How do you make a home your own? Sally Coulthard, a Yorkshire-based stylist and author, thinks she has the answer.
She has written a fascinating book called A Home of Your Own: Creating Interiors with Character. As you would expect with her background, the photos are beautifully styled. She also give lots of useful tips on adding individuality, or as she terms it, character to your home.
So what is character? Typically I think of it as period features or interesting quirks in a home. Sally has broadened her interpretation to include curated clutter (a la Abigail Ahern). So you don’t need to have a period home, you can create character through your own furnishings and style.
So what are some of her tips for adding character?
- Create vignettes or picture walls with personal items such as photographs, children’s artwork and found objects.
- Bring your photographs or artwork into utilitarian spaces such as bathrooms (check out the Gowar home)
- Display any collection you may have proudly (such as in the Clarkson home).
- Up cycle salvaged treasures to create unique items such as wooden shutters repurposed to be a magazine rack.
- Use natural materials where you can. For example, wood inevitably has individuality because no two pieces are like.
- Dot your home with surprising items, such as oversized furniture or humorous objects (as suggested by Jonathan Adler)
Lest you still think character is all about antique furniture, she suggests any well made item has character, whether architectural salvage, vintage, retro or modern.
Sally’s approach is all about making your home individual to yourself and a place where you feel comfortable and can create some of your happiest memories. In a family home, I don’t think you can create a perfect show home anyway (not without an army of staff putting things to rights constantly).
Fundamentally, I agree with the principle that a home should reflect who lives there and their interests. I also noticed in writing up this piece, a lot of the style makers I’ve referenced believe in “stuff”, albeit organised and curated clutter.
After years of chic minimalism, I wonder if clutter is making a comeback? Frankly, I’m not sure it ever went away but rather got stashed into cupboards and drawers whenever we had guests around our houses.*All photos are from a Home of Your Own (picture credits on page 186).