5 Easy Ways to Instantly Give Your Home More Personality
“Vibes” are all the rage these days. Although the word has become a lackluster Instagram caption cliché, VIBES really do matter. Especially the vibes in your home.
We’re finally becoming more cognizant of what, and how much, we consume, whether it’s the food we eat or the media we interact with. But we often neglect the profound impact of art and design in our own homes to either inspire, soothe, and uplift us (or to bring us to down).
The images and objects we look at every day—the curiosity items on our mantles, the books on our shelves, the art on our walls, and everything else—hold incredible power to comfort us and keep us feeling curious and creative. The ambiance we nurture in our homes, those intangible vibes, are what imbue our spaces with personality.
You don’t have to be an interior designer to make your home a sanctuary. Here are five simple ways to totally transform the atmosphere you occupy.
1. Elevate the Little Things
Display important objects and special items you’ve collected even if you haven’t traditionally thought of them in such high regard or worthy of showcasing. Bring moments and memories to life by using curiosity items or random souvenirs as accent pieces. Sometimes natural items like stones, strung beads, or even a piece of driftwood can serve as the finishing touch on a room.
For example, my wife and I collect stones and shells from every destination we travel to. We display them in a serving tray under our glass-top coffee table. The collection makes us happy every today, because it reminds us of how many places we’ve been together.
On the bookshelves in my office, I use a hand-painted ceramic skull from San Miguel de Allende, a vintage camera, and a bowling pin from my college days as bookends. Any objects that evoke happy memories are ripe with creative repurposing potential.
2. Go Green
Get some plants. Bringing some greenery into a space adds vitality and floods the room with vibes galore. We consider our fiddle-leaf, Bernard, who gracefully guards an otherwise oddly empty corner of our living room, a beloved member of our family. My cactus, Julio, reminds me to appreciate every ray of afternoon sunshine that beams through my windows.
Even if you think naming plants is weird, or don’t like caring for them at all, be not deterred! There are plenty of chic faux options that will satisfy the greenery quota and get the job done.
3. Solve the Blank White Wall Problem
Ever stared at a flashing cursor on a blank word document and felt totally stuck? Blank walls in your house give you the same frustrated feeling. Blank walls make interiors feel shoddy and unfinished. And every day when you see that glaring white space, you see only lack. Unrealized potential. Unclaimed inspiration. Plus, from a design perspective, you’re wasting a massive opportunity.
Interior designers understand this, which is why they make quick work of the Blank White Wall Problem. A blank wall, like a blank document or a blank canvas, is waiting—begging—to be filled.
Turn blank walls into powerful expressions of color. Aim to elicit emotional reactions with the art you select. Indulge in the sensory experience of your own wall. And let the way you use the room dictate the vibe you create with framed pieces. For example, add whimsy to a playroom with something bright, exuberant, or light-hearted. Inject a study with a sense of wonder and gravitas with a dramatic, black-and-white mountain print.
Don’t mistake an empty wall for sophisticated minimalism. It’s really just lazy. And you’ll feel lazier every day when you look at it and are reminded of your inaction to fill it. Punch the keys. Paint your canvas. Hang some art!
4. See It In a New Light
All professionally designed spaces have lighting dialed in. This includes not only the appearance and location of lamps and fixtures, but also the type of light they emit. Pay attention to whether your bulbs emit warm or cool light, if they’re halogen, LED, or incandescent. Consider lights with dimmers or softer light in your bedside lamp. Position floor lamps strategically to create the ideal ambiance. Don’t just screw in a bulb and call it a day.
5. Stay on the Scent
Find a candle or diffuser that speaks to you. I never used to give much consideration to scent in my home, but my wife is extra sensitive to smells and gave me a new appreciation for olfactory delights.
Now we burn a giant indigo candle that we picked up on a recent trip to Charleston, SC. It smells heavenly, reminds us of our fun trip, and makes our living room feel as soothing as a spa. Experiment with room diffusers to help relieve stress, and promote mental and physical wellbeing.
I’m not an interior stylist, or horticulturist, or lighting expert, or aromatherapist. But I can definitely help you solve the Blank White Wall Problem outlined in #3. I’ve designed my print shop to facilitate browsing by Place, Color, and Theme. I’ve also built in a Wishlist feature so you can keep track of all the fine art prints you’re considering and easily compare them. Let me know how I can help!