When I was in college my roommate and I’s room was nicknamed “the poster room” because we covered almost every single bit of wall space with posters. Her side had a lot of bands and music themed posters, and my side was mostly High School Musical and Star Wars. The minute you walked into our room, you learned something about us. I LOVED our room because I felt like those posters really reflected me, who I was and what I loved.
Fast forward from college to moving into my first home. I had thrown out all of my posters and was determined to be an “adult” but I had no idea what that looked like. I spent all of my free time scouring Pinterest and reading blogs for inspiration. I was constantly bombarded with curated, beautiful images that inspired me. What I didn’t realize was that just because I think something is pretty or looks really good, doesn’t mean I’m going to love it in my house. I purchased furniture and bedding that was beautiful, but it wasn’t “me” at all. At first, I was frustrated that these design trends I latched on to weren’t working in my house. I thought I was doing something wrong. But I’ve come to realize that I was just going about designing and styling my space the wrong way. I needed to get back to “the poster room” way of thinking and design for me rather than try to accomplish a look just because it was in a magazine. The biggest way I’ve accomplished decorating with things I love is through the art and accessories that are on display. I’m coining this sentimental home design. Havenly, a great source for design inspiration and home trends, encouraged me to explore the various ways I’ve incorporated sentimental pieces into my design. For example, earlier this year I repainted our dining room to refresh the space. I thought it was missing something really personal so I added in two Star Wars prints (similar).
Jesse and I bonded over a mutual love of Star Wars long before we started dating, so it’s an important part of our story. The prints are very simple and cute, but they are Star Wars none the less. I’ve had these prints for years, but have kept them hidden in less conspicuous places because I didn’t think it was “mature” to have them hanging somewhere front and center. Now I say, screw it! I’m an adult who likes Star Wars. And if you come to my house (or read this blog, or know me at all) then you will know it.
Nerdiness aside, I’m also an incredibly sentimental person. I shared this on the blog before, but a few years ago my uncle (who is super talented) drew a pastel piece for my house. The pastel is of a fox, which represents my Papa. My Papa’s middle name was Foxx so having fox art around the house is an homage to him. I actually have several fox figurines around the house that represent him.
My other grandfather collected owls, so I have owl pieces that represent him as well. I actually have an animal for all of my grandparents, and a close uncle, that I’ve lost. Having a ceramic animal, painting or pillow with one of these “spirit” animals is my way of making my decor special to me and my family. I’ve even worked some of them into Mara’s toy box.
In addition to art made by other people, I’ve also framed and hung several photos that I took on our grand adventure to Europe a few years back. Each photo is from one of the cities that we visited, with two of them being from Paris because it was my favorite city. From left to right there’s: the Eiffel Tower at night, the Necropolis in Glasgow, a gargoyle from the top of Notre Dame, Big Ben in London and Sycamore Gap in Northumberland National Park, UK. Not only are the pictures reminders of the locations, but I can remember the events of the days when the photos were taken.
For example, I took the Eiffel Tower photo walking back to our hotel on one of our last nights in Paris. I was slightly drunk and balanced my camera on the side of a bridge to get the low exposure shot. I’m still suprised I didn’t drop it in the river! It’s really fun to be able to look up from the couch and have a little trip down memory lane for a few seconds.
As I’ve grown more into myself and learned what design elements I like and don’t care for, I’ve really embraced the idea of making our house a home. To me, that extends beyond the furniture and paint on the walls. I’ve learned that the things in my house I treasure the most aren’t expensive, or even something I’ve bought. They just reflect my interests or remind me of fun times or people I love. I don’t have wallpaper made of posters any more, but the spirit of the poster room lives on!