Your Home Should Tell Your Story

Posted September 25, 2013

Okay, here’s the question:  Do our homes have to tell a story about the people living there? 

 If you look at the ad by Arhaus, pictured above (and ignore my snide comment below it) you would probably agree that it is a very pleasant room.  It has nice comfy looking furniture, beautiful woodwork, nice soft rug, pretty lighting, some tchotchkes, etc.  It’s a room that is designed to appear to have a “history”; that it’s been there for a long time; that those pieces have maybe been in the family a while – but of course that’s an illusion.    If I took and purchased everything in that room and recreated that exact space – would it be a satisfying place to be? 

My supposition is that it would feel nice for a while but then you would start to wonder when your vacation is ending and when do you have to check out of this great hotel and go back home.  Home is not perfection, it’s personal – and no person is perfect.  When you look about your space, it should feel like an extension of your personality, your spirit, your priorities, your quirks, your history, your strengths & your weaknesses.   If you try to recreate a furniture company ad in your home then people will sit in that space and have no idea who you are – except that you shop at Arhaus, or Ethan Allen, or Ikea, etc.

 So, you may be saying, “But I’ve seen lots of interior design magazines where a designer comes in and buys every piece in the place, including the tchotchkes and the owners’ love it!”   Yes, that’s true.  But I’ll bet you the minute the designer and his photographer leave, the owners’ are putting out personal items, moving things a little, putting a worn but beloved afghan on the chair, putting the children’s toys out.   It’s a common lament among designers that they have to hurry to photograph a finished project before the home owners start filling it with personal crap.  And well they should – after all, it’s their story.