It’s easy to fill a home with things that you like. But home is where you should feel most like yourself, and it can be a powerful expression of who you are, beyond just your favorite colors and whether you prefer leather or cloth sofas.
Instead, you can use your home as a canvas to represent you and your family, including your history, your travels, and the things that keep you going. It should be your favorite place to be.
Here are the four main categories to consider when you’re designing a home that’s really you.
One of the most popular design elements in homes today is the gallery wall. Family and individual portraits are the perfect starting point, combined and arranged with other objects and décor that represent your family’s favorite things.
Consider going beyond your immediate family, too. A multigenerational display complete with antique photographs is a wonderful way to keep your history and your family’s history in mind. You can even get current family photos in black and white for visual continuity between the past and the present.
But hanging photos is only the most obvious way to represent the people who are important to you. Wall décor that features names, monograms, and even symbols for family members is another option if you want something even more unique and personalized.
Whether it’s block letters forming the family name or a sign saying when your family was “established,” this kind of décor simply makes a space feel more yours.
Of course, you can also use things as symbols to represent both people and history.
Family heirlooms are a good starting point, but that doesn’t mean you have to put your great grandmother’s dishes on display in a traditional china hutch. You can incorporate old things in new ways with DIY projects for anything from repainting furniture to creating unique ways to antique jewelry.
Then there’s your own history and all the things you’ve picked up along the way.
You don’t have to have traveled all over the world to have places that mean a lot to you. Maps of cities you’ve visited, state-themed artwork, skylines and cityscapes, or street art from places you’ve been are all perfect ways to remind you where you’ve been.
But having a home that reflects who you are certainly doesn’t have to center on the past. You should have décor that reminds you where you’re going and where you’d like to be.
Whether it’s an idea board for the dream home you’re saving for or a reminder to slow down and enjoy the moment, find a way to make sure there are visual reminders of your goals, your dreams, and your plans.
And don’t forget to have reminders of the ideas you value most. Hanging a personal or family motto, posting house rules, or even images of your role models can help make your home feel more like home—and you feel more like you.