Your browser version is no longer supported, so you may experience issues while using this site.
Please upgrade to a current browser to enjoy the best experience.


How to bring a real sense of self to your home

19 August 2020

We all want our homes to be a reflection of who we are. So how can we incorporate more of ourselves into our interiors? Here are four ways to personalise your space.

In a largely homogeneous world, it’s important that we can escape to a home that feels like us. Incorporating a sense of self into your interiors will amplify the sense that you’ve created a nest: somewhere safe, welcoming and distinctly yours.

But how to do that? Before you begin thinking about personalising your space, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I really value?
  • What brings me joy?
  • What makes me feel relaxed and calm?

With your answers in mind, here’s a little more food for thought.

Decorative pieces with meaning

Rather than displaying cookie-cutter pieces that can be found in every homewares store, choose decorative elements that are really meaningful to you. These could be family heirlooms passed down through the generations, treasured gifts from friends and family, or mementoes from a favourite holiday. If you’re a collector, grouping your treasured pieces together will have more impact than scattering them willy-nilly throughout the house. Arrange a display of meaningful pieces — everything from a shell to an old house key to a baby photo — in a metallic-trimmed glass photo box on a coffee table. Not only will it look great, but it might start an interesting conversation.

Colour, colour and more colour

Everybody loves a crisp white wall, which is why white remains an enduring staple in our interiors. But white doesn’t really have a personality. Colour, on the other hand, not only adds visual interest to a space, it speaks volumes about who we are. “The first thing we see and respond to in a room is colour,” says Karen Haller, a colour psychologist and author of The Little Book of Colour. “We have an emotional reaction to it.” We’re not suggesting painting all your walls purple; rather, introduce hues in manageable doses, especially if colour is a newish concept for you. This might be as simple as painting your front door a striking shade of teal or pink, or adding drama to a self-contained room (rather than an open-plan space) with deep, rich shades of blues, greys and reds. And don’t forget about wallpaper! It can add oodles of interest to spaces like hallways and powder rooms.

Creative agency

Home-made pieces are deeply personal, but how do you incorporate that kind of authenticity if you’re not an arty-crafty type? You only need to search “DIY home decor” on the internet or Pinterest to find a thousand ideas, but key here are simple creative concepts that reflect who you are. Why not consider printing your favourite digital photographs of family and friends in black and white, mounting them in different-sized white frames and arranging them in a striking vignette on a wall or in the hallway? Similarly, scour op shops for old paintings, then use the ornate frames as backdrops to your children’s works of art.

The vintage advantage

Things with a patina of age sing individuality, and there are plenty of ways you can incorporate vintage pieces into your interiors without making them seem old-hat (remembering that less is more.) Like lighting! Statement ceiling lights from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s will add a unique talking point to a room, as will retro and antique standing and table lamps. Yes, downlights are invaluable over your kitchen workbenches, but think about old industrial pieces as feature lighting over an island. Don’t be afraid to raid your nan’s linen collection, either. A beautifully embroidered tablecloth will elevate any dining table, and a hand-crocheted blanket or throw will add individuality to a couch or armchair. Statement furniture pieces, like a mid-century sideboard or an antique armoire, add a sense of eclecticism.

Organise your money

Creating a plan to personalise your space is one thing, but ensuring you have the budget for it is another. A Suncorp Bank Everyday Options account — which lets you create up to 9 free sub-accounts — can offer you greater control and flexibility. You might, for example, dedicate one sub-account to spare cash you can spend on smaller items and knick-knacks, like artworks and ornaments, while another can be dedicated to saving for something more substantial, like repainting a room.

Learn more about sub-accounts

Read more:

Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product.

Escape of liquid

This covers the sudden liquid leaking, overflowing or bursting from things like your fridge, washing machine, bath, toilet, fixed pipes (except agricultural pipes), gutters, swimming pool, water main, fixed cooling system or an aquarium.

We don’t cover damage caused by wear and tear or the gradual leaking of liquid when you’d be reasonably expected to be aware of the condition.

Got a Question?

Ask Scout, the Suncorp Virtual Assistant