Everyone wants their home to reflect their own personal style, but it’s easy to conform to rules and trends in interior design. Here are ten ideas of how to spice things up to make your decor less ordinary and more unique.

 

1.Display things that are meaningful to you

framed photo under window

The best way to make your space original is to personalize it to your experiences.  This includes anything – your favorite pictures, your stamp collection, your high school sports jersey (reliving the glory days), your kids art, or a ticket stub from your favorite movie. No matter what it is, it’ll make your space unique to you. It will also make your home a source of inspiration and creativity, especially if you keep these items well organized and displayed deliberately. To ensure photos and other paper items are organized, put them into picture frames – it will give them a more polished look. For collections and other novelty items, dedicate a shelf or two solely to displaying the collection. If your collection can hang, such as vintage teacups, another option is to buy hooks and display them on a wall.


2.Hang a picture or art below your window

framed photo under window

While windows are great for adding light to your room, a lot of windows can make it hard to customize your space to your style if they take up a lot of wall space. Although the general rule for hanging photos or art is to hang them at eye level, a fun way to break the rules (aren’t rules made to be broken?) is to place a picture or multiple pictures below your window frame. It can add flair to a window-heavy room. Even for rooms with fewer windows, a picture below a window adds an interesting focal point low to the ground, and makes sure not to overwhelm the walls at eye level.

Image credit: Kim Osborne


3.Change the hardware

Gold animal hardware

Using the hardware that comes in your kitchen or on a piece of furniture is cheap and easy, but boring.  Not only that, but generic hardware can date furniture (in a bad way, not a cool vintage way), and even make it look cheap. Make your room or furniture more glamorous by updating the knobs and pulls. It’s best to avoid replacing your knobs with the ones that you buy in bulk at stores like Home Depot because they often have the same cheapifying effect. You can buy unique ones at hardware at stores like Anthropologie and more expensive looking hardware at places like Restoration Hardware. If you don’t feel like spending that much money, making your own hardware is also an option, and it adds your own personal touch. You can refinish your old hardware or make completely new ones out of wood, leather, rope, or even cutlery for kitchen cabinets.

Image credit: Ashley Poskin


4.Make the ceiling a focal point

ceiling medallion, chandelier

The ceiling has so much potential to add style to your room, but people rarely consider it when designing their room. It’s like a blank wall, and to make the room cohesive, it should be integrated into the design and style of the room.  Even more importantly, by drawing the eye upwards, it makes your room feel larger. There are many ways to make your ceiling the focal point of your room. Some ways take a lot of effort or money, like wood beams or chandeliers - however they are beautiful.  A medallion is an easier option and they’re more affordable (find inexpensive ones at Home Depot). It can ride solo, or place it at the base of a chandelier or fan to add elegance and class.  Another idea is to paint it a color other than white. Even take it a step further by painting a pattern with a stencil or add fun wallpaper.

Image credit: Andrea Sparacio


5. Add pictures in the bathroom

bathroom, framed pictures

It may seem like an odd place to hang your framed pictures, but it adds a personal touch to your bathroom. Also, you spend a lot of time in the bathroom throughout your day. , It’s usually the first place you go in the morning and the last place you are before you bed. Displaying personal photos in your bathroom can start or end your day in a positive way.  Be sure to frame these photos in high quality frames that will protect them from humidity from the shower and damaging toiletries like perfume and hairspray.

Image credit: Keep Smiling


6. Hanging plants

hanging plant, living room

Plants add so much to a room: color, texture, and literal perspiring life. It’s pretty standard to put plants in planters on the floor, or in vases on tables. Try another way to bring the life into your room by adding hanging plants. This will bring life to your room without taking up floor or table space, which is important especially in small spaces. Oversized hanging plants can be a focal point, much like a chandelier. Alternatively, try a more minimalistic look by hanging terraria with succulents from the ceiling.

Image credit: Monica Wang


7. Swinging bed or chair

hanging, swinging bed

Kick it back to your childhood days, and bring the playground into your home. Swinging furniture also helps you relax, like a rocking chair. It’s pretty easy to make your own using wood and rope from a hardware store. Just be careful that your ceiling is strong enough to support a swing (with a person on it), otherwise it could be dangerous.

Image credit: Andrew French and Patrick McMullan for Showtime House 2010


8. Add interest to your front door

blue front door

The front of your house is often the first impression of your house, and curb appeal is a large part of whether or not your home is welcoming. Make the outside of your house stand out from the others on your block by changing up the entrance. Painting your door a bright color is an easy way to draw attention to your house (in a good way) and make it inviting. Colors have an impact on our subconscious. Try a blue, which indicates trust and peace, or a green, the color of stability and growth.

Image Credit: Apartment Therapy


9. Framed pictures in your kitchen

Picture frame art, kitchen

Like bathrooms, kitchens may seem like an odd place to put family photos, especially because wall and counter space is often sparse. Nevertheless, people spend a lot of time in their kitchens: according to Distractify, each person spends an average of 2.5 years of their life cooking and 3.66 years eating. Now that’s a lot of time in the kitchen. Cozy up the kitchen by adding pictures that are meaningful to you. If you have wall space or a breakfast nook those are perfect places to hang either solo photos or a whole gallery wall of them.

Image Credit: Dwell


10. Paint a room a dark color

black walls, light room

Light is an integral part of making a room feel large and homey. As long as there is a decent source of light (i.e. windows and lots of lamps), this doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to bright paint colors. Dark or black walls give your space a cool moody look, and they also act as a conversation starter. When painting your room a dark color, be careful - dark paints are less forgiving than light ones, so choose your paint brand and color wisely and do the job carefully. An important thing to remember is to balance the dark walls with lighter features in your room to make it more welcoming. If you don’t want to take the scary plunge by painting your whole room a dark color, a dark accent wall can have the same effect.

Image credit: Landa Architects and Joseph Dirand