With the growth over the last decades of mass-produced goods that fit in well with trends at the right price, homes are becoming increasingly uniform. So now, arguably, it is more challenging to keep your house reflective of your individual personality and uniqueness. Instead of going to flee markets, we seek the convenience of box stores, instead of holding onto antiques, we buy new objects with the same feel, and instead of racking our brains for what inspires us, we look in glossy magazines.
Laurie Jarvis is a designer with Unique Spaces in Ottawa. She talks about some simple, effective areas to look at adding individual touches too. If you are in the process of a full renovation or just looking for little things to change, these tips will be of service.
“Making your home unique does not have to be expensive at all, it could be as simple as thinking whether you love colour or not and going for it. All it takes is thinking outside of the box and buying things you love. Just because we go to showrooms and they are beautiful, doesn’t mean you can live in them,” she says.
Lighting can be as typical or as unique as you want it to be. If you’re looking to make lighting your own think about making a big statement with it. She recommends clusters of light fixtures, re-wiring antiques or repurposing an object into a light. If you look at interesting light design there are so many interesting examples, use them for inspiration and get what you love.
There are a lot of details in homes that can get overlooked. Making these small things your own is a simple and interesting way to add your personality to your interior design. Think about baseboards and crown moulding, and what you could do to make them a little more unique. You can build your own or add some details or colour to them. Unique interior doors can also add a splash of your personality through the type of door or unique hardware.
Sinks and faucets
New designs in sinks and faucets have liberated these objects from the shackles of plainness. There are all different ways you can use these elements in your kitchen or bathroom to make the statement of your choosing.
Plain mirrors can be fairly cheap to pick up and interestingly designed ones can cost much more. Think about buying an inexpensive one and getting it customized to your taste. You can choose any colour, texture or material you want, and it’s a simple way of showing off your own creativity and taste.
There are many ways to lay tiles or hardwood floors. While choosing the right colour or style can be a painful decision for some, you can also consider pattern. Patterns can be lovely and you could lay an inexpensive tile, like old subway tile, in a herring bone or chevron patter to get a zig-zag effect. For hardwoods you can also put your stamp on it by laying it out in a unique way.
Art is obviously a completely subjective thing that can have a major influence in making your home look unique. If you have the budget for original art, go for it and support a local artist. A $500 piece of art could get a lot more attention than getting the more expensive fridge you’re considering. If you aren’t into that - DIY! Art can be anything and very personal. Laurie says even if you have an antique doily your grandma gave you; frame it so it matches with your décor. If you are looking to add some abstract colour, have a fun afternoon with some canvas.
In the modern home
“I think that the modern look has to be tempered by personality and uniqueness because as beautiful and pristine as they look, the average person probably wants more warmth or texture,” she says. To make a modern home unique, it’s important to throw in little elements, like colour in plants, pillows or throws that don’t necessarily take away from the clean lines, but make you feel comfortable. Fortunately, the modern pallet is neutral so the details you add could be any colour or texture.
By Alyssa McMurtry