It’s easy to get so inspired by incredible designers and magazine-worthy rooms that you forget about your home’s ultimate style expert: you. We love to borrow from the creativity around us, but for the final say on your space’s look, nothing beats your own instincts. After all, how you live reflects who you are!
With her cheerful color palette, quirky furnishings, and houseplant jungle, home decor blogger and DIYer Wendy Lau marches to the beat of her own design drum every day. Whether it’s a “Peachy Clean” bathmat or a pastel front door, Wendy always opts for the personalized touch. She thinks about how she wants to feel in her home, how it can serve the people who will spend time there, and how she can reflect her tastes in the space.
“Personalized design means it’s made just for you!” she says. “It’s so important because we can think about accessibility and design it to be beautiful at the same time. Tailoring a home bespoke to you in big and small ways can bring so much more enjoyment to your life.”
At our 2021 Small/Cool Experience — a whirlwind design event featuring stellar designers and the latest interior trends — Wendy sat down with Apartment Therapy founder and CEO Maxwell Ryan to talk about all things personalized design. Genesis, the official auto sponsor of this year’s event, agrees that a little personalization goes a long way. The best designs feel like they couldn’t belong to any other person or place: Filtering inspiration and trends through your unique style is how you get there.
We asked Wendy about how to personalize our spaces — and why the best thing she ever did for her style was learn how to patch a hole.
What does personalized design mean in your home?
I believe in designing a home filled with things you love to serve people you love. We entertain a lot, so that’s meant choosing materials that would withstand high traffic, stain-resistant countertops, and comfortable chairs to have long conversations in! I’m a pretty practical person who loves comfortable and warm designs. When it comes to personalizing a room as a practical person, I think about the ease of cleaning. As someone who entertains a lot, I want durability.
What are some unexpected ways you like to personalize a room?
I’m a collector: baskets, amber bottles, plants, bud vases, brass knick-knacks, wooden spoons from travels, ceramics…the list goes on! I love displaying them. They all have stories and memories associated with them. It really does help to make your home feel like it’s yours, kind of like a dragon with a treasure trove! What better way to personalize a space than with your beloved collections of treasures that you find value in and give you joy?
What about some surprise spots for that personal touch?
Your kitchen backsplash! I know a lot of people are hesitant to drill holes in their walls, but there are ways to affix things to your backsplash without denting your pretty tiles. I love hanging things up on my walls and am not afraid to put holes in drywall. Learning to patch a hole has given me the freedom to personalize my home by hanging up art, sculptures, hanging rods, baskets, peg hooks, plants, you name it. I love bringing my home to life this way.
Watch Wendy and Maxwell’s full conversation:
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