The things you own and how you display them makes a house a home that is especially yours. Even the most beautiful hotel room will never feel like home because it’s impersonal.
People try to copy a certain look from an interior design magazine and buy accessories to ‘fit’. If they think the maximalist look is fashionable, they ‘busy up’ their rooms with lots of decorations. But unless they’re significant, it will never feel right.
Memories are created by chancing upon things, so choose decorations as though they’re souvenirs of your life, recalling happy moments. That doesn’t mean that they can’t be matched with a scheme, but choices must be made with love.
You can stop it looking messy – put the tall things on the side, create negative (empty) space in front, use odd numbers of objects which go easier on the eye, and create clusters of colourful things together rather than spreading them around which can feel uneven if the rest of your colour scheme is neutral.
If you prefer the minimalist look, it doesn’t mean hide everything. Have a very clear backdrop, like a plain wall and shelf, and then curate and showcase a few objects that have real significance.
Put care and thought into where you place photos and pictures. Anything depicting food or drink should be hanging in the kitchen. Bedrooms need to be calming, so a picture of a dragon in there would be a big no no. And I’ve thrown out cushions with skulls and crossbones on them from bedrooms before! You might think, “It’s just a picture, what harm can it do?” but seeing aggressive things in your bedroom will change your state of mind and your mood.
Similarly, a picture of you and your partner is too intimate to have hanging in the living room. That would be perfect on your bedside table. Group pictures of your friends? They should be in the living room too, otherwise it will feel like you’re among your friends and it won’t be the relaxing vibe you need as you fall asleep.
I LOVE plants in rooms, but if you really struggle to keep them alive, suggest life instead with a bowl of fruit, sculptural lighting or hanging mobiles.