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Feature wall displaying art collection of curated personal art

How to Make Your Home Your Own

Gallery wall of original art

Wall of curated art from the Owner’s Collection, including paintings by their father. The Lumiere House

When you think about what makes a person interesting, it often comes down to the unique experiences they have had that have brought substance and meaning to their life. In a similar way, your home environment can be the visual and physical representation of the story of your life. Just like one might write a memoir, a person’s home embodies a different manifestation of that same story. This kind of story is tactile and beautiful and it is particular to that person.

In my last post, I explored how editing and organizing our homes can help us identify what is most important in our lives. As we clear away the clutter, the things that remain often reveal our most identifying characteristics and sentiments. Without distractions your home can highlight who you are, how you live, the places you’ve traveled, the people you’ve loved and the things that remind you of those elements of your personality and those times in your life.

To me, the most welcoming and beautiful homes are not necessarily the most posh. Instead, these homes are the ones that emanate the essence of the person who lives there and the life that they have built over time. When I work with my clients, we focus on who they are and how they live first. The information we uncover informs my design and the process begets authentically personalized homes.

Front entry with original artwork and sophisticated modern furnishings

Gallery display wall near the front entrance. The Lumiere House

What Makes My Home Special To Me

My husband and I lived in the Asheville home where our daughters grew up for 15 years. When we became empty nesters, we moved to a smaller home, but it is still filled with memories of our girls and other loved ones along with the experiences that we have shared together.

Take the art that adorns our walls for example… each piece was selected with care and placed in our home with great intention, so that we may interact with it every day. Every piece of art in our house has a story that goes with it. Hanging in my dressing area are two black and white portraits of me with each of my daughters as babies. These images are the first thing I see in the morning which brings me great joy and feelings of gratitude. Our girls are now grown women, off making homes of their own, but these images recall fond memories of my earliest days as a mother. In my bedroom there is a print of a garden scene that I found while antiquing with my sister-in-law. While she and I don’t get to see one another as often as we like, antiquing is an activity that we have enjoyed for over 30 years. Every time that I see that print, I think of her. In our hall there is a beautiful Asian print that my daughter, who is interested in Asian culture, bought for me for my birthday while on a trip with her father to San Francisco’s Chinatown. And in our living room is an original watercolor by a street artist from Tallinn, Estonia that I purchased on a trip with my mother for the dedication of the Baltic Mission Center, a project for which we had both volunteered for many years.

One of the things that I have done for most of my life when traveling — even before I was married — is to find a piece of art that reminds me of the place and the time that we have spent together in those travels. It doesn’t need to be expensive. It can be a print that you have framed or just something that speaks to us about that experience. When I awake every morning and go through my morning routine, these items are there to greet me and begin my day with gratitude.

One of my favorite pieces is an oil painting that my husband and I purchased from a local artist in Germany on our 25th anniversary trip. It is unlike many other pieces we have collected, but still fits as one of the many threads that are woven into the tapestry of what makes our house a home. By editing our belongings, these meaningful pieces can shine.

I truly believe that this approach defies age and situation, and is a concept that can be applied to anyone’s home, giving a richness to their life as well as the space where they dwell. Incorporating family treasures and art work into your space reflects the story of your life and creates its own unique tapestry that defines your home authentically.

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