Most of us have experienced the feeling of looking around our home and no longer feeling connected to it. “Spaces that reflect our style create a sense of belonging, ownership and grounding,” says designer Angie Rogers from Interior Tailor Co. “Displays of treasured items weave their story into a space and anchor us to our past. Everyone is unique, and our homes should reflect this.”
Creating personal spaces needn’t break the bank. Here are six easy changes to make a house feel like home.
Mirrors are more than merely practical, says designer Martine Cooper. “They bounce light around a dark room, make a small space appear larger and reflect greenery outside, drawing it indoors.” Choose a sizeable full-length style and lean it against a wall, or group vintage styles together. “Look for mirrors of similar shape, style or metallic finish,” she suggests. “It creates a harmonious look.”
“As Australians, we’re houseproud and like to put our personalities out there,” says Chantelle Surace from 3M Command. “No matter where you live, a personal gallery wall is a great way to showcase you.”
Choose a large focal-point wall or personal space like a hallway or bathroom and select a theme, such as photography, oil paintings, vinyl records or holiday treasures. Curate different sizes and shapes and plot an arrangement using a pencil. Place one item in the centre of the wall and spiral the other pieces around it.
“3M Command Picture Hanging Strips are brilliant if you rent or like to swap up your styling,” Surace says. “Feelings and trends are ever-changing. There are no rules, so rotate your pieces, change your style, and swap your memories around to reflect how you feel now.”
The strips are ideal for hanging items on any interior surface, including Gyprock, wood, tile, metal and glass, and can hold up to 7.2 kilograms. No tools are required; simply follow the instructions, applying strips to a clean wall. When removing, pull the strip down for damage-free surfaces: no holes, peeling paint, cracked plaster or sticky remainder.
Paint an empty wall a bold colour or wrap it in wallpaper. “Both have an immediate impact on your space and mood,” Cooper says. “If renting, there’s a great range of removable wallpapers for adding temporary colour, pattern and interest.” Rogers agrees and says paint is transformative: “It’s readily available, cost-effective and a non-permanent decorating solution. Test various colours and view at different times of the day to ensure you are happy with your choice.”
Store your book collection by colour and let your bookcase be the vibrant centrepiece of a neutral room. “Try stacking vertically and horizontally, or lean over to one side, ensuring there is some breathing space or room for other objects,” suggests Rogers. “Pulling books to the front of the shelf edge rather than pushing them back creates a clean line, regardless of book sizes.”
A beautiful rug brings neutrals to life and connects to shades in furnishings and decor for cohesive styling. “Right now, we’re seeing round and irregular shapes that soften sharp edges in the home,” Cooper says. “They’re like art on the floor.” Consider the size and shape of your room and how the rug will fill it. “In the living room, consider the sofa arrangement and other furniture, and use the rug as an anchor and create a zone. Typically, you want the sofa’s front legs on the rug to make the space feel connected, or go larger and place everything on top of it.”
Leaning ladder-style shelving makes an eye-catching statement piece. Easy to move from room to room, it’s also practical if you are renting. Place by the front door as a spot for keys, in the kitchen for storage, or the bathroom for towels and accessories. “Style items in mini vignettes,” Rogers suggests. “Group in threes using varying heights and shapes to create different levels and interest.”