5 Ways to Add Meaning to Your Home

heart key in front door
Heart Key in Front Door. Image Source / Getty Images

They say "Home is where the heart is," and while that's true enough, here's something to ponder.  Is your heart in your home?  If you answered no, likely reasons for this are a) you move a lot; b) you rent; or finally c) you just don't know how to make your house feel more like a home.  A space lacking in the kinds of personal objects that add meaning can feel cold and impersonal.  Even the most impeccably decorated home can feel like a furniture showroom if it doesn't have objects that add a little soul.

 On the flip side, a small, modest home that may not have the most upscale furnishings or tasteful accessories can feel cozy, lived-in and loved.  

Here's how to add meaning to your home with accessories that tell your story.

Display Family Photos

This may seem like a no-brainer and certainly, most of us do this.  To give your photos more impact, however, display them on a gallery wall on a staircase or above a couch.  Choose a handful of high-quality favorites rather than lots of small tabletop frames that can just add visual clutter.  Put the photos that don't make the cut in photo albums and shelve them on a bookcase.

Color photos are great; but, black and white shots have an artistic quality.  Display your family's history with old black and white photos of your ancestors along with one of these clever ways to show off your family tree.

Display Memories

One of the easiest ways to make your home feel more personal is to display your life experiences.

 Not only do they serve as fond remembrances for you, they can act as conversation starters for guests in your home.  Here are some ways to display your memories:

  • Create vignettes related to trips you've taken.  Include things such as souvenirs, natural elements collected from the beach or a hike, a globe, or DIY art created from maps, ticket stubs, and photos.  Here are some more clever ways to display your vacation memories.
  • Frame keys from all of the homes you've lived in.
  • Create personalized art commemorating special dates in your life.

Create a Meaningful Library

Shelves full of your favorite titles are easy to pull off if you're an avid reader.  But even if you're not a bookworm, you can still put the decorative qualities of books to good use by creating stacks of titles that have meaning to you on a coffee table or in a bookcase styled like a pro.  The books you use don't have to be novels.  Try travel guides or titles related to a special interest of yours such as sports, food, film, photography or history.  Add even more style with one of these twelve unique ways to display books.

Put Your Collections on Display

Collections of special objects are a sure-fire way to add personality to your space.  But be sure to follow these dos and don'ts for displaying your collections before pulling out all of your old trophies or snowglobes.  Heirloom dishes, vintage linens, found objects, and even clothing can all add beauty and soul to your home if displayed properly.  View these beautiful collections for inspiration.  

Choose Symbolic Objets D'art 

Every home needs a few objects purely for decoration to warm it up.

 Objets d'art--or literally, "art objects"--can be small sculptures or carvings, pieces of metalwork or art glass, or any other item that either no longer has a use, or never did.  It seems like a missed opportunity, though, to choose accessories that fall into this category just for looks.  Instead, look for items that help tell your story.  For instance, I have a small metal sculpture of a plane to symbolize my late grandfather who was a pilot, as well as a vintage reel that used to be my dad's, but now represents my husband's love of fishing.  Objets d'art that serve as reminders of a loved one, a favorite place, or an event add loads of meaning to your home.

Try any or all of these ideas for a home with a lot of heart.