August 3, 2023
Over the last few days, I’ve been doing some catching up on my Architectural Digest magazines. (Yes, I get the print subscription; not only are they a prime source for home inspiration, but they make for great coffee table pieces!)
Something I’ve noticed in some of the more recent editions is the flawless union between depth and charm in these homes. And truthfully (and with all due respect!), I feel that depth and charm are two crucial elements of interior design that a decent amount of modern homes lack.
I think we’ve all been there at one point or another, but it seems the easiest (and safest) route of home design is going with the neutrals: white, gray, black, tan, beige, etc. Per TikTok lingo, the “sad-beige” and “millennial gray” aesthetic that has taken over a lot of homes on social media is exactly what I’m talking about here.
It seems that so many people are scared to take the leap and design their home the way that they genuinely want to (like adding fun, bright colors they want or throwing that funky retro chair in their living room that they’ve been eyeing for months). There was a point where we went with what felt trendy and safe. But we didn’t feel that it ignited happiness or passion within us. It just didn’t feel right.
Here’s the thing–it is completely understandable and justified!
Crafting your home with depth and charm is a complicated task that cannot be finished in one week, one month, or heck, even a year. But like with most good things, as they say, takes time! We still update and refresh our home on a regular-ish basis to different things that catch our eye or we adapt to how our style might alter as the days go by.
We wanted our home to have layers, depth, charm, and character to it. And unfortunately, that can’t be achieved with all white and gray (sorry, please don’t hate me for saying that!) But I am going to give you a few tips on how to add depth and charm to your home that aligns with your authentic self.
Of course, there are hundreds of ways to add depth and charm, but here are a few consolidated ways we feel have helped us and might help you (in no particular order):
I feel like growing up it was popular to see furniture bought as a set. You’d go to Ashley Furniture Store and get the matching sofa, love seat, and recliner set, along with the dining room table and chairs, and your home was set. It was all about “matching” and making things feel uniform. These days, a more eclectic sensibility is welcome, and we’re here for it. While it’s still nice to create a cohesive feel or vibe in your home, we try to celebrate bringing together antiques, singular pieces you love, and individual dishes from different places that you’ve picked up over time.
This is such an important step in giving your house both depth and charm. What we mean by proper proportions is to ensure that, when designing and adding decor to your home, it is proportioned properly and cohesively. Everything should have a natural flow and nothing should stick out like a sore thumb.
For example, if you look at our fireplace, we have a variation of sizes within our decor. Some tall items, some medium sized, and some super little. But it all works and nothing seems out of place. With properly proportioning your decor, there is a fine line between it flopping and working. It’s something that you will have to play with, but I promise, it’ll be worth it!
And the same goes for our media wall!
As you can see, our frames are different sizes with completely different textures and art styles. Putting together a media (gallery) wall is to make sure there is balance, color and texture flow, and most of all—life! If the art or frames that you place on your wall is drab and dark, it will make you feel the same way (and we definitely don’t want that!) Sometimes a perfectly symmetrical gallery wall works; however, for us, we feel that it is more charming to offset the frames and decor to make it more cozy and less uniform. You will discover what you prefer in time!
Layering your home is also a crucial step to giving your home what it needs to be full of charm and depth! And what is even more crucial—layering your home without it feeling cluttered, disorganized, and claustrophobic. As a maximalist, this is a fine line I treat lightly! As someone who loves home decor, it may seem easy to get carried away with buying things you love; thus, accumulating a ton of stuff and clutter (that you either use or don’t use).
Layering in its most beautiful form is placing a throw blanket to tie in the color palette in your living room or throwing unique pillow cases on your pillows on your bed to give it some texture.
A great example of layering in our home are our windows.
We’ve added a variety of different colors, textures, and design elements here that extract even more character from our bedroom — and bringing the curtain rod higher than the top of the window adds an illusion of additional vertical space (same with adding longer curtains).
Accent walls, truthfully, can make any boring and bland room revitalized. Anything from crown molding, to wallpaper, to adding a gallery wall (see above for gallery wall step-by-step). If you are a renter (or simply want to change your walls on a budget), DIY crown molding and wallpaper is simple to do and is so, allow me to repeat, so worth it! We’ve DIY’d crown molding and wallpaper to our apartment and it is easily one of the best things we’ve ever done. Sometimes there are walls that aren’t right for pictures, art, or shelving, but adding crown molding or wallpaper changes the space and takes your home to the next level!
Lighting. Lighting is, to put it simply, everything. Lighting establishes the mood and vibe for your entire home. If you want to feel depth and charm (and peace) in your home, those bright, white lights are not going to cut it. They need to go, respectfully. We are huge on warm lighting, in multiple forms! We are big faux battery-powered candle people. Regardless of what area of your home you’re in, a candle elevates it. It presents a calm and relaxing aura (and we all need that in our lives!) Additionally, sconces and lamps are another way we like to add depth and charm in our home. Not only are they art pieces within themselves, they distribute light and it can highlight an area in your home you feel might need a lil’ extra love.
This is a huge one for me. If you know me, I try to live my life intentionally in every way. I love to make the ordinary and mundane exceptional and marvelous. Because… why not?! As Coco Chanel once said: A lot of serious work goes into successful frivolity.
If you are looking for a mirror for your space, don’t settle for a standard mirror (we all know the one). Spend a little more time searching, like at antique stores or flea markets, and find a mirror that is so glamorous you couldn’t imagine your life without it. And does every mirror show your reflection? Sure! But there is nothing like a statement piece of a mirror. And that feeling—that is something not every mirror can achieve. (This mirror from Sam’s bedroom is one of our favorite little details!)
Same with glassware! If you’re looking to purchase new glassware, I recommend searching for some that have character and fun designs and textures. Glassware and kitchen utensils don’t have to be dull, you can find so much joy in the simple things like that (it just takes time and a lot of research! Or maybe a really good antique store?)
Like I just mentioned, I love a good mirror. But living in New York City, mirrors are not only sought after, they are required when putting together an NYC apartment. Mirrors are notorious for creating the illusion of depth and space. Not only do they achieve that, but they also make lighting and colors bounce off the reflection in a charming way. We have a large mirror in our entryway, living room, bathroom, and our bedroom and it makes all the difference within our home. And again, it doesn’t have to be a standard mirror. You can make the mirror within itself a statement piece that you can’t help but stare at!
All this being said, the best way to add depth and charm to your home is to find pieces and decor that you enjoy and love to look at everyday. Don’t be afraid of color, varying textures and sizes, or funky silverware! Go with what works for you, while staying mindful of balance and proportions. It takes time, but you will soon have a home that you feel is full of charm and character!