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How to Add Soul to Your Home

Design: Meet West Studio | Photography: Camille Delaune

One of our favorite things about the design process is achieving that perfect mix of old and new that gives a space a magical energy. Whether you have a brand new home or a historic home that needs a refresh, we like to add design elements that give life to a space so that it tells a story and reflects your personality. You don’t want to feel like you’re living in a time capsule or that everything is fresh off the shelf of a home decor store. Below are a few tricks we use to add soul to a home, so that it has a timeworn, collected feel.

One should never be the oldest thing in one's house. — Patsy Stone, Absolutely Fabulous

Design: Meet West Studio


We love to mix materials in our spaces, using elements like varying tones of wood, metal, fabric, and ceramic elements, to create a visual rhythm and texture in a way that looks intentional, curated, and like it’s been there a while. One of our favorite tricks is adding a living finish, like unlacquered brass, through hardware or lighting, which creates a beautiful patina and evolves over time with daily use. These details just get better with age. We love these unlacquered beauties from Rejuvenation and used them in our Lafayette project.


Another favorite trick is adding handmade elements, like tile or textiles. Whether your home is old or new, seeing the hand of an artist at work in your home adds an element of imperfect beauty that can’t be achieved through a machine. Moroccan Zellige and Italian Cotto tile, like these we are using in our upcoming Canyon Grove project —made using the same techniques that have been used for centuries—add instant soul to your space. St. Frank and Block Shop are two of our favorite resources for artisan-made textiles. Sourcing handmade not only looks beautiful, it has the added benefit of supporting working artisans all over the world and keeping ancient traditions alive.

Design: Meet West Studio


Adding millwork or wallpaper to a plain wall is another great way to add some charm to your space. Bold wallpaper is having a huge moment, and there is nothing like it to totally change the energy of a space, like this House of Hackney Phantasia paper we recently used in our client’s laundry room remodel, along with beadboard panelled walls. Vertical nickel gap and board and batten paneling are also great ways to give a new space visual interest and a vintage appeal.

Design: Meet West Studio


Updating lighting is one of the best and easiest ways to give personality and set the mood of a room. Nothing hurts our hearts more than a house full of the same builder-grade light fixtures. Swapping out either outdated or Home-Depot special lighting with interesting, well-made sconces, table lamps, and pendants instantly adds life (and layered light!) to a space.

We created a collection of some of our favorite lighting here.



Last but certainly not least - buy vintage! Sourcing quality, interesting, one-of-a-kind vintage furniture, art, and decor is our favorite way to create a curated vibe that’s all your own. Beyond adding character and patina, adding vintage elements is sustainable, giving new life to an item that may otherwise be discarded. It can also be budget friendly and a way to complete a room more quickly without waiting for items to come back in stock or ship to you. Some of our favorite vintage sources are small entrepreneurs like Line Curve Matter, Loft and Thought, Carpenter Studio, and of course Chairish and 1stDibs.

Interested in working with us to add some soul in your space? We'd love to hear about your design project. Contact us to book a consultation.
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