DIY Network

Let Your Personality Shine Through In Decorating

Crafter Michele Beschen encourages experimentation with various surfaces when decorating a home.

More in Decorating

old brick on walls gives room interest and charm

When did decorating your home become such a serious business? I see so many people get hung up on the ill-perceived rights and wrongs of decorating a room that they're paralyzed from doing anything, or they feel that they're not even qualified to pick out their own paint color. Do you think it looks good? Do you like it? Does it make you smile? Did you have fun putting it together? In my book, those are the only things that should matter when it comes to setting up your living space.

My home is one big, fearless, experimental adventure after another that extends room-to-room, floor to ceiling, inside to outside. A Realtor's nightmare, I'm sure. But whether I end up having to relocate tomorrow or end up living in this house for the rest of my life, I live in it.

I install what I want to install, hang what I want to hang, paint what I want to paint, grow what I want to grow and I love every square foot of it. That's the beauty of having your own home. It should tell your story, reflect your personality and celebrate your ideas.

I love it when homeowners aren't afraid to like what they like and act on it. It's what makes our living spaces so much more colorful and interesting.

Sometimes, you just have to throw those so-called "rules of decorating" right out the window and explore new ways to do things. A great place to start is by using unique materials in nontraditional places. I, for one, have grown tired of seeing drywall around every corner, so I decided to cover my bedroom walls and a few other walls in the house with salvaged brick. This is, of course a decorating decision that one needs to be certain on because there's no turning back without a lot of demolition. But, when you approach a project fearlessly, the reward is that much more exhilarating.

The look and feel of the used brick on all four walls is amazing; it gives the room interest and charm that no paint technique could ever compete with. I continued experimenting with different materials on the various surfaces and parquet flooring is what ended up on the ceiling of the bedroom.

When you go to the home improvement center and look at materials as the materials themselves rather than the intended use, you'll be amazed at the ideas you are able to generate. I looked at that flooring, not as flooring, but as a cool, wood product that had an interesting checkerboard pattern that would complement the horizontal layout and textures of the brick beautifully. It turns out I like the product much better on the ceiling than I do as flooring.

The wonderful thing about experimenting is that one idea almost always leads to another and another and another. This flooring material has since found its way to tabletops and cabinets. The challenges that come in to play with using nontraditional materials in nontraditional places is that you have to spend a bit more time thinking, planning and learning, but it is those kinds of challenges that lead to the fun discoveries. Discoveries will bring a smile to your face every time you enter the room.

Break some rules in your own home, and live it up. Let that wall-to-wall personality shine through.

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