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If These Walls Could Talk

What is Personal Decorating Style?

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05/01/2011 - What is that special "something" that makes a room decor ring with personal style? It's you: your interests, your passions, your sense of humor, even your peculiarities. Without your presence being felt in a room's design, the space feels sterile and void.

The best homes are those where the owners have deftly and decisively made their presence felt with original thinking. Rooms that are lovable and memorable are built with personality rather than just money or even "good taste". Creating personal style comes out of the willingness to put yourself in the picture. Andre' Paul Guillaume Gide wrote "Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself". Translated into home decorating, this means getting rid of anonymous inconsequential things and bringing a focus on what you truly love.

Your choices of accessories, art and decorative items are the most prominent displays of your personality. Cherished keepsakes or heirlooms speak of heritage and pleasant memories. Whimsical artwork and fanciful accessories invest a home with the owner's sense of humor. The fluky acquisitions you collect as souvenirs, whether picked up during a stroll in the park or carted home from the other side of the globe, open a window to your memories and experiences.

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Your choice of major artwork takes this one step further. Artwork can transform a room from simply nice to absolutely stunning. Art within a room can be much more than a passive element. It can be the thing that defines the room's distinctive decorative character. Large photographs or paintings can be used to define the room's color scheme, give a focal point, and add presence. Smaller pieces when displayed in a close-knit grouping can provide the same impact. If you love the artwork and connect with it enough to bring it home, it will inherently embody a part of your personality and bring with it your personal style.

One caution: be sure of the statement the accessories and art in each room are making. When too many disconnected art pieces, souvenirs or heirlooms are crammed into a space, focus is lost. Like the indistinct roar of a crowd of people, the voice and meaning are lost. The sensory overload cancels out any individual expression of personality. Avoid this trap by spreading your accessories throughout your home. Don't limit their presence to just one or two rooms. There is no place where art shouldn't be. bathrooms, kitchens, hallways and stairwells can all benefit from art as much as the traditional living-room, dining room and bedroom and entryway locations. Even placing a surprise piece on the inside of a closet or cupboard door can bring a smile.

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