OPINION | Your home should be full of art and joy, not just aesthetic

Last spring, I went to the Colorado Springs Flea Market and bought a wall clock in the shape of a strawberry. It has since become my favorite thing in my bedroom.

I’m quite proud of my carefully curated home decor made up of knick-knacks and art that I’ve collected from thrift and antique stores. The decor in my bedroom is unique and there’s no specific aesthetic that I adhere to, but that’s what I love most about it.

Scrolling through Pinterest, I’m constantly seeing photos of people’s homes with captions like “cottage core aesthetic,” “boho room decor,” “coquette bedroom” and “dark academia aesthetic.” While aesthetic themes are cute, I could never choose just one for my bedroom.

As I look around my room, I see different items that could be categorized into some of the aesthetics listed above: the globe on my bookshelf is dark academia, the crocheted doilies beneath my potted plants are cottage core and the taper candles in the glass candle holders are coquette.

Strawberry wall clock. Photo by Ella Barry.

There’s no single aesthetic tying it all together but, collectively, the one thing these items have in common is me. I found them, brought them home with me, and they reflect my personality.

Anyone who comes into my home will see that while there’s no theme among my belongings, they don’t clash because they make sense in the context of my home. Even if someone does think they clash, who are they to care? It’s my home, not theirs, and I’m the only one who needs to love it.

I’m not suggesting you begin purchasing every item you see and think is cool; I’d never want to promote overconsumption. My point, rather, is that when you do find something you really love but fear won’t match the rest of your belongings, buy it anyway. It’s those items that will stand out, spark conversation and might end up being your favorite.

One argument I hear often is that even if you disregard aesthetics, you should consider if your decor is timeless or trendy. I agree, it’s better to invest in decor that you’ll still like to look at a year from now.

However, timeless decor looks different for everyone. Timeless doesn’t have to mean plain, boring or minimalist decor if that’s not what you’re interested in.

Your decor can be simple, chic, spunky or loud, mostly your favorite color or color palette. You can hang posters of your favorite musicians and sports teams and photos of your friends without it being “tacky” or ruining the aesthetic. Don’t let others tell you what does and doesn’t look good.

Forget the aesthetics that are already out there and make up your own aesthetic that simply reflects your personality and the things that you love. The decor in your home should be beautiful and bring you joy; it doesn’t matter what anyone else has to say about it.

Shelf decor. Photo by Ella Barry.