of light created by table lamps, string lights or floor lamps (or ideally a combination of all of these).
I have asked ten bloggers to guest post for me in the run up to my 10 year anniversary at the start of July. I really hope that you enjoy these posts, and visit their blogs to say hello, or wave on Twitter. Each one of them has been a special part of my blogging life and I am so honoured to call them my friends.