KLC Alumnus, Catherine Borse, shares her top designer tips on styling a home to create greater meaning.

10 Designer Tips: How To Style A Meaningful Home


Written by: Catherine Borse of Mayskies Studio

In the Interior Design world, the styling of a finished project is the pinnacle of the creative process where the complete look that was visualized at the very start of a project, maybe even a year or more before, becomes a reality.

However, perfect styling is not effortless or easy and takes large amounts of imagination, thought and thorough planning. It can be tricky to get the look exactly right while balancing the style, personality and history of the client along with your own creative process, and of course, a budget.

These pressures also exist when styling your own home and can be intensified by indecision and lack of confidence.

Styling With Meaning

One of the ways to make styling more intuitive is to think about creating a deeply meaningful home, from the design right through to every decorative detail of the interior.

To do this successfully, completely understanding the essence of your (or your clients) style, interests, passions and aspirations is enormously important. The skill is then in being able to interpret that story though styling details, adding an extra layer of personalisation to create a properly ‘finished’ look.

Top 10 Tips To Creating A Meaningful Home:

To help you create a meaningful and beautiful home there are lots things to consider but here are ten top designer styling tips to get you started!

1) When planning your styling, have one or two statement or ‘stand out’ items in a room to create a focus and ‘wow’ factor. These could be things that you spend a little more on that really set the tone and quality for the rest of the space. For example you may choose a decorative wooden sculpture from a country you loved visiting or a glass vase with a soft fluid shape that makes you think of a day by the sea.  


2) Don’t over-clutter your styling; whilst you may have many small trinkets and treasures (and maximalism is a growing trend!), less is still usually more. Pick out the items that really deserve to be showcased and give them some space to be admired. Grouping them in small collections of odd numbers works well, for instance 1, 3, 5 items placed together.

3) Great storage is a style essential! To maintain a stylish home your lovely possessions need to be clearly seen on display, so creating a place for everything will ensure that you avoid annoying piles of letters, loose keys, handbags and magazines. Make sure you have a mixture of open and closed storage so that you can display cherished items on shelves or in racks.

The teachings of Marie Kondo are an inspiring place to start for organising your home storage, she demonstrates how reducing your possessions, then finding a place for everything within your home is good for your soul (and your style!).

4) Plants can break up the solid feeling of a room with soft or defined shapes, and brighten up a space with fresh, green colour and life. It can help to see your plants as a form of art in your home, creating vignettes on shelves, in corners and spaces where there are natural gaps.

Plants are also a great way to easily and practically counteract the negative effects of city living and enliven our homes, boost our wellbeing and connect us to nature. Fresh flowers in vases are also a wonderful natural way to introduce life, colour, scent and sensuality into even the blandest of living spaces.

5) Colour is one of the interior elements that most people have strong feelings about and even if you aren’t able to change plain walls and furnishings, favourite colours can be added very effectively through styling items. Texture is also vital. Texture in different materials, rough, smooth, tactile all help to create an interesting atmosphere, be it cosy or airy or whatever look feels in tune with you. Keeping things varied and mixing natural materials will help give your home a relaxed and comfortable feel.

6) As with texture, ‘layering’ is important in styling a room, think of layers like ‘clothing’, layering objects with different heights and lengths, or layering items such as cushions and blankets in similar colours but different tones and materials to create depth and keep things visually interesting. 

7) Buying antique, vintage or repurposing items you already own can bring an extra layer of significance to the way to furnish your home. If you’re buying new items then choose things that provide longevity and are reusable or recyclable at the end of the time you have a use for them, considering the impact of your purchases on the environment.

Refillable items are a great eco addition to any home styling, such as soap dispensers that can be refilled from a bulk buy, reducing packaging and waste. Even better, make your own healthy cleaning and body care products! Having beautiful bottles and pots to store them in will make them feel really special.

8) Choose art and photography to make your space feel special. Whether that is paintings inherited from relatives, art by your kids or photographs of your family, framing them up and displaying them in groups really creates an emotional anchor in your home.

9) Always choose items to furnish and style your home that are personal to you and with which you have a strong emotional or meaningful connection. It’s not only good for you to value the things with which you surround yourself but it also creates ‘emotional durability’, the timelessness and strong emotional connection these objects inspire will ensure longevity, which is also creates less waste!

10) Making a dedicated small altar space for your most treasured items somewhere in your home can create a focus for yoga, meditation or mindfulness practice. Adding crystals or other items that hold spiritual significance deepens the connection, providing you with somewhere to take a few moments for reflection.

Your Meaningful Style

It takes all these little details (and more!) to make a home beautiful, purposeful and meaningful but it’s worth it to feel your most relaxed and happy self in your own home.  

Connection with space and place is good for our emotional and physical wellbeing so it is worth taking time to create that relationship with your home, so you can retreat into your sanctuary and completely relax.

We hope you enjoy styling your home with meaning, please share your thoughts and photographs with us on social media with the hash tag #meaningfulhome!

This blog was written by Catherine Borse of Mayskies Studio and is adapted from a blog first featured on the website of Liquid Interiors Ltd, Hong Kong.
It can also be found on Catherine’s own website www.mayskies.com/blog.


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