You spend a large percentage of your life in your home. So it should be a safe space that you feel comfortable in, and is a visual representation of you. As I talk about all the time on the Homey Homies blog – it’s in the tagline – design with personality is always the ultimate goal. But how exactly can you add personality to your home?
Many people feel compelled to follow all the latest trends. And I get it; I love keeping up on new trends as they pop up. But there’s a pretty fine line between incorporating trends in your home in a way that still represents you, and following trends just because they’re “in.”
When you don’t inject your own personality into your home, not only will it not feel as homey to you. But it’s also limiting how remarkable and unique the design can be.
Whether you’re just getting into interior design/decorating or are a seasoned veteran, you may struggle to show yourself in the designs you come up with. But I’m here to help! Keep reading for all the best tips on how to add personality to your home.
If you follow these tips, I promise you’ll be left with a home that you can really be proud of.
The best tips on how to add personality to your home
Take a look at the tips below and feel free to put as many of them to use as you’d like! Pick whatever resonates with you. Apply one of these strategies, or apply them all!
The way that you bring these tips to life is up to you, and it can look different for every single person. Just trust your gut, follow what makes you feel fired up, and have fun!
1. Curate a unique art collection – no mass-produced art
It can be tempting to grab most of your artwork from places like Target or Home Goods, but I would recommend against that. Try to limit the amount of mass-produced art you have in your home.
Art is such a great way to communicate personality. So use it as an opportunity to show yours. Take your time building up a collection of pieces that really resonate with you. Don’t just get something because it will “work.”
There are a variety of places that you can source art from, including:
- Artists you find online on places like Instagram, Facebook groups, Pinterest, etc.
- Local art events (Would highly recommend this option – that’s where I get so many of my favorite pieces!)
- Thrift and antique stores
- Handmade art by you, your friends, or your family members
- Online art sources like Tappan Collective, Etsy, BLK MKT, and 20×200.
And art doesn’t just have to be hanging on your walls! Figurines, bowls, planters, and other decorative accents are also a great opportunity to bring some unique art into your space.
2. Add fun + varied light sources
One of my best tips for making your home more expensive is to vary your light sources. But it’s also a great opportunity to add a little more personality to your home.
Lighting is often such a boring detail in any home, even though it doesn’t need to. Swapping out your boob lights or other boring lighting for something more you will make an IMMEDIATE impact. And I promise, it’s not as intimidating as it seems to replace wired lighting.
But you can also switch up the lighting without touching your overhead lighting. Add light sources at a variety of levels. From floor lamps to table lamps to LED lights, there are so many opportunities to add more interesting lighting.
I was lucky enough to have Neon87 send me one of their custom LED lights.
As soon as I put this up, the place immediately felt so much more interesting. Previously, this little wall had nothing on it, and it was just a little bland. But as soon as I popped this up there, it automatically draws the eye. And it’s in my signature orange color, so it feels really like me.
Plus, I’m a strong believer that the more levels of light sources you have, the more vibey the space is. Case in point: my living room is much vibier now.
3. Mix your design styles
If there’s one tip on how to add personality into your home that you listen to, it should be this one. If you see a home or a room and it’s exciting to look at, it’s usually because they “broke” some rules of design a little bit – in the best way. And one of the biggest ways to do this is to not stick so strictly to a single design style.
Breaking the rules can be a great thing if you know what you’re doing.
Say you love the mid-century modern style. It’s a favorite throughout the design community, and for good reason. But if everyone followed the style to a tee, even the most skilled designers wouldn’t create work that is all that innovative and interesting to look at.
The true skill and captivation comes when you push the envelope a little bit and mix in other styles. While you may have MCM as your primary style, play around with adding in some other interior design aesthetics. An art deco bar cart there, an ornate Victorian mirror here, and a minimalist dining table there can add a little interesting contrast.
You can add as little or as much contrast as you’d like. It’s all about following your intuition on what feels like you, and not restricting yourself because it doesn’t feel like it fits with the style you chose.
You can also reject a primary style altogether. Eclectic interior design is all about contrast and personality, so if you feel like there’s not one aesthetic that fits you, this may be the route.
To learn more about how to curate a beautiful (and not chaotic) eclectic home, you can check out my full rundown of the eclectic style.
4. Curate your rooms based on your wants and needs
Who’s to say that a dining room has to have a dining table in it, right? If you’re someone who knows they will never be sitting at their dining table to eat, then don’t waste a whole room on it.
Rooms don’t have to be confined to their typical uses. Feel free to repurpose your unused dining room, spare walk-in closet, or den for what you want. That could be a podcast studio, a yoga space, a photo backdrop, a pet closet or whatever else would make you happy.
Not only will this be a lot more visually interesting to look at and set your place apart from others, but it will also spark joy in you whenever you walk by.
Even if you don’t have a whole unused room, you can apply this in smaller ways, too. No one says that an office has to have a desk, a bookshelf, a chair, etc. If you want a big bean bag or couch in the middle with a coffee table on wheels to work at, go for it.
Or if you do a lot of movie nights and just want your living room to have a huge couch and a projector, go for that.
The point is, don’t let the “normal” function of a room determine your use of that room if it doesn’t fit in with your lifestyle.
5. Purge what doesn’t serve a purpose or make you feel good
No matter how big your home is, there’s no space for things that don’t need to be there. There are objects that you need, and there are objects that you love. Anything else has no place.
Take inventory of everything in your space. From blankets to decor to furniture to rugs. Donate, toss or sell anything that you don’t feel serves your space well.
For example, I had this little abstract wall art piece in my bathroom for the longest time just because I brought it from my college apartment every time I moved. And I just threw it up on whatever wall because I had it. I do not like it, it’s not necessary, and my space would only benefit from it leaving. So out it goes.
For many things it may be as simple as this, particularly with small decor pieces. I’m looking at you, random trays or lamps or accessories you picked up just because they were on sale that you don’t even really like that much.
For other things, like couches, side tables, rugs, etc. they may have a purpose, but you don’t like them. Make a note to try to find a replacement next time you get a little extra spending money at your disposal. Or keep an eye out at the thrift stores or Facebook Marketplace.
Once you purge all these things that don’t feel like you, you’ll have a much better palette to work with. You can leave the spaces unfilled for a more minimalist look, or you can use the space you created as an opportunity to think about what you could put there that really makes you feel good.
6. Add colors and patterns
Color is such a great and effective way to add personality to your home! Even small pops of color can go a long way to making your home a little more lively and vibrant.
Add splashes – whether they’re small or big – of your favorite colors throughout. You can do this in pillows, furniture, walls, or smaller accents like art and other accessories.
If you want to create a specific vibe in your home, you could also consult color psychology. Add in blue for some peacefulness, yellow for a burst of happiness, green for a fresh feeling. Those are some common applications, but check out this post by Living Etc to learn more.
Same goes with patterns. I absolutely love cow print, so it shows up in several different places in my home – from a pillow to mugs, all the way to my front door. Although it doesn’t necessarily intuitively “match” with the rest of my decor, it’s something that I feel really represents me. So I love having it in my home.
If there are any patterns that resonate with you – or you just love pattern in general – find moments to incorporate it into your home.
7. Display meaningful details
“Personal” is the bulk of the word “personality,” so displaying stuff that is meaningful to you will really help you create a super unique vibe to your space.
There may be some overlap here with the other tips, such as my tips on collecting art. For instance, when it comes to artwork, some of your best pieces may not be professional at all. They could be gifts your friends made you or framed “masterpieces” by your children.
Or they could be art pieces that have really strong memories attached from moments in your life like trips or fun experiences with your friends.
It doesn’t just have to be artwork, though. You can display your favorite books, any collections you may have, awards/diplomas, sentimental stuffed animals from your childhood, etc.
Any details – whether there are a few or a ton – that are meaningful to you and you specifically, will help to contribute to the story that your home tells. And in the end, that’s what a home with personality is all about: the story.
8. Prioritize comfort – and what that means to you
Like I said before, you spend such a large part of your life in your home. So it should feel like a comfortable and welcoming space whenever you walk in.
The thing is, comfortable can look different to different people. It’s all about picturing what true comfort means for you. For some, that may mean a big, squishy couch because you like to sit there when you work from home or watch movies. For others, comfort may mean having blackout curtains so you can sleep in as much as you want. And for others, it could be having lots of storage solutions so that there isn’t clutter everywhere.
To think of what this may look like to you, try to picture your most blissed-out, peaceful existence in your home. What kind of details would you need to make that happen?
Another angle to approach it from is to think of what would make you uncomfortable? Once you identify those aspects, take steps to eliminate them.
9. Focus on function and your routine
Focusing on function is more of a practical tip in customizing your home to your needs, versus personalizing your home aesthetically. But I still wanted to throw it in here, because it’s important.
This tip kind of goes hand-in-hand with achieving the comfort mentioned in the last tip. But this is more in terms of making things easily accessible during your day-to-day routine.
A good exercise to put this tip into action is to notice your everyday routines as you’re going through them: waking up in the morning, walking in the door after work, cooking dinner, getting ready for bed, etc. As you’re doing these routines, take note of all the steps and how it relates to the space around you. Try to find ways to optimize it to make things easier and more comfortable for you.
I mentioned this idea in my new year’s home resolutions post, so I’ll use the same example here. Say you get home every day and find yourself setting your work bag on your dining table and your keys on the ledge by the door. A super easy fix here is to hang some cute coat hooks by your door and set a key bowl on the ledge.
These small moments not only make life so much easier, but it also adds some more personal texture to your home.
10. Have fun with all walls – including the fifth wall!
Paint is one of the funnest and cheapest ways to express yourself and add personality to your home. Don’t feel stuck to having all white or beige walls in your home just because that’s what they came with. (Honestly even if you’re in a rental or if you’re “not allowed,” you can always paint it back. That’s how I approach the issue).
Feel free to paint all the walls a color that makes you happy. Or just paint one accent wall. Or paint only a corner like I did in my office.
And if you have the arm strength, don’t be scared of the fifth wall. Your ceiling! These are the pops of color that always steal the show and get noticed. You can either paint the whole thing, wallpaper it, or paint designs around your light fixture for a quirky spin.
You can also paint other surfaces for a fun, more subtle pop. Door edges, mantels, and doors are some of my favorite places to add a little flavor.
Now you’re all set to add personality to your home!
Use some of these tips or use them all. Either way, you’ll be well on your way to having a home that is distinctly you. And if you pair that with a good aesthetic eye and knowledge of how to incorporate trends you like in your own way, you will inevitably create some killer design.
That’s the fun thing about design. No matter how many people there are in the world, we’re all capable of creating incredible, totally original design. All it takes is a little imagination and a lot of personality.
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Hey my name’s Hannah Michelle Lambert, the voice behind homey homies. I’m an LA-based designer, writer, and content strategist. I’m passionate about the intersection of productivity and creativity. I love talking about creative habits, technology, processes, and everything in between that helps me blend the Type A and Type B parts of my brain.
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