Home Decor

Creating More Personal Spaces

If you love interior design, then you know the power of a beautiful room, and the thrill of creating one. Whether interior design is your career or a personal passion, when all is said and done, you’ll have a room that looks like it came to life from the pages of a magazine. But you may still feel like something is missing.

We’ve all been there. When you’re dedicated to design, you can become obsessed with the latest trends and forget what makes a room really beautiful to you: your own tastes and personality. When the “you” is missing from a room, your space may feel ready for Instagram but not ready to actually live in. Here are some ways to restore the heart to your home.

Put personal items in places of honor

When you decorate a shelf with a statuette or a bookend, you’re putting something that you own on display. But some of our possessions don’t feel as personal to us. If you buy something with the express purpose of putting it on display in your space, it’s a decoration, not a treasure.

Decorations can’t usually be treasures. But your treasures — the possessions you really love and don’t want to part with — can be decorations. A vintage toy from your childhood or a memento from an important moment in your life can be put on display, and the result can be a space that is both beautiful and personal. How we decorate speaks to our sense of self, and using personal items keeps that connection strong.

Make use of shadow boxes, curio cabinets, and shelves to display vintage items of personal importance. Use frames to mount ticket stubs and other two-dimensional memories on your walls.

Use personal photography as art

When we see interior design concepts in magazines or on Instagram, we’re usually looking at staged scenes. These rooms aren’t real, at least not in the sense that our own rooms are. These rooms are transformed for artistic purposes. At the very least, the owners of those rooms hid any personally identifying items like photographs.

But a real room should have photographs. We’re not all Ansel Adams, of course, but beauty is about more than photographic technique. It’s also about how meaningful the photo and its subject are to you. You can and should display photographs of friends and family members in your personal space.

This doesn’t mean framing tiny three-by-five photos, of course. You should invest in elegant frames or custom canvas prints. The very Instagram account that you use to view sober, anonymous rooms could be the means by which your room becomes personal and delightful. You can turn your own social media posts into art by relying on experts in Instagram canvas prints. Such services will turn a photograph into a piece worthy of display by putting it on art-quality canvas.

Focus on comfort

In magazine shoots and social media posts, rooms are experienced with the eye only. But in your personal space, things are different — you experience your room in three dimensions, and you can touch and feel the things in it.

The two experiences have different priorities. Instagram photographers hide their electrical cords and rearrange furniture. They remove personal items to create a sparer space that is more beautiful, but less useable. Don’t let these aesthetics change how you use your liveable space.

So when you shop for furniture or arrange your space, don’t just think about how it might look, think about how it might feel and how it might be used. The perfect spot for a collection of books or a throw pillow may be different for the in-person experience than it would be for the still-image one.