Home Lifestyle DIY Decor: Adding Personality to Your Living Space
DIY Decor: Adding Personality to Your Living Space

DIY Decor: Adding Personality to Your Living Space

by Charles Henderson

Our homes are deeply personal spaces that reflect who we are and what we love. While many people decorate using mainstream trends or styles that feel impersonal, DIY decor allows you to showcase your unique personality in every room. With a little creativity and effort, you can craft a living space that truly feels like you.

DIY (do-it-yourself) decor refers to interior design and home decorating done without the aid of professionals. It allows you to make your living space stylish and inviting while adding your own personal flair. The great thing about DIY decor is that you can customize projects to match your tastes and style perfectly. You get to decide every detail, from the materials and colors to the overall aesthetic.

Adding personality to your home is important because your environment impacts your mindset. Surrounding yourself with decor you love creates positive energy. DIY projects allow you to infuse spaces with your spirit. There is something deeply satisfying about looking around your home and knowing you created that warm, welcoming vibe.

This article will explore how to make DIY decor choices that showcase your individuality. We’ll cover how to understand your style, make personalized wall art, upcycle furniture, create custom textiles and accessories, bring nature indoors, and use lighting to enhance your decor. Follow along for tips to craft a living space that reflects the real you.

Understanding Your Style

Before diving into DIY decor projects, it helps to understand your interior design style. This refers to the overall look, feel and aesthetic you gravitate towards. Identifying your style preferences is key for creating spaces you’ll love.

Exploring Different Interior Design Styles

Some popular interior design styles include:

  • Contemporary: Focused on clean lines and simplicity. Uses neutral colors, lots of texture, and modern or minimalist decor elements. Great for urban spaces.
  • Modern Farmhouse: Casual and inviting rustic style. Features light woods, vintage touches, and natural materials. Perfect for a laidback welcoming look.
  • Traditional: Classic and elegant style featuring rich colors, floral patterns, and ornate decorative details. Ideal for formal spaces.
  • Bohemian: Relaxed and artistic style focused on vintage/global pieces and tactile elements like plants, tapestries, and pillows. Great for free-spirited personalities.
  • Scandinavian: Light and airy look featuring neutral palette, natural materials, functionality, and minimalism. Focuses on simplicity, comfort, and practicality.
  • Industrial: Centers on utilitarian materials like metals, concrete, and wood. Often features exposed pipes, bricks, and ductwork. Great for urban lofts or a bold edgy look.
  • Midcentury Modern: Inspired by 1940s-1960s style and furniture designers like Eames. Clean lines, geometric shapes, light wood, and retro accents.
  • Coastal: Relaxed beach-house style featuring light blues, sandy neutrals, weathered wood and accessories like shells, driftwood, and rope. Perfect for seaside homes.
  • Eclectic: Mix of styles, textures, colors and time periods. Focuses on curated collections of unique or international pieces. Great for those who don’t want to be defined by one specific look.

Identifying Personal Preferences and Tastes

Narrow down the style(s) you’re naturally drawn to. Walk through your home and take notes on patterns. Are there any colors, materials, or textures you use repeatedly? What architectural features do you find most appealing? What furniture or decor styles do you gravitate towards?

Also think about how you want to feel in the space. Cozy and calm? Airy and relaxed? Simple and organized? Make a list of descriptive words. They will give insight into the vibe you want your decor choices to create.

Finally, look through home decor magazines, blogs or Pinterest boards and note styles and specific elements you like best. This visual research will help define your preferences.

How to Incorporate Individuality Into Decor Choices

Once you understand your general style direction, you can make personalized tweaks to ensure your living space reflects your spirit. Here are tips:

  • Showcase your interests: Use wall art, accessories, and accents related to hobbies, passions or travels to express your personality. For a booklover, display stacked antique books and literary prints. For a foodie, decorate the kitchen with fun cooking utensils and prep bowls.
  • Choose meaningful color palettes: Colors affect mood so pick hues that stir your emotions. A beachy blue-green combo evokes tranquility. Warm reds and oranges promote comfort. And bright, saturated shades create energy.
  • Add personal collections: Display curated collections of items you’ve gathered over time like vintage postcards, exotic souvenirs, or your grandma’s tea cups. This creates focal points packed with personal meaning.
  • Use family photos and keepsakes: Frame special snapshots of loved ones or cherished travel photos. Display passed-down antiques or handmade items from family members. This adds personal history and nostalgia.
  • Mix old and new: Blend modern and antique furnishings and decor you love. The combination showcases your multi-faceted style and tastes over time. Don’t force one era – embrace your favorites.
  • Break the “rules”: Randomly mismatch prints, blend color palettes from different styles, or just break design “rules” to achieve the interesting, eclectic look you love. Clashing and contrasting reflects an artistic spirit.

By keeping your specific preferences in mind as you make decor choices, you can create a space tailored to you. The goal is for your home to feel curated, not cookie-cutter.

DIY Wall Art and Decor

One of the best ways to add personality to your living space is with unique, DIY wall art and decor. When you craft it yourself, you can customize the materials, styles, colors, and designs to create meaningful pieces that reflect you.

Ideas for Creating Unique Wall Art

Make personalized wall art using these creative ideas:

  • Photo collages: Arrange favorite photos in an artistic collage using a digital template or hand-cut prints. Display in simple frames for a gallery wall effect.
  • Map wall art: Decorate with customized maps featuring special locations like places you’ve visited or want to go. Mark pins and notes to highlight.
  • Canvas word art: Paint or use vinyl lettering to spell out meaningful words, quotes or lyrics on blank canvases.
  • Abstract acrylic pours: Layered abstract acrylic pour paintings make colorful fluid wall art you create. Finish with a gloss coat.
  • Framed botanical prints: Press flowers or leaves and frame with neutral matting and simple frames to display.
  • Family silhouette portraits: Cut silhouette portraits of family members and frame in groups for a modern family tree effect.
  • Painted wood signs: Use stencils or free-hand letters to paint short inspiring quotes or meaningful words on wood boards.

The options for DIY wall art are endless! Choose projects based on your decor style and what inspires you.

Using Different Materials and Techniques

DIY wall art can be made from so many different materials using simple techniques. Consider using:

Wood: Paint, stain, stencil, decoupage or wood burn designs onto wooden boards, pallets or slices for rustic wall art.

Canvas: Get creative with acrylic paints, fabric scraps, poetry and more on plain canvas. Use canvas drop cloths for an inexpensive option.

Paper: Use decorative paper, pages from books, sheet music or maps to create collages for framing.

Fabric: Felt, burlap and cotton prints can be stretched or glued onto canvases or frames to make textured wall hangings.

Natural materials: Press flowers or leaves or frame branches to bring nature inside.

Metal and wire: Bend and shape wire, tin, aluminum sheets or small metal gadgets into abstract sculptures.

Found objects: Repurpose and upcycle discarded items by painting, adding text or combining to form artistic assemblages.

Mix and match materials for even more unique outcomes with dimension. The right techniques will depend on your medium, but options include painting, stitching, adhering, carving, printing, staining, drawing and more. Allow your creativity to determine the materials and methods!

Tips for Personalized Wall Decor Projects

Follow these tips for meaningful, customized wall decor:

  • Incorporate colors from the room for a cohesive look.
  • Create pieces in different sizes and mediums for an artful arrangement.
  • Hang special mementos like seashells or ticket stubs into shadowboxes.
  • Frame favorite quotes, lyrics or book passages.
  • Display gallery walls grouping meaningful themes like family photos or travel pics.
  • Make pieces celebratory like “Happy Birthday” letters or “Welcome Home” signs.
  • Feature personally meaningful numbers, symbols or shapes.
  • Add whimsy with fun DIY projects like decoupaged comic books, embroidered wall hangings, or handpainted rainclouds with drips.
  • Showcase collections or hobbies like framed butterflies if you love entomology or vinyl album covers for music lovers.
  • Use wall decals featuring your name, initials or favorite icons and symbols for a personalized look.

Your home’s walls provide the perfect creative canvas to express what sparks joy for you. Brainstorm meaningful designs, inspirational messages, or aesthetics you find beautiful. The process of designing and making custom wall art is extremely rewarding. And seeing your personalized pieces displayed daily will make your heart happy.

Upcycling and Repurposing Furniture

Breathing new life into old furniture by repurposing or upcycling is a fabulous DIY decor strategy. Not only is it budget-friendly, it allows you to take cookie-cutter pieces and transform them into something special.

Benefits of Upcycling Furniture

Some top reasons to try upcycling old furniture include:

  • Saves money: Buying new furniture gets expensive. Repurposing what you already own is frugal.
  • Eco-friendly: Upcycling reduces waste by giving used items renewed purpose. It keeps furniture out of landfills.
  • Preserves history: You can refurbish well-built antique or vintage furniture and preserve its legacy.
  • More unique: Cookie-cutter furniture is boring. Upcycling lets you customize pieces so they’re one-of-a-kind.
  • Self-expression: The DIY process allows you to remake furniture to match your personal taste and style.
  • Skill building: Furniture upcycling enables you to build hands-on skills like painting, staining, and basic construction.

Step-By-Step Guide to Repurposing Old Furniture

Follow this process to give old furniture new purpose:

  1. Assess the overall structure. Make sure the foundation of the furniture is intact and sturdy without issues like broken joinery or damaged frames.
  2. Clean surfaces. Use mild soap and water to wash away grime. For wood, try gentle cleaners like Murphy’s Oil Soap. For metal, remove rust with fine grit sandpaper.
  3. Make repairs. Fix any wobbly joints with wood glue. Fill chips, holes and cracks with wood filler. Replace broken parts like drawer pulls or legs.
  4. Sand away rough spots. Lightly sand to smooth any splintered or damaged areas, and to prep the surface for painting/staining.
  5. Prime and paint. Apply a bonding primer like Zinsser Bulls Eye, then topcoat with acrylic paint in your color choice. For stain, do a seal coat first.
  6. Distress or finish. Lightly distress with sandpaper to reveal some of the original wood tone and create vintage appeal. Or do an antiquing glaze finish.
  7. Add hardware. Swap out hardware like knobs, pulls, and hooks to freshen up the look. Spray paint old hardware to match your color scheme.
  8. Style and stage. Add your personalized touch by styling and accessorizing. Change the nightstand’s knobs, lamp and decor or add new drawer liner and accents to a dresser.

With some simple cleaning, repairs, paint and new details, you can upcycle flea market finds or dated furniture leftovers into beautiful customized pieces.

Examples of Upcycled Furniture Projects

To spark inspiration, here are easy furniture pieces you can remake:

  • Dresser to media console: Remove the center dresser drawer and add boards to create space for electronics and conceal cords at the back.
  • Table to kitchen island: Turn a dated dining table into a farmhouse kitchen island. Replace the top with butcher block and add a hanging rod for towels.
  • Desk to vanity: A vintage writing desk becomes a pretty vanity. Just add a mirror and decorative drawer lining.
  • Dresser to bathroom sink: Cut a hole in the dresser top to insert a vessel sink basin. Finish with plumbing and hardware for an industrial bathroom look.
  • Armoire to coffee bar: Remove shelves and add a counter inside the armoire to hold a coffeemaker, mugs and supplies. Add a sink if space allows.
  • Bench to entryway shoe storage: Affix cubbies, hooks or shelving inside a bench base. Add a padded seat cushion on top to hold slip-on shoes by the door.

The options for repurposing furniture are truly endless. Use your imagination – and power tools – to invent creative ways old pieces can serve new functions in your home.

Personalized Textiles and Accessories

An easy way to infuse personality into your living space is with custom textiles and accessorizing. When you DIY sewing projects, pillows and decor items, you control the fabrics and embellishments to match your style.

DIY Projects for Creating Personalized Textiles

Sewing novices can start with simple projects like:

  • Throw pillow covers: Spiff up basic pillows using fabrics you love. Try different prints, embroidered details, specialty fabrics like velvet or leather, or meaningful fabric scraps from old clothes or linens.
  • Accent blankets: Purchase plain fleece or woven blankets and add customized fringe, appliqued patches, monogrammed initials, specialty edging or binding.
  • Tablecloths and runners: Transform basic tables with handmade table linens in your choice of colors, patterns and edging trim. Try small batches using tea or bandana dyeing.
  • Floor cushions: Make oversized floor cushions for extra seating by upcycling cushion inserts or stuffing flat canvas bags. Use durable fabrics like canvas, denim or tapestry.

More advanced sewers can tackle projects like:

  • Curtains and drapes: Make customized drapes and valances in preferred lengths, styles and coordinated fabrics. Add details like decorative grommets, contrasting lining, or trim.
  • Slipcovers: Sew removable slipcovers for sofas, chairs and ottomans in fabrics you love to update their look instantly.
  • Bedding: Craft coordinated bedding sets like duvet covers, shams, dust ruffles and accent pillows for a cohesive bedroom theme.
  • Tablecloths: Make fitted tablecloths for dining tables, consoles, sideboards and buffets from beautiful fabrics like lace, burlap or linen.

Adding Custom Touches to Accessories

Personalize home accessories with:

  • Painted ceramics: Use acrylic craft paints on ceramic vases, trays, lamps and figurines to match any color palette. Seal with a finishing spray.
  • Monogrammed items: Use removable vinyl, sew or wood burn initials or monograms onto items like laundry bags, pillowcases or serving trays.
  • Custom artwork: Fill basic frames with photos, kids’ art, or anything meaningful to you. Or embellish plain mirrors with trim, paint, or surrounding artwork.
  • Wall mounted storage: Paint or stencil organizers like plate racks, magazine files, and wall-mounted mail sorters to blend with your decor.
  • Refreshed baskets: Spray paint old baskets or woven hampers in a new color to use for storage around the home. Try adding stenciled designs for more flair.

When selecting fabrics and trims, or when deciding how to customize accessories, keep the overall aesthetic of your space in mind. A cohesive personalized look is the goal.

Importance of Cohesive Design In Personalized Items

While it’s great to showcase your one-of-a-kind style, beware of creating an overly eclectic look that appears haphazard instead of purposefully curated. Follow these tips:

  • Choose a color palette and stick to it so furnishings and accessories complement each other.
  • Maintain a similar overall style between DIY projects and existing items. For example, embellishing an airy midcentury chair with ultra-frilly details might clash.
  • Repeating subtle details ties the look together. Use the same ribbon on pillows and lampshades or paint multiple accessories the same accent hue.
  • Group customized pieces together through styling. If they relate visually, the look will be cohesive.
  • Edit to avoid going overboard. A few personalized textiles and accessories go a long way.

Handcrafting and embellishing select soft furnishings allows you to surround yourself with fabrics, colors and textures you love while maintaining a polished, edited look.

Bringing Nature Indoors

One wonderful way to add life and color to your living space is by bringing plants and other natural elements inside. Infusing your decor with the beauty of nature creates a laidback welcoming vibe. When you arrange and display greenery yourself, you can highlight your favorite textures and tones.

Incorporating Natural Elements Into Decor

Some easy ways to bring nature inside include:

  • Gathering stones, pinecones, shells, and driftwood to fill bowls and trays or using them in DIY projects.
  • Hanging houseplants in macrame holders or planters to add texture and vibrant greens.
  • Putting cut flowers and branches in vases to bring the outdoors in.
  • Displaying sand, moss, or small succulents in hanging terrariums, which create enclosed natural scenes.
  • Grouping personal nature collections like sea glass, sand dollars, or pressed wildflowers in shadowboxes.
  • Adding touches of rattan, bamboo, jute, and woodgrain to furnishings and decor for organic texture.
  • Lightly scenting rooms with essential oils like eucalyptus or pine to evoke the freshness of nature.
  • Using area rugs with floral, organic, or nature-inspired patterns to bring those visuals underfoot.
  • Choosing curtains and upholstery in botanical prints, leafy greens, stone textures, or timbers and twigs patterns.
  • Selecting wooden furniture with natural grain patterns and shapes with subtle knots or whorling for organic variety.

DIY Plant and Garden Projects For Indoor Spaces

You can also do fun DIY projects to display greenery:

  • Create a vertical garden by affixing trailing succulents to a wood pallet hung on the wall.
  • Give an aquarium filled with sand and shells a beachy twist by adding air plants on top.
  • Make a terrarium coffee table or side table using antique glass containers filled with layers of pebbles, moss and ferns.
  • Craft geometric wooden planters using chopsticks or small logs to hold tiny potted succulents.
  • Attach wall-mounted planter boxes below windows and fill with cheerful pansies or trailing ivy.
  • Fill antique drawers or boxes with potting mix and succulents to use as funky stacked planters.
  • Make miniature zen gardens in shallow dishes filled with sand and gravel, raked circles, and mini foliage.
  • Upcycle a flat mirror into a sun-catching garden space. Use strong adhesive to attach air plant holders across the glass.

Let your creativity run wild when brainstorming plant and garden projects for your home. The options are endless!

Tips For Maintaining Indoor Greenery

To help your indoor plants thrive:

  • Place plants in bright filtered light from south or west facing windows. Rotate to give all sides light exposure.
  • Learn your plants’ individual watering needs. Some require more frequent watering than others.
  • Use gravel trays under pots to provide humidity as water evaporates. Mist leaves regularly.
  • Feed plants according to package instructions, usually monthly during growing season.
  • Prune dead leaves and stems to maintain shape and encourage new growth.
  • Dust large leaves periodically with a damp cloth to allow breathing and photosynthesis.
  • Repot root-bound plants in fresh potting mix to stimulate growth. Go up just 1 pot size and replenish soil nutrients.
  • Group plants together to create a natural looking arrangement. Style with garden-inspired accessories.

With proper care, houseplants will flourish to bring natural beauty inside year-round. Refresh displays seasonally by adding new varieties or repotting in updated containers.

Lighting and Ambiance

Your decor isn’t complete until you infuse spaces with just the right ambiance. Lighting plays a huge role in the overall look and feel of a room. When selecting and arranging light fixtures yourself, you get to customize both the style and the lighting effects. This allows you to set the perfect mood.

Importance of Lighting In Creating Ambiance

Lighting is crucial for the vibe of a space because:

  • It sets the tone, from bright and energizing to dim and serene.
  • It impacts how warm and inviting a space feels.
  • It influences the appearance of colors and furnishings in the room.
  • It creates visual interest by illuminating architectural features or displaying fixtures.
  • It enables safe navigation and use of the room at all hours.

Carefully chosen lighting creates ambiance aligned with your personality and lifestyle.

DIY Lighting Projects and Ideas

Some DIY lighting ideas include:

  • String lights inside embossed paper or fabric shades as pendant lights.
  • Wrap lamp bases with decorative paper, photos or fabric using decoupage medium for a collage effect.
  • Use bold spray paint colors on lamp bases and shades for an inexpensive update.
  • Replace basic shades with patterned fabric using adhesive spray and trim to finish raw edges.
  • Craft custom drum lampshades using parchment paper, vellum, or patterned scrapbook paper secured on shaderings.
  • Attach chandelier crystals to sconce arms, table lamps, or pendant lights for some sparkle.
  • Suspend bare bulb cage lights or vintage bulbs on cords at different heights for an industrial look.
  • Display curated glass bottle collections around the home by placing battery-operated string lights inside.

Lighting projects allow you to infuse DIY style into fixtures to complement your decor.

Using Lighting to Enhance Personal Style In a Space

Make light fixtures fit your personality by:

  • Choosing fixture styles and finishes that coordinate with the room’s decor style. For a modern space, try sleek metallics in silver, gold and bronze. In a cottage, go for antique brass.
  • Selecting shades or globes in colors pulled from the room like sea glass blue for a coastal style or jewel tones in a bohemian space.
  • Positioning lighting to highlight displays or architectural details like hanging a crystal chandelier over a dining table or accenting a fireplace with sconces.
  • Using dimmers to control brightness and set the right scene from daylight to nightlight modes.
  • Layering ambient, task, and accent lighting for depth. Ambient overhead lights provide overall illumination while task lights illuminate workspaces. Targeted accent lamps spotlight focal points.
  • Adding lighting diversity with portable table and floor lamps of varying styles, sizes and bulbs.

Take time planning lighting placement and selecting customized fixtures. This important detail brings it all together!


There’s something magical about living in a space personalized just for you. Decorating based on your unique style and infusing character into a home using purposeful DIY projects creates a meaningful retreat. Surround yourself with pieces that spark joy and display items packed with sentimental value.

Whether you make over furnishings with paint, display custom art, bring life with houseplants, or handpick lighting to set the ideal ambiance, the goal is to craft a space that nurtures your spirit. When you put your stamp on every detail, you’ll feel comfortable, peaceful and inspired within your personal haven.

So explore your style, tap into your creativity and don’t be afraid to break design “rules” as you transform basic spaces into artistic sanctuaries. Your home is the perfect canvas for fearless self-expression. The DIY decor process itself is rewarding, but being enveloped daily in spaces styled just for you is truly priceless.

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