Gifts that speak about your personality.
By Valsala Menon
Ask a good designer about what qualities he looks for in an aspiring client, and he would tell you that he is intrigued when he runs into a person who is keen on sticking to a budget, but never stops reaching for things of beauty and, most importantly, has tremendous pride in their homes. Too often, we are taught only to care about people and pets but, of course, a space filled with objects that make us happy can remind us of where we have been, who we have loved, and what our lives have been. Here are a few ways to create a home that tells the story of who you truly are – and who you are on your way to being.

Hit the pause button

Take a tip and drown out the noise from all those make-over shows. The best interiors – the ones that look, function and feel the best – are the interiors that are assembled and collected over time.

Adopt a group mentality

Things, even ordinary objects, are powerful when they are gathered together. I have a friend who loves to travel with her boyfriend. They collected sand from every beach they visited, and brought it back in small black film containers. They transferred each vial of sand into vintage glass containers etched with the dates and locations of each trip. Now, when you walk into their home, you are able to see 30 samples of sand on their book shelf. It’s striking and the kind of thing that really tells the story of who they are.

Give tissue paper a rest

Often, the finest things in design ooze age, patina and history. I am referring to the things you find tucked away in drawers – the wedding presents, the quilts that came down to us from our grandmothers, the blanket chests we inherit. People who come to your home wouldn’t think to ask to see the jacket your grandfather wore when he was two years old; but when they see it hanging on a hook next to framed photographs and paintings on your stairwell, they invariably ask about it. The idea that it’s on display, and not wrapped in tissue, personifies what life can be like to live with things that have meaning.

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