Our home reflects our personality and tastes. However, today, it is common to see houses that have been given designer imprints but do not really reflect the person living in it.
"An interior that doesn't suit your personality aesthetically can have a negative effect on you. We are all different so that means creating an interior, which is balanced and harmonious with your lifestyle, more importantly, an interior, which is fine-tuned to your individual wellbeing," writes Ireland-based interior architect and designer Nicola Elizabeth Jones on her website.
You can do this by making some very simple basic changes in the decor. It is not about Feng Shui or vaastu shashtra. It is about moulding your home to your being. "A designer can provide their clients with the best of the products that money can buy, but unless the home owners do not personalise it, the place is as good as a hotel suite," says Mumbai-based interior designer Tvisha Dharia.
A reflection of yourself
Our homes actually have a remarkable link to our health and well-being. This is because our homes are but extensions of ourselves. If we assert ourselves here and let our houses grow and change with us, and if our homes become "warm and inviting" rather than "beautiful but cold", it will increase our sense of happiness.
Even if designers are doing up your home, there are some factors, which put your own unique stamp on your house. This is what personalisation is all about.
Look around your house. What do you see? Does every nook and corner of your home speak to you? Can you identify with your home? Do you feel it reflects you as a person? If not, it's time to get up, close and personal! Have a look at your home and do some thinking.
Beautify your home
Here are some ways to give that exclusive personal touch to your home:
Let pictures do the talking
Nothing portrays your individuality as much as your pictures. "By means of a photograph you can give an insight to visitors into your personal life. It's also a great conversation starter. Above all, it helps you relive the moments shared with loved ones," says Dharia. The very essence of clicking photographs is to capture pleasant memories and the best way to recall the times is to display them.
By displaying pictures of your loved ones, the statement you make is that 'we the people in these photographs are proud owners of the house, we love each other and that love makes this house our home'.
But, there is a way to display photos. Invest in good-looking photo frames and put up an assortment of family photos on a wall or on table tops. You can even arrange them as a family tree. Corridors and passages offer a lot of space to display pictures. You can even use digital frames or print them on tiles.
Display hobbies and collectibles
All humans are intrinsically collectors. But most of our collections are stacked away in drawers and boxes. Your collections, if displayed will add distinctiveness to your home that cannot be matched by expensive showpieces.
It is important to identify how and where you want to display your collections. For example, stamps could be displayed in an album on the coffee table in the living room. Perfume bottles can be arranged to form an enticing display. Your postcard collection could find its way on the jolly board or magnetic board in your study.
You can think of different ways to proudly display your collection. Besides adding to the style quotient of your home, it will give your hobby a boost.
Show off family treasures and heirlooms
Things that have been passed down the ages deserve an esteemed place. The big copper pot that may have been used in your great-grandmothers kitchen can have a lot of 'style value' in your living room and emotional value in your heart. "These items help in adding that extra something to your house and make it your own special haven, a place you come to, your home" concludes Tvisha.
So, scoop around for items that you think are redundant and belong to the past, but yet are special to you. If you think creatively, you'll be surprised at how appropriately they can be used even now.
Let your home reflect your needs, lifestyle and values
The structure and decor of your house needs to reflect your lifestyle too. So, if you are an avid reader, create a reading corner in the living room or a shelf dedicated to books. If you are a board games buff, have a table in the hall that displays the games. The idea is to think about what you like and how you can make your house reflect that.
"We included a lot of space for plants and landscapes and even had an area for pots on shelves in the living room, for one of my client who was a nature lover," says Mumbai-based interior designer Darshini Shah.
"It is these little factors that add to the positive vibes in a house. Ultimately, when come home and see your familiar things that matter to you, it makes you feel happy to be home,"
Personalise even little things
There are several small ways by which you can personalise stuff that you use on a day-to-day basis. For example, you can get your name or photos printed on towels, mugs and other little things.
In fact, on a trip to Goa, I visited an old Portuguese house where they had ordered cutlery from China with their initials imprinted. Even the crockery designs matched the decor of the house.
If you are just doing up your home it would be wise to discuss these points with your interior designer and then work on it. However, a lot of changes can also be incorporated later. You only need to get in touch with yourself, and tune in to your house.
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