How To: Avoid the Catalog Look at Home

We blog a lot of big, accessible stores like IKEA, Crate & Barrel, Target, Pottery Barn...you get the picture. We shop at many of them and we appreciate the fact that they offer stylish things at affordable price points. Still, we try to avoid the catalog look: that sense you get when you walk into a room and you think, "I've seen this place before." Click below for a few tips on developing a unique, non-catalogish style...

  • Shop vintage. Look for one-of-a-kind pieces with a history behind them. Apartment Therapy's city shopping guides offer recommendations for vintage and thrift stores from each of our city sites.
  • Go the DIY route. Use your home-ec skills to customize furniture and put your own special spin on a room.

  • Travel. When you visit a new place, use the opportunity to scout for things you wouldn't be able to find at home. As you fill your home with unique objects from faraway places, you'll collect great style and great memories.

  • Shop at small, independent retailers. In addition to all those big box retailers we blog, we also feature a lot of small, independent stores and designers. You can search our city shopping guides by neighborhood to find hidden gems in your neck of the woods.

  • Family heirlooms and hand-me-downs are a good way to keep continuity with the past while developing your own unique style. It can take a little work to figure out the best way to make them mesh with your style, but the payoff is a place that feels like home.

Give us your tips in the comments below.

Photo: IKEA catalog

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