Written by Kaitlin Hill, Susan Stark, and Jess Harrell | Photos courtesy of Jess Harrell
“I see interior design as a form of self-care. I think that your home has a huge impact on how you feel … that can spill over into all different areas of your life. I think it’s important that you walk into your home, look around, and that you love what you see,” shares Jess Harrell of The Styled Domicile, a Purcellville-based interior design studio. She adds, “My philosophy is to not be afraid to go against the grain.” Whether planning a decorative overhaul or simply inspired to spruce up your home, for Harrell originality is key when designing a space that attracts the eye and inspires joy. To accomplish this, she shares her top five tips for making your home your own.
1. Celebrate Your Authenticity.
Embrace what makes you different and be unapologetically authentic about what you like. Trends come and go, but your personal style is timeless. Fill your home with items that speak to you and make your heart skip a beat. Let your gut guide your choices, regardless of what others may think.
2. Break the Rules.
Don’t be afraid to break design rules and explore outside your comfort zone. Something that makes you feel a little bit uncomfortable is where the magic happens. Sometimes, hanging art at an unusual height or placing decor in unexpected spots is just what a space needs. Pushing boundaries and thinking outside the box separates the spaces that stand out from the ones that feel one and the same.
3. Spark Conversations.
Include a conversation starter that stops people in their tracks and makes them curious. Something that makes your guests pause and say, “What is that?” It could be a thought-provoking piece of artwork, an unusual sculpture, or a chair with an exciting shape. The goal is to create an environment that gets people talking and makes your space unforgettable.
4. Embrace Sentimental Value.
Instead of keeping cherished possessions hidden away, proudly display them to make your home feel more personal and meaningful. Whether it’s your grandmother’s china collection or a heartfelt card that you can’t seem to part with, these sentimental pieces are what make your home uniquely yours.
5. Seek Vintage and Antique Finds.
Incorporate older pieces into your decor for a truly distinctive look full of character and soul. Rather than going for the mass-produced lamp, explore local vintage stores, antique markets, or online platforms to discover a hidden treasure that no one else will have. Adding these one-of-a-kind elements creates a home that stands out from cookie-cutter designs.
Remember, making your home stand out isn’t about impressing others or following the latest trends — it’s about curating a space that reflects your individuality and tells your story. Embrace what makes you unique, think creatively, and let your home become a true reflection of who you are. ML
Published in the June 2023 issue of Middleburg Life.