I just read an interesting article about how Oprah is redecorating her Montecito California home. In the article (you can read it here) Oprah shares how even though she has decorated many beautiful homes over the years not one of them ever really felt like her home nor did she ever feel completely comfortable in them. Oprah says rather than decorating around who she really is, she fell victim to decorating with what was trendy, in style, or what she “thought a famous person’s home should look like”. Case in point; if I had to guess who lived in the room below, Oprah would most likely not come to mind.
This time around, Oprah says she is finally focusing on creating a home that feels like her home. She wants to put her feet up (with her shoes on) and not worry about scratching an antique coffee table. She wants her dogs to cuddle on the sofa with her and not worry about drool on the fabric. She wants to create a home that reflects her life style and functions for how she lives…she wants to have a house with a Soul.
If I could talk to Oprah I would share these 7 tips for creating a Soulful Home.
1. Make note of how you REALLY live and be totally honest. If you eat in the family room in front of the TV every night then maybe you want a table in the family room or a coffee table that lifts up and doubles as a tray table. If you rarely use your formal dining room but desperately need a home office or a play area for your children then go ahead and turn the dining room into an office or play space.
2. Don’t buy all your furniture from the same store. Even though you might love the look of a particular trendy store think about what you like about that store’s particular look and create it with a mix of different furniture from different sources. Nothing has less Soul than a room that looks like a page out of a catalog.
3. Add in something handmade, vintage or unexpected. A great way to bring Soul to a room is to add in something that is hand made or something with a little history. This could be original art work (even your children’s artwork), a custom made piece of furniture, a vintage basket … something that doesn’t say ”made in China” on the back.
In the room above, the contemporary sofa and fabrics get some added Soul with the addition of the painted vintage dresser and vintage lamps and chair.
4. Family Portraits. A great way to add a Soul to your home is to show visitors who lives there. Tip: Rather than scatter family photos around the house, display them all together for greater impact.
5. Books. Books that reflect your interests and books that you actually read tell visitors who lives in the home, what they are interested in and gives the home personality and Soul.
6. Collections. display what you love, collect and treasure and your home will be filled with Soul. Don’t worry if your collection isn’t trendy or if it is unusual, all that maters is that it speaks to you.
7. Choose color based on what you like and not the trend color of the moment. I can’t stress this one enough. Just because shades of gray are currently trending doesn’t mean you should paint your walls gray…unless you love gray! I painted my sitting room walls blue/green because it is a color I love and makes me happy…not because of any color trend.
So how about you? How do you like to add Soul to your home? Can you think of anything I missed?