How to add personality into your room

It’s Ask the designer today and I’m tackling another very common question which is how to add personality into your room.  Many of you are so afraid to add colour, art or bold rug into your home but guys, THIS IS what makes your home unique. You have to understand that for you to create a home which is unique to you and which your friends recognise and associate your personality with immediately when they walk in is through unique pieces which define..YOU.

To “inject” some personality into your space you need CONFIDENCE. Without it your home will always look like your friend’s house. Nobody can be you. You are unique. The bad thing about interior design magazines, TV shows,  blogs and even home decor shops is that they all feed us with trends and what’s in fashion. What’s current and what’s “in”. Hands ups, I’m doing it here on my blog too.


You need to discover your style. You can’t copy images from glossy magazines. You are you. What do you like? What you don’t like?  You need to use “trends” and everything you are bombarded with and pull out “the good bits”.  You need to get clear in your head and distinguish the difference between TRENDS and STYLE.

You need to find YOUR STYLE. Do you like scandi, minimalist, eclectic, boho, contemporary, traditional, classic, mediterranean? Which style do you like? If you’re struggling to find it, think of your favourite home decor shop? Is it Dwell, John Lewis, West Elm, Nicholas Haslam, Laura Ashley? Think about it and write it down.

You can also find your style through FASHION or ART. Think about your favourite fashion designer or artist. What do you like about their work? Is it the colours, shape, textures? What feeling do you get when you look at their work? Calm, happy, clean, organised, elegant?

TIP: don’t pigeon hole yourself into one style. If you like the idea of scandi but in bolder version then you need to research both.  You might like a little bit of country and mediterranean. You need to research both.

Get on Pinterest and start pinning! Create boards like art, fashion, homes, travel. Ideas are a great way to trigger inspiration. Here are some examples:





I still see some of my clients that are trying to pin ideas but when I look at their boards it’s not clear what style they like. You need to pin by instinct. Don’t overthink it. For example, search for contemporary interiors and just start pinning your faves. Go and have a look at my boards as an example and you will see that I’m all about colours, mixing patterns, modern, elegant and chic look.

Once you get clear idea of your style you can start thinking about how you can put that style into your room. Here are my faves:

One of the most obvious elements is, of course, ART. Art is such a personal thing. It doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t have to stand in front of it for hours to find out if it speaks to you. You should go on your instinct. It should be pretty fast to decide if you like it or not.

TIP: Art doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be a simple DIY picture you make on your day off or rainy Saturday afternoon. You can visit a gallery and note what you like but then search for a similar cheaper alternative.

So many people underestimate the power of a rug. You might say “I have carpets everywhere I don’t need a rug”. Yes, you do. This is called layering and I write about it all the time. Rug gives you two things:

1. Protection of the area – being wooden flooring, light carpet or softer landing on tiles (especially with kids around)
2. Visual and grounding element – without a rug your room might feel little bit “empty or unfinished”.

Treat rugs in the same way as art. After all they are “art on the floor”. Look for colours, textures and patterns.

Yes, even with fabrics on cushions or curtains you can express yourself. When you find fabric which I call “this is me fabric” you are on your way. You’re heading in the right direction.

Same things apply here when searching for that perfect fabric – colour, texture and pattern.

Wallpaper is great. If you don’t like the idea of wallpapering your room or wall, consider framing it. This is a good idea for renters as well. Non permanent solution but still a great design element with which you can put your personality into your space. I’ll be the first to admit that I never liked the wallpaper idea until I started KLC Diploma course. And you know what the cool thing is? That you don’t have to always go for crazy bold colours or patterns. You can just go for subtle plain textured wallpaper in soft colours but with a little shimmer or texture effect which you can’t achieve with paint.

Furniture defines style and  period (time wise). Full stop. Look at the shape – is it curvy, robust, slim or small? Minimalist or futuristic? Paint it if you can’t find it in the right colour. Alternatively have it made for you.

NOTE: only buy good quality furniture. Look for tongue and groove joining where ever you can. Buy the best quality you can.


Yes, statement lighting such as tall table lamps, chandeliers or feature pendants are another great way to put your personality into your room. Lighting is a topic on its own which I want to talk about but this post would be never ending so I’m keeping it for next time. Anyway think about lighting as as another avenue which you can express yourself with.

Similar to art again home decor accessories are here to define us. Do you like elegant, chic or boho, quirky pieces? This is another vital design element which many of you don’t consider. For your room to be pulled together you need accessories. I mean, would you go out in your best outfit and hairdo without jewellery and handbag? You’d probably feel that something is missing, right? Well, same thing applies to your room! Don’t leave it unfinished.

I want you to start adding YOU into your home right now. Because if you don’t act now you never will. Start this weekend. Here are few ideas for you!

sources: art / lamp / coffee table / pouffe / rug / cushion

 Have you got any questions we can tackle next week? Let me know! Shoot me an email or comment below!

Karolina Barnes Studio



Comments 2


    I love what you said about art – it’s not really the kind of thing you need time to decide on, reactions to art are usually quite instinctive.

    These are such fantastic tips, Karolina! I am going to pin your post.

    1. Post

      Thanks so much, Elisa! I mainly go by instinct. It really should be on impulse. Either you like it and it speaks to you / evokes emotion or not. I think many people buy art as last but it should be one of the first things / a starting point.x

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