Hello sweet friends! If you are stopping by from The Creativity Exchange - thank you so much for coming by! I am Laura and this is the place where I share ideas and projects for making your home a true reflection of you and your family. I am so excited to be part of this series - "How to Decorate" organized by the lovely Beth of Home Stories A to Z. How to Decorate Button Wwe are having a little fun and a group of bloggers have come together to share 25 sets of ideas and tips on "how to decorate". When Beth asked me to join, I decided right off I wanted to share my five favorite ways to personalize your home. So, I have to ask. Does anyone remember that episode of Friends where Phoebe slowly buys everything from the showroom floor of Pottery Barn and tries to convince Rachael that it is all vintage? Then later, they are standing in front of the window of the store and it looks exactly like their apartment. While Pottery Barn does a better job than most of selling unique items, and sometimes, they even do sell vintage items, no one wants their home to look just like a furniture store showroom. I believe our homes should be a reflection of ourselves and our families and not be a cookie cutter execution of someone else's style. Sometimes, however, it can be hard to figure out exactly how to do that. It actually can be easier than you think. But the biggest tip - it doesn't have to be done overnight. Creating a home is a process and it is okay to make changes, tweaks and adjustments along the way. Here are five ways to help you on your way.

1 - Gallery Walls

KitchenGalleryWall_thumb.jpg Gallery walls have become very popular over the last few years. The great thing about them is that pretty much every single one of them is different. I love having family photos or beautiful art hung in frames. But, I also love thinking out of the box. For this kitchen gallery wall, I incorporated a lot of elements other than framed art. I am also not afraid to change it. This is what the kitchen gallery wall used to look like. My tastes change, my mood strikes different. A lot of the components are the same or hung on existing elements, but the look is completely different. Don't be too overwhelmed. Planning a gallery wall is not as difficult as you may think. Click here for tips on planning a gallery wall, this will help get you started. I know some people are often worried about how to hang things as well. No worries, I have you covered there too! Click here for tips on how to hang just about anything. You can also take a totally different direction with gallery walls. You can created a unified look like what I did here with my silhouette gallery wall. SharpieArtGalleryWall_thumb.jpg And you can always pull together all the quirky things you love for a bright and colorful gallery wall. And finally, a gallery wall doesn't have to just cover a small space, it can be used to decorate an entire wall like we did with our dining room gallery wall.

2 - Mantels / Vignettes

Pick a spot in your home that you can easily change. Either when the mood strikes, for a holiday, or with the seasons - a mantel, tabletop or shelf is an easy way to update your home. For me, I am always changing my mantel. It is one of my favorite ways to freshen things up and make it feel like our home. SpringMantelDecoratingIdeas.jpg It doesn't have to be complicated or filled with a million things. I usually like to start with one larger item placed either in the center or to one side. In this case, I am using an old window. Then I filled in the with two Sharpie Art projects, some green plants and flowers and a few accessories. It took minutes. You can see some of the other mantels I have done by clicking here: mantel decorating.

3 - Vintage Touches

I think if I had to pick my favorite tip for personalizing your home, including vintage touches would be my favorite. When you combine the worn patina of something old with the fact that no one can walk in the store and get the same one, it makes for the perfect formula for a welcoming home. I personally love the hunt of scouring yard sales and estate sales for the perfect unique item. But, if that is not your style, there are plenty of vintage shops that have already done the scouring for you. If you are unsure on how to go about this, click here for tips on shopping for vintage items. One of my favorite vintage projects is my vintage door plate wall. It is am mix of old and new plates hung on an old door secured to the wall. The door was stored in my garage for some time before I found the perfect use for it. Vintage-Door-Plate-Wall I also am a firm believer that if you see something you like (that you an afford), get it. Many people hold off because they don't know exactly where they would put it. Even if it is totally quirky, or maybe it is more formal than your normal style, or maybe it is very modern - if it "speaks to you", than it is the perfect thing to personalize your home. You will find a place for it. Maybe even several places where you can move it and keep things fresh.

4 - DIY - Make it Yourself

I have long struggled with the image in my head of "exactly what I want" for a room or project but just couldn't find it, which lead to frustration. Over the last few years, hubby and I have taken to making it ourselves, good old fashioned DIY. The added benefit of DIY is what we have is uniquely ours and creates our sense of home. Some of our favorite and most useful projects have been our built-in DIY desk DIYSemiBuiltInDesk.jpg and this little console table we made to perfectly fit this spot. The writing on the old wood we used was just a bonus. DIYNarrowTable_thumb.jpg

5 - Repurpose and Upcycle

I have recently fallen in love with repurposing and upcycling. Most specifically, taking old doors or old wood and turning them into something new. Like the table above, we create something totally unique. The added bonus is that one less thing goes in the trash pile. My two favorite projects are my Outdoor Beverage Bar... DIYUpcycledBeverageBarStation_thumb.jpg ...and our door and bucket herb garden. KitchenHerbGardenFindingHome_thumb.jpg But the projects can be much more simplified like our vintage mason jar solar lights. VintageMasonJarSolarLight_thumb.png By creating something new out of something old, even if your idea is inspired by a project someone else did, it will always be unique and brings character and personality to your home. Click here to find more of our upcycled projects. So there you have it- 5 tips to personalize your home. Don't forget, it doesn't happen over night - and it shouldn't. It will so much better when it is done over time. Have confidence in your choices and have fun! Now for more fun - the tips and ideas continue - head on over to Emily from Decorchick. To start from the beginning, visit Home Stories A to Z. And if you like what you see, I would love it you subscribed to receive new projects and ideas to your inbox and our monthly newsletter with added bonuses. My first newsletter is coming out very soon and I would hate for you to miss it! Click here to subscribe! Decorating-Ideas-5-Tips-to-Personalize-Your-Home
June 24, 2014 — Laura Putnam