Why is Putting Personality into your Home so Important?
In a nutshell, to answer the question right away, without personality a house will never be a home. It can be a tastefully decorated, beautifully equipped house, but without some added personality bringing it to life, it will never feel like a real home. Consider the replica living rooms and bedrooms you wander through on a trip round Ikea: ubiquitous art on the walls, plastic fruit in a bowl, all new and shiny, but zero personality. In the same way, there’s nothing worse than entering a home and having no sense of the people who live there.
The best homes are full of personality, where the interiors reflect their owner. They are always more welcoming, authentic and vibrant than any blank, soulless canvas. That’s not to say the understated minimalist look doesn’t work, of course, as long as it’s also a true expression of the inhabitants’ lives, loves and personalities. Putting personality into your home is a principle that applies no matter where you live or what you live in. It doesn’t require the most sought-after postcode or bespoke furniture from the latest interior design magazine. It’s about showing an emotional link to your space through design decisions that come from the heart. And it’s why, as an interior designer, collaboration with a client is so crucial. I could design the interior of a house from top to bottom with no input from the owner, but my choices alone would never showcase their personality in the way that a single framed photo of their own would.
So, how do you go about it? Where do you begin? How do you know what style or design trends accurately represent you or suit your persona? These are tough questions – so much so that you can actually hire interior designers who will use online personality questionnaires and artificial intelligence to pigeonhole you to a décor type! You’re an "organised, efficient perfectionist"? Great, go with the stripped-back minimalist look I mentioned above! While there are elements of truth in these algorithms – certain types of people do like shabby chic when others prefer Scandi – there’s often no need to physically pose these questions. Personality shines through in every decision or choice we make when it comes to interior design. The patterns we gravitate towards or the colours we prefer "fit" us; they are subconscious affirmations of our personality every time we show a preference.
My advice is not to take a strict cookie-cutter approach, but to design and decorate using these personal choices, within the theories of interior design. If they happen to be in line with trends or styles, that’s great and can make complementing the look easier, but if not, it doesn’t matter. Trends come and go and are expensive to follow. As I’ve discussed before, your home needs to be a sanctuary where you can relax and be yourself. This means we need personal items or purchases that make the owner happy and suit their lifestyle. No strict rules also gives you the licence to have fun with your space – you can mix and match without pressure; repurpose much-loved pieces that help tell the owner’s story and reflect their personality; and go as crazy (or be as subdued) as you like!
The images above are taken from some of our favourite projects where we have helped clients put their personality into their home, from a ‘swanky’ bar to bespoke rugs and artwork that has inspired a theme.