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Interesting, true-to-life rooms with character

Mixing various styles, colors, textures, patterns, and materials creates visual interest and is a vital part of creating rooms with character. The opposite starts happening when you keep all those factors similar; you get a less lively, bland, and less satisfying look.

There are other benefits (that sometimes get overlooked in decorating) to this approach as well. It accommodates life and self expression better. Be it artwork, furniture, or something else, most of us like (and may acquire) a variety of items over the years and they would more easily fit in settings like these and even add charm. Also, things get broken, or worn out over time. It is easier to find suitable replacements and you will have more options to choose from when you already have a variety of styles, a more honest to life decor.  A restricted color palette/theme/style will not accommodate those situations as well.




Sources: image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4

Beautiful visible repairs

Fixes and repairs can add useful life to things we love and appreciate. When highlighted, instead of hidden, they can also add character and beautiful flair. Visible repairs also make these objects uniquely ours and allow us to appreciate all the times they've served us.

^ Butterlfy joints hold splitting pieces together and look great.

^ Crushed turquoise or other colorful resins can fix knot holes and deep cracks in wood while adding character and style.



^ Fixing damaged and worn clothing can be an opportunity to add style to an obviously much loved item we want to keep. Elbow patches, which add casual and cozy style, are great examples of good-looking visible mending.


^ Custom cover-ups are also a practical way to add personalization and color to otherwise in-good-shape pieces that just have certain spots that tend to get destroyed. If you are not a fan of this look and style, the same can be done with other fabrics/colors, etc, of course.

^ Kintsugi is the art of fixing broken ceramics with gold. Japanese consider these pieces more beautiful for having been broken. I agree.  A similar method can be used to fix cracks in other surfaces, like concrete floors, as they have done in the image below.

Sources: Image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4, image 5, image 6, image 7

Cozy and practical wood finishes

When picking furniture and other wooden items, go for finishes that are lighter and more natural, so any inevitable scratches and dings fit right in and add character over time instead of causing costly damage and/or an unsightly look. Compared to "perfect" finishes, more natural finishes tend to look more cozy and interesting, and allow people to relax more around them as well.




Image sources: images 1& 2, images 3, image 4

Colorful Mediterranean doors with flowers

These Mediterranean doors and entryways have perfected imperfection and coziness. Their aged appearance combined with bursts of colorful flowers subtly remind us to appreciate -not fight- the passage of time and the beauty of nature. Rustic materials that age well and grow character with signs of use/age also let us relax and be comfortable around them, making these entryways very beautiful and easy-going.





Sources: image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4, image 5

Plants on Balconies, Terraces, and Rooftop Gardens

Whether they are placed indoors or outdoors; in yards, balconies, or rooftop gardens, plants have aesthetic, ecological, health, and psychological benefits. All of those benefits come together to create more livable and beautiful spaces. Especially when plants are used outdoors not only the occupants of those spaces but the whole surrounding area, the whole city, enjoys those benefits.





As usual, plants look their best and create more relaxing environments when their natural size and shapes are appreciated. Trimming them to specific shapes and fighting against your plants' nature to keep them at a certain size stresses them out, makes them more vulnerable, and creates a lot of extra work for you.

Sources: images 1 & 2, image 3, image 4, image 5

Lively hacienda tiles

Hacienda style tiles are an excellent way to add some color and beauty to otherwise plain areas. The bright colors and patterns help make the place more lively, friendly, and cozy. Since hacienda tiles are well-glazed they hold up to the elements well and are good options for outdoors use, as well.

^ When used outdoors, hacienda tiles' shiny finish creates a pleasant visual contrast with natural textures. That contrast of textures and colors also make hacienda tiles go well with saltillo tiles and rough stucco.


^ Just a border of hacienda tiles around a window add character and color.

^ The imperfect paint job and the huge bougainvillea pair well with hacienda tiles as well.

 sources: image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4

Cozy, homey, and practical home

When unpretentious elements like natural colors and textures, things that age well, and can take wear and tear come together in a practical way, you get a comfortable, cozy and a very livable home.

Creating a similar exterior may not be an option in cities but the interior elements would make welcome touches in any setting.

^ That green door, the covered porches, the easy-going landscaping, with the gravel and flagstone path are all cool touches.

^ I love the saltillo tiles, the kilim rug, and the big practical benches in this mudroom.

^ That rooster rug is nice. I also love those fabric covers. You don't always need the structure and the strength of rigid doors. Sometimes you just need a dust blocker, and efficiency is a good thing. The fabric also adds a warmer/softer touch. I like the painted cabinets and the DIY-ish kitchen island, too.

Image source

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