Soulful Homes

Design By Elska Interiors

While a perfectly detailed, new home may seem like a wonderful thing, they can sometimes feel cold and unwelcoming.  You may have experienced it in open homes or display homes, and sadly sometimes in our own homes.  It’s as if the personality and warmth is stripped and they leave you feeling a little meh.  And even though most of us have experienced homes with soul, the thing that creates that feeling can be elusive.  In my opinion a lot of that feeling of soul comes from the underlying essence of an imbued story.  

For some, achieving that may come more easily.  You may already live in a 100 year old home that speaks quietly to you about the people that once occupied the halls.  But no matter the age of your home or who you are, there are always ways to generate that feeling of a story and one that is unique to you.

Your own story can be layered into your home (and really must be for it to feel like home), by including memories and passions.  Include photos in a gallery wall that features family photos and maybe the odd eclectic sculpture or piece of art.  Even if you don’t enjoy masses of wall decor a small collection of 3 photos can be a perfect nod to your own story.  They might be slightly abstract so that only you know what they are about offering a secretive quality to it.

If you have collections, display them.  Whether it’s seashells, books, stamps, find a creative way to share them in your home.  They are the kinds of things that make a home unique to you. Don’t feel the need to over style your collection.  Keep it casual and organic.  But be cautious about over displaying.  Large displays are brilliant and maximalism is a generous look if you are gifted with the ability to generate rhythm in your styling.  If not, you’re at risk of a cluttered look instead.

By Hayley's Rented Cottage
Design By: Elska Interiors Photographer: John Downs Photography
Architect: Pentarchi Photographer: John Downs Photography

Rather than purchasing everything in your home brand new, why not shop second hand.  Art, furniture, decorator items and even the odd crockpot can add a feeling of history and soul to a home.  And it might be one hero item like a large vintage rug or chest of drawers paired with your brand new furniture that creates the feeling.  Sometimes you may be lucky enough to learn the story of the original owner offering a conversation point.  As a more extensive option you might consider recycled timber beams or flooring or recycled brick.  I love that this simultaneously reduces waste.

Handmade tiles and timber cabinetry make for a homely feel.

Handmade and artisanal items contain the echo of human hands, have their own small quirks and as such feel genuine and authentic. A handmade tile is a beautiful opportunity to offset brand new stone benchtops or a crisp porcelain bath.  Handmade furniture is not only solid and reliable, it has the opportunity to age gracefully and build history into your home.  Well made artisan items often employ ancient crafts that immediately signify history and story.  A commissioned artwork is unique to you and always will be.  The smallest addition like a mug or timber spoons can add those special moments to your day.

Styling By Elska Interiors Captured By Wattle and Wildflower Photography
Image via Leon and George

Natural materials hold a special story that is not necessarily obvious but carries an undertone of its own.  The wool blanket that started with a sheep in Tasmania, the marble benchtop that came from a 100 year old quarry, woven linen curtains that started as flax in the earth and timber flooring crafted from towering trees. Similarly, materials that patina or appear to have aged have a feeling of warmth and soul all of their own.  There are many living tapware options and timber floors that come with their own aged appearance.  Wall finishes such as a lime wash or French wash or venetian plaster create a backdrop that feels centuries old but when delivered in a certain hue with the right furniture make for a wonderfully interesting and modern room.

Above all I encourage you to embrace the messiness of life within your home.  Pets, plants, friends, big bake ups, boisterous children and family gatherings.  These are the things that will ultimately bring the new stories into your home.  I hope that this idea of soulful homes has reinvigorated your idea of home and what you can achieve.  Even if you only incorporate one of these ideas I believe that it will have a positive effect on your everyday life.

Designer: Elska Interiors Captured By: Wattle and Wildfower Photography

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