The homes we admire while flipping through magazines and scrolling through Pinterest are undeniably pretty, but do you ever look at an image of an impossibly pristine home and wonder, "Does anyone actually live there?" In celebration of quirky, personality-packed homes, we've rounded up house tours that definitely show signs of life—and that can teach us how to make our own homes shine. Boring doesn't stand a chance.
Break from tradition.
Polka dots aren't something you'd expect to find upon walking into a historic Victorian home, but that sure didn't stop homeowners Chris and Roger from confetti-bombing their entryway wall with big circles of bright orange paint. You can respect a historic home's past, but don't let it stop you from making it your own.
Don't let space stop you.
"I don't have enough room," easily rolls off the tongue as an excuse for many things, including why you don't add more collectibles, paint brighter colors, or have friends over more often. But Natasha's 500-square-foot apartment—filled with collectibles from the more than 35 countries she's lived or worked in—is proof that you can have a personality-packed small space. The key to keeping your space functional is to limit collectibles to along the walls, and balance it with plenty of tucked-away storage for items not on display.
Surround yourself with what you truly love.
When it comes to decorating, it's best to follow your bliss. Whether your passion is music, art, skiing or taxidermy, decorate your home with objects that remind you of what fills you with joy. By filling their home with the records, vintage toys and old-fashioned signs they love, Neryl and Tim ended up creating a home with a cohesive retro style.
Throw the rules out the window.
Design rules were made to be broken, so don't let them limit you. Some experts might say it's overkill to pair bright yellow walls with a punchy floral couch, a blue rug and green armchairs, but Elizabeth Chapin did exactly that in her living room, above. Her advice is to not get too precious about your home. "It's just a big wooden box that keeps out the rain. All that matters is that it works for how you live and it makes you smile," she says.
Do what feels true to you.
If you're a minimalist, don't feel pressured to paint with bold colors simply because you're afraid of having a "boring" home. At first glance, Sam and Lindsey's bedroom, above, doesn't seem full of personality, but then subtle details like the large textural furry rug and the string light fixture that Lindsey hand-crafted slowly reveal the homeowners' personalities and hobbies.
Craft a handmade home.
The best way to guarantee a conversation-worthy room is to fill it with personal projects and DIY creations. When Thom couldn't find the 3D map he had in mind, he decided to craft his own by cutting out cork continents. The finished result, above, reflects both Thom and Ashlae's love of travel and their creative spirits.
Make a statement (or four).
Your home is your personal sanctuary, so let it reflect how you really feel. Meg and Andy's awesome Chicago home is peppered with political statements and feminist art. The riot-grrrl sign above speaks volumes without the homeowners having to say a word. There's no chance visitors will be bored in this home.