by Marsie Klug
The importance of embracing bold and subtle décor to express individuality in the home Does your home express your individuality?My parents encouraged my sisters and me to embrace our unique individual preferences and creative sides as we lived under their roof. One simple way my parents nourished an environment of individual discovery was by allowing us relatively free reign when it came to decorating our bedrooms. My sisters and I switched bedrooms every few years, and these periodic changes provided ample opportunity to transform the canvases of the bedrooms and define our new preferences. Consequently, the walls are now thick with layers of paint – going from pastel yellows and pinks as toddlers, to sponge painted shades of purples and turquoises during our pre-teens, to flamingo pinks, lime greens and more purples during the early teenage years, to a brief return to a pastel yellow, before finally ending on subtly sophisticated shades of blues and greens for guest bedrooms when we return home for visits. More defining than the wall colors, our bedrooms featured accessories depicting our preferences: from doll houses and pictures of horses; to flamingo neon lamps, a mirrored disco ball, glitter lava lamp, glow in the dark stars, rainbow door hanging beads, and a silver inflatable chair; to tchotchkes collected while traveling. The experimenting continued beyond changing wall colors and collecting trendy accessories, my sisters and I experimented with temporary modifications to our bedrooms. Blanket forts sprung up on a whim. Rope lights were strung up and taken down every few months. Once, my older sister and I transformed our bedroom into a jungle, taping hundreds of green construction paper leaves throughout the room and attempting to make mock trees on our closets. The changing wall colors and décor reflected who we were at each age, marking our transformations over the years. Our bedrooms were our corner in the world, a place to be ourselves, discover, learn, and grow. In January, the Detroit Free Press posted an article about embracing color boldly in the kitchen – beyond small appliances and accessories. Instead of the traditionally popular white cabinets or stainless steel appliances, the article highlighted neon colored cabinets and major appliances. If you are itching for bold, spring for glossy lacquered yellow cabinets, a lime green refrigerator, or even a “radiant orchid” (magenta) oven. Not everyone’s tastes lend themselves to a neon kitchen. But everyone has a taste. Determine your taste and be bold enough to question why you prefer a style. Be bold enough not to have every design decision in your house be dictated by current trends or resale value. The happiness of a home fitted to you is priceless. In your next home project, of any size and scale, find a way to insert your personality.
6 tips for showing your personality in the home:
1) Reflect on what you like – what makes you smile, makes you feel serene or excited? Take the time to determine what is you. If nature provides a sense of peace, question how nature can be brought into the home. Perhaps a connection with literal nature can be made visually through strategically placed windows, or figuratively through hues of greens, grays, browns, and blues. 2) Paint the town walls red! Maybe a bit obvious, but paint is one of the quickest and less expensive ways to transform a room. Color on the walls can say a lot about an individuals tastes.3) Take small steps of transformation through accessories. Accessories can pack a lot of punch when it comes to personality: spring for the orange KitchenAid mixer, the patterned fabric chair, or a new rug to add variety to a room. 4) Consider bold choices in permanent-ish items. If you plan on living in your house for at least ten years, feel free to go bold with the more permanent selections. Most likely if you sell your house, the next person will change the cabinets, counters, and flooring to suit their tastes or the current trends. If you would get joy from blue countertops, high gloss neon cabinets, or orange floors, go for it and have fun! 5) Allow the architecture to fit you. Step outside the cookie cutter home and go custom, having a home designed to the way you live. Do you want an interior courtyard with a garden protected from deer, a game room with a pool table for socializing, or an arched alcove to curl up and read a book? 6) Be willing to experiment. As humans, we change over time. Experimenting allows us to discover new things we may like! I may not prefer a glitter lava lamp or mirrored disco ball anymore, but those experiments taught me how lighting and mirrors can transform the atmosphere of a room! Do you have a place in your home expressing your individuality? Are you lost on how to bring your personal style to your home? Remember that designers and architects can help you distill your tastes and bring them into a reality.