Don’t Wait for a Mate, Feather Your Nest Now! Part 2
Even if you’re single or live in an apartment you can still create a signature style in your living space. Here
are 10 steps (in a 2 part series) to help you customize your home to express your own personal style.
decorating for singles, apartments, personal style, signature style
Copyright 2006 Melissa Galt
One of the best things about being single is that when you decorate your house, apartment, townhouse or
loft, it’s all about you, and you can create a space that is completely yours. Being single and living on your
own is the perfect time to start expressing your personal style in your home space.
In part 1 of this 2 part series, we covered the first 5 steps to take when decorating your home. We started
with the basics, deciding what types of furniture you need and keeping an idea file of furniture, artwork and
rooms that speak to you. After we laid the groundwork, we talked about establishing a starting point in the
room for expressing your personal style, such as a piece of artwork or an amazing rug. Then we went on to
cover furniture and how different textures, styles, prints, colors and sizes contribute to your overall design.
In this 2nd and final part of this series, we’ll pick up where we left off and cover the last 5 steps to creating a
living space that is totally yours.
6. Okay, time to make it functional and add tables and surfaces. Remember that every seating surface needs
a place in arms reach to put a drink, a book, or even a TV remote (or many remotes as so many homes seem
to have today). Mix your elements in casegoods too, wood, of course, but don’t forget metal, glass, ceramic,
and painted finishes. You want to coordinate, not match. (Again this is where that expert help can really be
valuable.) Mix up your shapes-- don’t make it all square and hard edges. Rounds and ovals are much
friendlier to small children (even if they aren’t yours, you may be an aunt or uncle), and adult shins. Many
pieces are available today with drop leaves or even a height adjustment for multiple purpose use. Small
spaces require multi-function, and the same pieces can be added to later for a larger room.
7. Now layer in some soft goods, such as the pillows, throws, table runners and draperies. These elements
add interest, character, and personality as well as carrying the color scheme and pattern to a vertical level.
They create balance and warmth. They don’t have to be fussy or froufrou in order to add invitation and
warmth. Pillows can be simple and tailored or fringed and decadent. Throws are great for curling up with
for that nap on the sofa. Table runners help a large expanse of wood or glass look friendly. (They do need to
be long enough to run off the ends of the table.) Draperies can frame views, control light, give privacy and
have acoustical benefits. They can be straight panels with no bells and whistles, or you can pull out all the
stops and do it up with tassels and trim, swags and more. Call that professional for advice and
8. No matter how terrific your design is, no matter how colorful, elegant, lively or peaceful, it won’t matter
if you don’t have good lighting. Overheads are fine for cleaning, but you really need lamps, both table and
floor to set the mood and welcome. You can mix your lamps just as you mixed your other materials. A
single room can have a variety of shapes, shades and light qualities, which makes the room lively.
Remember you want to create a collected look, as if it evolved over time, not like you bought the entire
room setting in one afternoon. Don’t match your lamps, unless your tables are matched.
9. The last step is in the decorating process perhaps the most vital of all make it personal. Add mementos,
collectibles, well framed personal photographs and artwork. This is the part that really makes it yours and
no one else’s. What makes you smile? What do you want to see everyday? Watercolors from street side
vendors on trips you’ve taken are a wonderful reminder of good times, just as a ceramic or glass piece that
you picked up native to a country adventured captures the moment. (Please no airport souvenirs.) If you
collect sports memorabilia, put it up on display. This is your pad, your house, your haven from the world,
your space to do with as you please. Perhaps you have a grouping of autographs, Lladro figurines, German
beer steins, or even ball caps, whatever it is, if you like it, use it. If working with a professional, let them
know what you like, they can often bring in original works that are specific to your interests, and even your
travels. At the least they can take what you have and maximize it to advantage.
10. Once you have it all together, it’s time to celebrate it! So get planning, make that invite list and have a
housewarming. If you prefer to do this over time, have a room warming for each room as it is completed. Be
sure to tell friends what you’d like to have, maybe even consider registering at Pier 1 Imports, Home Expo,
Bed Bath Beyond and more. Don’t make them guess what you’d like! Pick a variety of price points to please
them all. You’ll get some finishing touches and a great chance to share you new décor with friends, family
and more. Get comfortable and make it a beautiful life now.