How to instantly give your home more personality – 5 techniques designers lean on

There are so many great ways to give your home a more unique and characterful feel – here are a few places to start

three images of living rooms and dining room to show how to give your home personality
(Image credit: Emily Henderson / Kaitlin Green / Shutterly Fabulous / The Living House)

Whether you've recently moved house or things are just feeling a little tired and bland in certain spaces, there are endless fun and inexpensive ways to give your home more personality. Let us inspire a creative weekend inviting some personal touches into every corner of your home with our tips below.

Starting is always the hardest part, so you might want to take inspiration from this year's biggest interior design trends or note some of our favourite ways to transform your living room on a budget. The key is to focus on what you like, and how you use your space to celebrate the things you love. 

Interior designer Erin Bergant Harrod says the whole home doesn't need to be extreme with patterns and bold coloured dopamine decor, but says that creating a characterful feature or "moment" in each space allows you to add personality and make your home reflect your own style.

How to give your home more personality

You could take on bigger challenges such as restoring original features if you live in an older property, or keep it low-key by purchasing a few new decorative pieces, like some scented candles to create mood and help to make your home feel cosy.

If you love having friends round for a Friday night wine, maybe a bar cart could be a fun investment, or if you love watching movies, you could consider making more space for movie nights or displaying cinematic prints. Perhaps if you're a Bridgerton fan consider the Regencycore trend.

Erin Bergant Harrod
Erin Bergant Harrod

Erin Bergant Harrod is the founder of Heartfelt Homespace. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design and has years of experience in design and construction, working with architects and general contractors to create beauty from the ground up. Erin has found that the only strict rules worth abiding by are the laws of comfort and liveability.

1. Decorate with vintage

living room with sofa and wooden armchair

(Image credit: Studio Duggan)

You can never underestimate the power of buying second-hand decorative pieces picked up at car boot sales, antique stores, and sites like Facebook Marketplace. We'd go as far as saying some vintage is a must in any space, after all, you should never be the oldest thing in a room.

"If you’re a vintage lover, then style your home with some antique or vintage-inspired accessories," says interior designer Sophie Clemson. "These can tell a story and create a more curated look, as they could be one-off pieces no one else has, which I think is always special."

Rooms with a mix of contemporary pieces and items that tell a story always feel more interesting from an interior design perspective, and make your home look expensive and curated.

Sophie Clemson
Sophie Clemson

Sophie Clemson is the co-founder of The Living House, an affordable online interior design company that helps busy families transform their homes easily, online and within their budget.

2. Hang art

blue kitchen cabinets with artwork on wall

(Image credit: Artfully Walls)

Hanging art can feel a little overwhelming, but try not to overthink it or feel it needs to represent you in a profound way – it's just a print, and you can always swap it out. 

"To give your home more character and personality, I would recommend adding artwork that means something and is special to you," says interior designer Sophie Clemson from The Living House. "This may be somewhere you’ve travelled to, or a print you’ve picked up on your holiday."

Interior designer Erin says artwork that represents your family or pets is particularly good in hallways and mudrooms: "I have had clients request custom pet paintings for these areas through vendors off Etsy and they just add such fun character!"

3. Decorate with your favourite colours

green living room with open shelving and fireplace

(Image credit: The Living House)

We love neutrals too, but if the goal is to give your home more personality, colour is never a bad idea. "To give the home more character, it's important you're willing to take some risks and make bold design choices,' agrees Erin Bergant Harrod. "Neutral, safe design choices usually don't provide for as much character as those with more unique features."

Where to start? Look in your wardrobe and decide on three colours that suit you that would work on your walls plus a couple of patterns you like, and any artwork you have in your home. 

Erin says this can be a good starting point to develop a design around. If you love wearing leopard print or are impartial to some sparkle, animal print curtains and a disco ball won't go amiss. You can also look at 2024's interior colour trends, which include rust and pastels.

"Use colours that make you happy and that you love. If you use colours that make you happy, it should make you feel happier in your home, and it will reflect your personality and style," says Sophie Clemson.

Living Bright: Fashioning Colourful Interiors by Matthew Williamson, £21.75 at Amazon

Living Bright: Fashioning Colourful Interiors by Matthew Williamson, £21.75 at Amazon

Matthew's inspirational book, published by Thames & Hudson, is a practical guide and a personal invitation from the king of colour to find your style and embrace the paint pot whether designing a castle or a cupboard.

4. Create space for hobbies

home office space with desk and open shelving

(Image credit: Studio Duggan)

It's worth taking a moment to think about why you want to add personality to your home and to do it from a place of love rather than comparison. We should always decorate our homes for ourselves rather than for anyone else, and a good way to do this is to create space for your hobbies. 

Create a reading nook, meditation corner, or a desk for studying, reading, or being creative. This will make your home feel more personal to you while making your home more functional, dedicating space to things that bring you joy. 

"If you’re an avid reader and own lots of books, don’t put them away in a cupboard, use them to dress your shelves and bookcases," says Sophie Clemson. "Display your favourite reads, this will not only bring your personality into the space but colour too." The bookshelf wealth trend is ideal for this.

Adding personality doesn't need to involve buying lots of things, in fact, it's important to leave space for new treasures, as homes are something we decorate as we go along.

5. Display sentimental items

neutral hallway with seascape artwork and table lamp

(Image credit: Artfully Walls)

We often tend to accumulate too many sentimental items, so it's a good idea to do some decluttering now and then to keep on top of it. When you have cleared out the excess and only have items you truly love, why not celebrate your things by framing mementos, or proudly displaying personal items on shelves?

Interior designer Erin Bergant Harrod recommends displaying some of your personal china or unique pieces on open shelves or in glass cabinets. Another option is to create a gallery wall of family photos and kids' drawings in your hallway, to make things feel homely and personal as soon as you step foot inside. 

"For a timeless look, use black and white prints in oversized mount frames from Dunelm," adds Sophie Clemson. "This is a way to create an affordable and classic gallery wall."

How do I make my new build look more homely?

"Paint is a brilliant and easy way to transform your new-build home to make it feel more homely," says interior designer Sophie Clemson. "In most new builds, white paint is used, which is great as a blank canvas, but it can make the rooms feel cold. Changing the paint colour, even to a warm off-white shade, can make such a difference and provide a cosier look."

To help inspire ideas on what colours to go for, you can read our guide to the best living room paint colours and hallway paint colours. Sophie also recommends bringing in lots of texture with your soft furnishings – floor-length curtains make the room feel cosy and soften the sharp edges of the window recess.

Hang the curtains as high as possible or even go for a ceiling fix track to make the room feel taller and more contemporary. Choose the right rug for your living room, and you will bring the space together while also introducing pattern, colour, and texture.

Millie Hurst
Contributing Editor

Millie Hurst is a freelance writer and interior designer based in Sheffield, helping clients create homes that are characterful, curated, and highly functional. Interior design inspirations include Jake Arnold, Beata Heuman and Abigail Ahern. Her personal style is a 'liveable maximalism' with boho, nature-inspired designs. 

She has seven years of experience in the world of digital journalism, most recently working as Head of Solved at Homes & Gardens, where she wrote and edited countless features on home organisation, decluttering and interior design. Before that, she was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home.