I always tell my clients when I start working with them that their homes are a reflection of themselves. What you surround yourself with has an enormous impact on how you behave, what you achieve and how your family feels in the space. It’s my job to dig deep and work out what is meaningful to them, what the family loves to do in their spare time, what are some places they’ve visited that they have fond memories of and which rooms do they spend the most time in so we can start to build the ‘story’ of the room. Don’t you love when you invite friends over how they go and discover bits and pieces about your home and inevitably ask “where did you get this”… It then sparks a conversation about that item, where it came from and the memories of that trip or the shop it came from.
Yes! It absolutely is possible. Let me show you how..
This is something I work on with clients and my eCourse students all the time. I find a lot of people get fed up with their spaces and are sick of wandering around the furniture super centres on their weekends so end up with a slightly negative feeling towards their home. A big part of my job is to reset this and get them to fall in love with their spaces again. Is this something you can relate to? If it is, it might help you to start seeing if you can catch out any negative thoughts and replace them with thoughts of “I can make a home I’m proud of”, “It doesn’t have to cost the earth” and “I can make my home more “me” with ease”.
Know Your Style
Own your style wholeheartedly! It’s hard not to be swept up in buying items for your home when you’re out shopping because you think that’s what you should have, or what everyone says you should have. But it’s important that you remain true to yourself. If you love it, then buy it. If you don’t love it, toss it.
One of the first things I ask clients when I start working with them is how would they describe their style? I prefer to use visuals for this as I find everyone has a different way of explaining styles which can easily be misinterpreted. There’s less room for error with photos. So perhaps you would benefit from creating a Pinterest board to collate all of your ideas. Once you’ve spent some time pinning some beautiful images you could go back and review the pins and try to identify any common elements. Perhaps there’s a rattan pendant light that keeps popping up in lounge room images or all of the bedrooms you’ve pinned have buttoned upholstered bed heads. This clearly helps you work out which style you identify most with and will help you pick out those items when you get to shopping.
There’s always going to be something you aren’t happy with at home or something you’re waiting to do when you can afford it. Don’t beat yourself up about it in the meantime. We are never truly satisfied with the way the house looks until the day we list it up for sale. Be realistic about the fact that you have small children or pets that make mess so you can’t live in a magazine photoshoot all the time. Teach the children to respect their furniture and decor but don’t be unreasonable about the way you ‘should’ be living. Imperfections give your home authenticity and character.
Buy Once and Buy Well
Somewhere in the last few years we all started treating furniture and homewares like we do fast fashion. Cushions aren’t disposable, nor are sofas and dining tables. So it’s time we started making better decisions about the furniture we are purchasing and purchasing with the intention to keep them for more that a year or two.
I inherited a chaise lounge from my Grandmother on my 21st birthday. It once belonged to her grandmother. I used to play on it when I’d stay at her house when I was a child so it’s a lovely thing to be able to have it in my own home. I have no intention of ever getting rid of it either. But I often wonder, what would I pass on to the next generation from my own home? I feel as though we don’t really do that anymore, nor do we place as much value on our furniture pieces like previous generations did. Wouldn’t it be nice if we started considering this a bit more with our furniture purchases? Inherited items also bring more meaning to the space too because you can tell the story of where the item came from which is a conversation started right there in your living room.
Work With What You’ve Got
Accessorising with what you’ve got lying around is a totally underrated shopping tactic! You don’t need a big budget to create a home that is a true reflection of you. It might just mean you need to rework certain areas of your home by moving things from one room to another. Is there a grouping of items on your coffee table you’re a bit sick of? Why not move some of them to the centre of the dining table and group some candles on a tray on the coffee table instead. Same goes for cushions, swap your bed cushions with your sofa cushions and see if you can make them work for a different room in the house. Not only will you be flexing your creative muscle but you won’t be spending a cent to do it!
Inject Your Personality
Displaying things that mean something to you go a long way to making your home feel more authentic. I worked with a friend of mine a few years ago to decorate her home. She wanted to start entirely from scratch and didn’t bring a stick of furniture from her previous house. The new house was a totally different style for her so I was a bit lost at first as to which direction to take the design. I knew she had a great love of New York City and that she liked to display a few coffee table books around the house. So I used these as inspiration points. We hung a huge image of the New York skyline in her dining room and I made sure we styled her coffee table with three of her favourite coffee table books (one happened to be mine, subtle advertising I know ;)) By using items that remind you of your travels or a special time in your life you’re building the story of your home and surrounding yourself with things you love. How could you not be happier when you’re surrounded by beautiful AND meaningful items?!
What have you added to your home that you think makes it more authentic and real?