Reimagining your home as the creative nucleus for your life.

Dear friends, bear with me on the trite questions coming your way…do you want to make your house a home? Would you like your home to tell a story, to tell YOUR story? Do you want your home to truly reflect you? Doing what we do here at Signaturize we know first hand that most people will, and do, answer yes. Of course I want to live in a home, not a sterile house. Of course I want to live in a home that truly reflects me (us) and tells my (our) story, and truly reflects my (our) personality. So for me the answer is straightforwardly simple it is the question that has started to infuriate me slightly. The problem for me with all of the above is that I want to scream I’ve heard it all before. It all sounds really stale and really over used by now, is it just me or has the house to home terminology become like over played buzzwords by this stage of the game? It is almost like just a given. Of course we want to make our house a home, the real burning question is the how behind it all? How do you best make your house a home? I am learning we actually navigate this “how” in very distinct ways.

I hate to categorise but again bear with me on this one. Again doing what we do here, these are the questions we are constantly trying to ask ourselves and weigh up and see how we can be even more relevant in our sphere. What we have noticed is often folks fall into one of two categories. Some people relish this “house to home” task, the challenge of how to tell a story with their given space. They not only relish it, it just comes so naturally to them. They instinctively can match colours in their head. Disclaimer, even using the term match is actually probably slightly controversial and inaccurate, colours don’t even have to match, lets say colour mix. But these people, lets call them home décor enthusiasts for ease of reference, these home décor enthusiasts aren’t afraid of colour. That isn’t to say that they only like bright colours, no they may indeed be staunch neutral lovers, or monochrome fanatics. Its not the actual colour preferences that matter here, the mixing or the matching, it’s the idea that they aren’t intimidated by the task of choosing their colours. So tick box number one generally, home décor enthusiasts embrace the challenge of colour, they also enjoy the pursuit of finding THE right items for their home.

These home décor enthusiasts are the friends of mine who describe that it is genuinely like a past time to them, that when they get their kids to bed at night, they aren’t really interested in sitting down to watch TV instead they fire up the iPad and they spend hours scouring home retailers, Pinterest and Instagram for ideas, bargains and any house-y procurement they may need at any given time. In a nutshell they are the TK Maxx home department lovers. The H&M Home aficionados. They are partial to being suckered into a glossy interior magazine at the supermarket checkout. Generally they carry a lot of their favourite colour palette, textures and spatial fit of things in their head and from there and with some give and take, some trial and error and a good sprinkling of time their home evolves. It evolves beautifully as a little reflection of them, an evolving piece of them because it supernaturally comes from within them.

Decorating is a journey, one which the home décor enthusiasts enjoy as much as the actual destination of the bespoke, oh so pleasing to their own eyes finished space they end up with. They are generally self-taught (many go on to be professionals because they relish it that much) and they really enjoy their gifts and confidence as home enthusiasts as being a part of who they are. Much like someone naturally sporty and co-ordinated relishes a game of tennis. It is a true past time and not a chore, thank the good Lord for home décor enthusiasts who make it look easy, who inspire us with their beautifully effortless spaces and bring lots of fun and ease to the whole process of home décor. They are often the friends you will text for (this one or this one type) advice or bring along to the bathroom tile showroom with you for solidarity in making that final decision. They often embrace the collaborative aspect of designing interior spaces and appreciate it can be a fun journey to go on with your friends and family.

Great so that is a home décor enthusiast covered in my over generalised stereotype style description. Next up what we are finding is that there is another person at the other side of the continuum and for want of a better description they are the “home décor phobe”, as negative as that sounds that is the best we can do for now, open to all naming suggestions should you have anything better. Generally we have found it isn’t that this person doesn’t care what their home looks and feels like, or that they don’t have great ideas, actually the opposite is often true. Instead the home décor phobe just has real difficulty with all the decisions and parts of the puzzle that need to slot together to get to their dream space.

Colour is often the first stumbling block for the home décor phobe, visually they struggle to piece their favourite colours together or for them the challenge is simply too intimidating. The risks are too high and often you will hear people say, “I just can’t visualise how it will all piece together”. They want to see it all before they commit, the journey for them is fraught with indecision and conversely there can be way too much choice. The allure that there is always the potential that there is something else out there or just the plain simple fact that they do not have spare time with whatever they are juggling in life for home décor choices to be a priority or one of their strong, innate skills. There is no judgement it is just how it is. Much like how I described above if you physically struggle to hit a tennis ball you really wouldn’t choose to go play as a relaxing past time. I now risk getting very gender stereotype specific, and appreciate lots of females out there aren’t like this but hands up I have no interest, knowledge or factual basis to go out today and buy a car. If I spent hours reading reviews, test driving them and quizzing sales people I would be able to eventually make a decision BUT I can tell you right now I would have very little enjoyment in any element of that process and there is a strong possibility despite my preparations I may well buy a dud. I would be intimated, I would be internally nervously questioning my financial investment and hands up I just can think of lots of other ways I would rather spend my time. Yes, as selfish as it sounds, I want the fully functioning, safe, comfortable, shiny car to drive at the end but for me personally the process involved to get to that point is far from enjoyable or my innate skill. Can you relate? This analogy of the car buying is how I imagine a home décor phobe may feel about the home decorating and design process.

Of course these rigid boxes I have conjured up probably don’t even exactly work for any of us, as stereotypes rarely do. What I have learnt in my 12 years of marriage and sharing various homes with my husband is that we naturally fall on both sides of this spectrum and then there is a little anomaly overlap in the middle too like those Venn diagrams you used to draw at school. I would say I am a home décor enthusiast by and large. When given the chance I relish the challenge to transform a space into my own as best I can, my one bit I struggle with is the mental visualisation and planning element of the shape and form of a space. So I need a bit of help with the spatial side of furniture layouts and what will actually fit. On the other hand my husband does not enjoy the finding, research process, he would say himself he lacks confidence with colour selection but he is an engineer by background so his sweet spot is how things will fit and interrogating how they are made. In short colour, texture, look and ambience are really important to me and I would say it can feel like a relaxing whiling away of time for me too (sometimes I reach my limit of the time involved in the process). I imagine that my partner in crime cares about the functionality much more than he would enjoy piecing together the colour and visual elements. While not a true home décor phobe he certainly wants to get to the dream space destination more than he would truly enjoy the journey to get there.

So where does that leave us. We don’t believe you actually should feel pigeon holed or boxed or denigrated in any way, quite the opposite. If by nature you are more of a home décor phobe then you might just want to find some tools, great resources (which there are many about) and a few kindly friends (or professionals) who are home design enthusiasts to help you out. To help you get to your definition of great home design, to help you resonate with a space so that you feel like you’ve arrived “home”, to get what looks like home to you from your head and your heart and have that creatively reflected in your space. You may just need a little hand holding so that your space becomes a real self expression of who you are, so that you feel empowered to reveal that self expression even if you naturally don’t find the process particularly easy. There should be no question of following any rules, or whether something works or doesn’t work, if it works for you then it works in your space, you are allowed to mix and match. It’s your home so we will let you in to a secret you are allowed to do exactly whatever you want. As cheesy as this sounds it should be an extension of who you are. The really clever skill, and at the risk of bursting any idealistic bubbles before we have even got is getting to the point where all the users of the space are on the same wavelength, that is a tricky but (believe us) achievable challenge but one we will have to pick up and come back to at another point in the blog.

You will have heard us coin our own phrase around here, life promoting spaces. We believe this is the process of designing spaces with how you live your life in mind and consciously thinking how could I make this space better, we believe everyone has the ability to create a space that you arrive at and actually feel limitless potential to be all you were made to be. It sounds lofty we know but we have seen first hand, how even small changes to your home environment can have such a gainful impact. We leave you with one question if you were given permission to make your home the creative nucleus of your life what would it look like?