How to bring personality into your space

Look, this is a difficult one. I have rewritten this post about 10 times by now, and I don’t know how to stop deleting this one. When designing a space, people always like to boast about how personal te space is. How it has it’s own identity. On the other hand, I get a lot of questions about how I inject personality into a space. I can’t give a cookie cutter answer, but I can tell you how I do it. That way, you can do it as well: but in your own way. Welcome to the messiest #Blogvember post ever.

Getting inspired by people instead of showrooms

This blogpost is all over the place, but I want to start with an important preface. In the past, people looked at stores and brands to set the trends. Showrooms and press photo’s were the main source of inspiration to “the people”. Nowadays, that has changed. People look at likeminded people online to find inspiration. It’s no longer about a clean cut set of furniture and decor items, it’s more so about the vibe and the lifestyle that’s portrayed on social media. I am a big time fan of this development, because it reflects a more personal approach to home decor.

Don’t forget your roots

My grandfather’s old typewriter, which reminds me of where I got my interest for the written word from.

I live in Amsterdam, but I was not born here. I also don’t have a lot of family here in Amsterdam. That’s why it is important to me to have reminders of that in my home here. I have a picture with a photo from my sister’s wedding on display, even though it doens’t go with my “decor style”. I like it there. I also have a typewriter that belonged to my grandfather. He was an (amateur) author and I like to think I got my love for words from him. Above my bed I have an old newspaper, a local newspaper to the area I was born. Seeing names of shops, streets and villages I know all to well daily on the wall keeps me grounded and rooted.

The ‘Twentsche Courant Tubantia’ which was local to the area I grew up. It’s like typography art, but different.

It’s not perfect, but it’s mine

Besides the fact that I believe in the sutainability behind not throwing anything out “just because”, I also believe it adds character to the space. My furniture and decor items are far from perfect. They sometimes clash in colour, or are a bit battered and scratched. It’s all trash, but it’s my trash. Some stuff I have owned for over 15 years, and I plan on keeping for another 50 years or so. My rugs for example do clash, but for now that’s just how it is. Might I change it up in the future? Sure! But then it would still be something I like, not something that looks perfect. I’m just a messy person, so that will never be my life I guess.

My rugs clash in colours, but I like it that way for now. Also, my jeans were not meant to be this ripped, it kind of started happening.

More abstract storytelling

People ask all the time about the stuff I have on my wall. They’re all not that expensive, but they look interesting (I think) because of the way they are paired. It’s not like I bought 5 posters from one shop one day and viola: I had a gallery wall. I pieced it together over the span of years and years, and plan to keep doing so for years to come. All my pieces reflect something of me or of what I like. My love for forests and nature, or my interest in organic human forms and shapes. In no way do I want to see myself as an artist, but I have an artistic view towards decor. Which sometimes comes with “not following the rules”.

The human form interests me, but also the way we capture things such as eyes and cameras.

This space is being lived in

What I think is important in the way we get inspired by social media, is keeping it as real as possible. Granted, I won’t show you my place after a busy week with days worth of dishes and a floor filled with clean and dirty clothes: but I’m trying to keep it kind of real. I’m trying to refrain from setting up shots (you know, the perfectly placed cup of coffee, a magazine, delicious pastries, etc). I also show that I live here. So my sheets on my bed are wrinkled, my pillows on my daybed are a bit messy. This also reflects my personality, because I too don’t always look “perfect”. And I have no desire to do so either.

The poof / ottoman I’ve owned for 15 years. The pillows on my daybed are all bought on seperate occasions, and have some wrinkles here and there.

Applying my tips to your personality

Look: per definition, you will have a different personality and in turn a different approach to achieve a personal styled space. I think this post is mostly meant to challenge you to think of these things, which hopefully give you ideas on how to bring your personality into the space. Thanks again for reading, and I’ll see you on Instagram or tomorrow for another #Blogvember post!

3 Comments

  • I like this post and it’s not really messy. It’s because the subject matter to you and you want to write everything what’s on your mind. And it’s you because you said it yourself at the end of the post “I’m not always perfect.”

    Now about the subject of your post. The sources for inspiration nowadays can be a bit overwhelming. At least it’s for me. The difficulty is that I like a lot. Different styles, different vibes. On IG I follow accounts with stunning interiors. Not because I want to have a similar interior (sometimes I don’t even like the style) but because they inspire me.

    My bedroom, kitchen and livingroom has different styles/feels. I call it MY style. Friends always tell me that my house is ME. I see it as a big compliment. I had it in my IG bio at first: “my apartment is me; parts masculine, parts feminine. No label fits and that’s how I like it. Interior wise and personally.”
    Your account stands out because of your style and that’s what got my attention in the first place. The part the reminders of your heritage is familiar. I’ve also got a lot of stuff with memories in my house. I’m glad that both my grandparents and parents took good care of them so now I can enjoy them.

    As for the pics: sometimes I “set up” a shot, it’s part of my DNA as graphic designer. It’s more like adding something like a plant or a drink. Another thing that is part of my DNA is that my house isn’t messy. I’m well organised. Not a neat freak but my friends will say I’m suffering from OCD (but I always tell them that the D isn’t correct. It’s only an disorder if it’s running (or ruining) your life 😉 ).

    So as I said in the beginning. I like this post very much because it’s written with passion. Next time don’t throw away the earlier drafts.
    Sorry about the ranting… It’s called OCW. Obsessive Compulsive Writing.

  • Attempt 2: I replied but I doesn’t show.. don’t know if it’s because of your settings. But here we go.
    I like this post and it’s not really messy. It’s because the subject matter to you and you want to write everything what’s on your mind. And it’s you because you said it yourself at the end of the post “I’m not always perfect.”

    Now about the subject of your post. The sources for inspiration nowadays can be a bit overwhelming. At least it’s for me. The difficulty is that I like a lot. Different styles, different vibes. On IG I follow accounts with stunning interiors. Not because I want to have a similar interior (sometimes I don’t even like the style) but because they inspire me.

    My bedroom, kitchen and livingroom has different styles/feels. I call it MY style. Friends always tell me that my house is ME. I see it as a big compliment. I had it in my IG bio at first: “my apartment is me; parts masculine, parts feminine. No label fits and that’s how I like it. Interior wise and personally.”
    Your account stands out because of your style and that’s what got my attention in the first place. The part the reminders of your heritage is familiar. I’ve also got a lot of stuff with memories in my house. I’m glad that both my grandparents and parents took good care of them so now I can enjoy them.

    As for the pics: sometimes I “set up” a shot, it’s part of my DNA as graphic designer. It’s more like adding something like a plant or a drink. Another thing that is part of my DNA is that my house isn’t messy. I’m well organised. Not a neat freak but my friends will say I’m suffering from OCD (but I always tell them that the D isn’t correct. It’s only an disorder if it’s running (or ruining) your life 😉 ).

    So as I said in the beginning. I like this post very much because it’s written with passion. Next time don’t throw away the earlier drafts.

    Sorry about the ranting. It’s my OCW (obsessive compulsive writing).

    • I have it set that I have to approve comments, which I sometimes forget to check! But I got both of them ;). I really agree on the part about following people on Instagram not because you want that style, but because you find little things that inspire you. I also follow some people just because they have a really unique way of decorating their home, or just because I like how they post/write about their home. The setting up shots is something I too do to be fair, but to an extend. I’d never change it all up solely for a picture. I do add a cup of coffee here and there, or put some stuff away to make it look more clean.

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