When the budget is tight and you don't have tons of time to spend shopping, sometimes purchasing a lot of your home's design elements from the same few places is just the easy thing to do. So then what can you do to make sure your living room doesn't look like a catalog spread and that your home feels like "you?" Find the answer in a few simple steps.
Focus on layouts and architecture
One way to make sure recognizable furniture looks great and more personalized is to make sure it works the best it can in the space you've got. That requires figuring out the best layout so that rooms function the way you need them to and that traffic flows effortlessly through the space. It also involves coordinating furniture with your existing space so it either contrasts quite dramatically and wonderfully, or enhances the architecture of your space. The entire look and feel of a piece can change pretty dramatically according to its settings, and you can actually exert control over whether or not a common piece of furniture is recognizable by using the architecture of your home.
Add art that catches the eye and steals the show
Don't want anyone to notice all your bedroom pieces are from the same big store? Grab their attention before they even get to looking at the furniture by wowing with bold art. Go for bright colors, intense patterns or the always-effective oversize effect.
Layer, layer, layer
Chances are your home won't be completely filled with one store's furniture products, so use your layering mastery to nest tables, stack elements, place plants in front of credenzas. Lean art in front of that bench you've seen in plenty of Pinterest boards. Connect the things in your home in ways only you could and would, and you'll find your home expressing more your personality than the style of a company.
Invest in vignettes
Vignettes are one of the most powerful tools in the designer's box of tricks. As potent as an eye-catching art piece (and sometimes involving an art piece or few), if you don't want that credenza to look like everyone else's, craft a vignette like few have ever seen on top. Same applies to other wood goods, and upholstered furniture pieces like sofas and chairs can get customized to your personality with thoughtful pillow and throw choices, as well as DIY additions like arm rest tables and more.
Make small DIY changes
It might seem crazy to make any changes or additions to new items you purchase — especially even if an affordable piece was still a lot of money to you — but if you're really looking to add your own personal touch to your home, you might consider small changes that will add a zing of personality. From a stripe of a color to dip-dyed legs, there are a lot of DIY options.
Change the background color
Change the color of the wall that will be in the background of your piece. Simple but effective, and like we've mentioned above, the setting that a furniture piece lives in can have a huge effect on whether it's recognizable.
Remember: Your home will reflect you because it's yours
Remember that even if you bought every item from one photo of one catalog, your home would still have your own touches to it because it was put together by you. It's not as hard to hide personal style and tastes as you might think.