When you get dressed in the morning, your outfit can reveal a lot about not only your personality but your current mood and schedule for the day. Your home, however, is a more consistent reflection of you, or at least it should be. Three experts in the field of style and interior design tell us what your home decor choices reveal about you.
Personal artifacts on display mean you have a strong sense of self
One of the first things people notice about your space when they walk in is how much of you is incorporated into the decor. “I think a space has to have personality and it has to tell your story,” says Carson Kressley, who rejoins original Queer Eye co-star Thom Filicia for Bravo’s new design show Get a Room with Carson & Thom, premiering October 19. “It’s shocking that many people, even those who are very chic in how they dress, can have a very safe space at home that doesn’t have a lot of personality.” Check out these ways to make your home look expensive.
If your desk is busy, you’re going places
In a perfect world, many of us would like to have one of those pristine workspaces where there’s a place for everything and everything in its place. But Filicia, who works with Kressley to revamp client’s spaces on Get a Room, admits that makes him a little nervous. “I think when someone’s desk has a lot happening you can see there’s a lot happening around them,” he says. Make your home look more expensive with these cheap decorating tricks.
High-polished trends mean you have goals
Aspirational decor may look beautiful, but if they have little to do with your actual lifestyle, it may mean you’re dissatisfied about your current situation. “It’s like someone who has an equestrian-themed living room and they’ve never been on a horse,” says Filicia. “Those spaces don’t feel authentic and a lot of times people don’t really use them. They’ll look in and say, ‘Isn’t that beautiful? Someday I’ll be that person, but until then I’ll hang out in the basement.’” Try these design tips for a stress-free home.
Lots of family photos lend to a nostalgic personality
Whitney Leigh Morris, author of Small Space Style: Because You Don’t Have to Live Large to Live Beautifully and creator of the blog The Tiny Canal Cottage, notices immediately when she walks into a space boasting a lot of family photos. “I think it’s really interesting to see if you’re nostalgic and find comfort in looking back or if you take more comfort in creating these memories and look forward to human interaction,” she says, noting that preserving memories isn’t a negative thing, simply indicative of one’s preferences.
Smaller vignettes in your home may mean you’re an introvert
Morris, who asserts that there are so many factors involved in designing a space, points to the idea that creating cozy corners in the home may mean you prefer the quiet life. “Perhaps an introvert might sit reading a book in a nook in their living room,” she says. Watch out for these items that could be bringing your home bad luck.
A well-made sofa shows you make smart investments
Accessories may make a room sing, but Kressley recommends spending your money on the pieces that anchor a room, like a quality sofa for a living space, bed in the bedroom, and dining table for the dining room. “That’s like a little black dress for a woman or a great suit for a man,” he says. “Those are the things you’re going to use over and over.”
Alternative ways to decorate walls show you welcome change
“If you have more gallery style walls or boards with clips or twine to hang pictures, artwork, or things created by your kids, that means you’re comfortable switching up your home all of the time,” says Morris. “You’re inspired by change and welcoming of change when it comes to you and your family.”
Fine art indicates you’re business savvy
Investing in high-end fine art can make many amateur decorates squirm. Not only is there a concern about the financial investment, but also the responsibility of caring for an original creation. “For people who are really entrenched in the art collecting world, investing in a piece of high-end original artwork doesn’t have to feel like a lifelong investment, because they’re savvy with buying and selling,” says Morris.
Renters with a penchant for design are eager to nest
In a time when renters are growing in numbers, it’s easy to fall into a trap where you leave your home looking and feeling like a temporary space because you don’t own it. But Filicia points out that renters who put a little elbow grease into their homes show commitment. “I know people who are in rentals who are putting contact paper in their kitchen cabinets and have flavor paper on their walls that can come down very easily,” he says. “You can tell that person is desperate to nest but maybe they’re just not at that stage yet for home ownership.” These are ways your house makes you look older than you actually are.
A bare space could mean a fear of commitment
Maybe you’re indecisive and fear making an expensive design mistake, or maybe, just maybe, you’re a bit of a commitment-phobe. “It wouldn’t be surprising to me that those people aren’t committing to sofas or artwork or decorative pillows because they haven’t planted roots yet,” says Filicia. “Maybe they never will or maybe they haven’t found the right scenario but I think that tells you a lot about a person.”
Your living room furniture arrangement speaks to how social you are
Configuring the furniture in your living room can feel like a math problem that’s impossible to solve. But if your instinct is to face sofas and chairs in a way that easily allows people to chat, it indicates you lean towards a more social nature. “Is your living room set up in a way that sparks conversation as opposed to focusing on some other kind of entertainment, like a TV?” asks Morris. “That’s one of the first things I notice in a home. Try these interior decorator-approved tricks.
A mix of vintage pieces and sustainable materials means you’re grounded
Whether it’s due to budget constraints or an eye towards sustainability, repurposing previously loved items and working with organic materials tells a visitor about your practicality and grounded nature. “Are you interested in eco-friendly decor tactics?” asks Morris. “In that case, you’ll probably have more vintage pieces or you’ll have pieces that are made from sustainable materials and practices.”
If your kitchen is stacked with appliances, you’re an entertainer at heart
It’s much easier to whip up a quick get-together when you have kitchen helpers at the ready for assistance. “If you have a lot of cocktail glasses, appetizer plates, and things of that nature, that suggests to me that you like to host,” says Morris. “I also think the types of appliances in your home is indicative of whether you like to cook or eat out.”
Including greenery and natural fibers in your decor means you like to keep things fresh
On their show Get a Room, Filicia and Kressley work with a wide range of different personalities, but there’s one decor element that screams young, fresh, and cool, and that’s greenery. “One of our signatures was we included greenery in every space,” says Kressley, who adds he was inspired to include a tree in his own New York apartment, along with rustic, chunky baskets.
Streamlined decor means you’re focused
When you find a trend you like, it’s easy to lay it on thick, but Kressley notes how impressive it is to find someone who can edit their decor in such a way that makes their most fabulous items really sing. “I’m a more is more kind of guy,” he says. “I have layers and layers of things in my home. But editing makes your good stuff look even better. I’m learning how to edit and get over my high-class hoarding problem.”