So, I checked the site launch of Space+Habit off my “blogger to-do list” (fwew!), published a few posts (great!), and am onto reviewing my list of brainstormed topics (nice!). But wait, something isn’t quite right. So many of the posts I brainstormed are foundational interior design technique…perfect for an interior design and lifestyle blog, right? True! But… as I skimmed through the list, I recalled the actual approach I took styling our home design. Here’s the dirty secret: I gathered some inspiration, poured myself a few glasses of wine, unleashed my crazy on Pinterest, and bought the things I liked. That was really it.
Okay, maybe there’s more to the story than that but, I did know the things I liked before I obeyed any rules of home design. Not to say there isn’t a technique to thoughtful interior design – there are true and proven theories about color and composition that promise an appealing aesthetic. But, at the end of the day, your home is YOUR space and incorporating the things you love is what makes your home design fun and unique.
Think about it…anyone in this world can take an inspirationally designed shot from a West Elm catalog (let’s be real, they crush it) and duplicate it. Can the same be said for a cow-loving, mid-century modern enthusiast whose favorite color is pink? That’s a made up figure, but you get the gist. Make your home style you, like the things you like and incorporate them into the aesthetic for which you are striving. So, here it is:
How to Make Your Home Design Unique
Know Some Color Theory
So, I lied. There is one element that probably holds more power than any other in interior design, it’s color. You could literally throw cow statues in every corner of your home using the right balance of complementary, analogous or monochromatic colors and make it work. HGTV lays it out pretty well in their Color Theory 101.
Tip #1: DO use a color scheme as your guiding principle to understand what will work in your home. I go by 3-4 foundational colors per room to keep things clean and simple.
Buy the Stuff You Love
Have you ever been in a store, found something that brought a smile to your face but didn’t buy it because it seemed too weird for your home? Stop that! If you see something you like, buy it! True story, I bought and carried a 20 pound brass deer for a mile from a store I passed about 5 times beforehand. Had no idea if it would work in our home or where I was going to put it but I knew that I loved it. It’s still one of the more talked about pieces of decor in our home!
Tip #2: DON’T pass up the home decor your truly love. If you’re worried, try and find the thing you love in a one of the colors you have selected for your scheme.
I find that many of us feel a need to go with one specific style. It’s either all mid-century or no mid-century or all boho or no boho. Some of my favorite design schemes combine a number of different periods, cultures and general design styles. Don’t be afraid to mix and match. Again, if you follow some color theory and pull a thread of color throughout your design, you will be surprised at how much you can pull off.
Tip #3: DO embrace eclecticism in your design. Catalog-design is boring and isn’t original. Break convention and color outside the lines in areas of your home. I think an 80/20 balance is fair. 80% conventional or catalogue inspired decor, 20% your personal inspired decor.
Find Inspiration and Tweak It
Absolutely, 100%, flip through the seasonal West Elm and Crate and Barrel catalogs. They are amazing sources of design inspiration. But, don’t be bound by them.
Tip #4: DO look at the overall composition of catalogue rooms (e.g. what wall color did they pair with the color of furniture selected, etc.) and then picture your art, pillows, and eclectic accents within that mix.
Pin boards are a great way to visualize how your design is really going to play out. I pin every element of a room before we move, paint, or redecorate.
Tip # 5: DO pin the drool-worthy items from catalogs and then take pictures of your existing items and add them to your boards. This will allow you to see how everything is going to work together. Here’s a sample of the planning Pin Board for our living room.
Bonus: Good Wine Helps
You would be amazed at what a glass of good wine will do for your creativity. Seriously! My go to is a nice Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec. It really helps you break with convention and pull together some amazing and abstract ideas.