10 Unique Home Decor Ideas To Personalize Your Home

I started my Design Mistakes series many years ago. It began as a way to showcase some of the mistakes I made around my own home while helping others learn the dos and don’ts when it comes to home design. Well, it quickly turned into my most popular series here on the blog!

Here are some fan-favorite posts from the series. Or you can peruse them all right here.

I’ve Made This Design Mistake…

My St. Louis Bedroom, 2012

When I was a new decorator and furnishing my first apartments, I was scooping up everything and anything I could get my hands on in an attempt to make my space feel more homey.

My St. Louis Kitchen, 2012

Home Sweet Home picture frame? Toss it in the cart. Live Laugh Love art? Heck, why not? I love to live, laugh, and love! An oversized poster of flowers in a vibrant hue? I mean who doesn’t like flowers? Let me buy that now!

St. Louis Living Room, 2012

Being completely new to the whole home decorating thing, I filled my home with generic crap in an attempt to fill the bare spots and make my space feel more “lived in.” But if you walked into my home at that time, you wouldn’t really learn very much about me, my journey, or my story. Instead, you would just see a home filled with stuff that followed the current design trends.

Avoid Too Much Generic Decor

Our home office space

Over the years, I’ve slowly tried to correct this design mistake, replacing the generic decor with items that are much more personal. This is a better way to decorate, trust me.

We all have some generic pieces around our homes – decorative objects that we scooped up at Target because we couldn’t resist. That’s a-okay. I just want to provide plenty of inspiration and easy ideas for you to showcase more of your personality.

10 Unique Home Decor Ideas To Try

10 unique home decor ideas to try in your home

The best part is that most of these unique home decor ideas are very simple and budget-friendly. Heck, sometimes they’re even free! These will make any room feel more like YOU and they’re easy, small changes.

Let’s dive into some affordable home decor ideas that I’ve implemented throughout our home.

Framed Home Keys

This is one of those craft projects that’s an easy way to share more about your history. I’ve saved all of the keys from the places where Finn and I have lived over the years, and I put them all in a frame, and then into a shadow box when we moved into our current home. This was such an easy and inexpensive art project and everyone goes gaga over it.

It’s really special to look back at these little keys and be reminded of our history together and how far we’ve come. If you haven’t saved old keys, start doing it now! The first thing we always do when we move into a new house is change the locks, so we always frame the old key. (Just in case anyone if worried about safety. Ha!)

Even if you’re in your first house, make a copy of your key and frame it with the words “Our First Home.” Then you’ll be ready to add to the frame when it’s time to move on to your next place.

Photo Booth Strips In A Vase

Are you making these candle burning mistakes?

Oh man, does the Finn family love photo booths. Whenever we see one, we always hop in and take a picture. And now that the kids are here, they always join in on the fun. But what do you do with all of your photo booth strips? Display them as DIY home decor.

I have some in a vase in my office, more in a vase on my bedside table, and others in picture frames in our living room. They’re fun, quirky, and my kids love sifting through all of the photos and playing with them.

Polaroid Pictures In A Bowl

Adding accessories to our living room style

Polaroids are another great way to inject more of your personality into your home. We always keep this Polaroid camera out whenever we have friends and family over. The kids especially love picking it up and taking photos. Then, all of the pictures are piled into a large dough bowl in our living room. We have hundreds of them now!

Postcards From Travels

Add a basket of postcards to your shelf

I know many of you have implemented this unique home decor idea into your own space and that makes me so happy! Whenever we go on a vacation, big or small, I always pick up a postcard from our travels. When we return, I write a bit about our trip on the back. I then keep them all in a basket on the built-ins in our office. I love flipping through them when I have a bit of wanderlust.

This is the perfect way to remember your trip and display something special at the same time. If I find a postcard that I really love, I’ll sometimes frame it for budget-friendly art.

Travel Souvenirs

Small elephant bookend

We’re not ones to buy tons of souvenirs on our vacations, but I always keep my eyes peeled for trinkets that could work as a home decoration. For example, I bought elephant on our babymoon in Palm Springs. On another trip, I found a beautiful handcarved box.

Art in the kids' bathroom These are great unique home decor ideas for any home

In the kids’ bathroom, I framed this watercolor art from our favorite beach in Seaside, Florida. Adding something special like this can make a big difference in a small space. Plus, it gives your entire room a unique look unlike anyone else’s!

Framed Recipe Cards

Adding functional and cute items to your kitchen

This idea is a great one for unique kitchen decor. Find some old recipe cards from your family that you cherish and frame them. I have one framed from my great-grandmother and one from my grandmother, both in their beautiful handwriting. I then layered these frames on the open shelving in our kitchen space. This would be a great option for dining room decor too.

Family Heirloom

Handpainted tray by my great grandmother

Around our house, you’ll find a lot of family heirlooms. My mom’s grandmother was an incredible painter and she left us with so many exquisite pieces. I have a small ring dish in our bedroom that I display.

My best tips to add unique home decor to your home

Rory has a plate in her gallery wall and a large watercolor above her dresser that were painted by my great-grandmother. We also framed a a very old, unique doily. This was crocheted by my husband’s great-grandmother and I knew I needed to include it somewhere in our home. I share how I cleaned it up and framed it over in this blog post.

Adjusting the shelves to fit our new piece

I urge you to find a new life for those family pieces that may be collecting dust. Instead of keeping them tucked away in your storage space, try one of these DIY home decor ideas with them.

Crate Found Thrifting

Large Crate from Wausau, WI

This one is pretty unique to us, but maybe you’ll find some inspiration from it. We found this really cool old crate at a thrift store in the first town where we lived together, Wausau, Wisconsin. It was an impulse buy, but it’s stuck with us over all of these years. I now proudly display it on my office built-ins.

Framed Newspapers

Solar shades in our living room

Our current home was built in 1921 and with it comes a lot of history. When renovating, we found old newspapers in the wall and knew we had to do something special with them. I ended up framing them and our front entry is a great place to display them. Guests always ask about them and it leads to great discussions about our renovations over the years.

Love Letters

Adding love letters to a cookie jar on our built-ins. check out all of these unique home decor ideas

Finn and I fell in love way back in 2004. Back then, we didn’t have social media or texting, so we proclaimed our love for one another via old fashioned love notes. Yep, love letters! We passed multiple notes a day at school and we both saved so many of them. I ended up putting them in this cookie jar that we used at our wedding dessert table. I thought it was a stylish way to store them and display them at the same time!

Framed letter from a beloved friend or family member

I also have a letter from my great-grandmother’s memoir that I framed. It’s one of my favorite pages where she talks about getting so excited to receive a fresh orange in her Christmas stocking. It makes my heart so happy to see it.

Display Your Favorite Book

Our favorite candle fragrance

Here’s another one that will give your guests a glimpse into your interests and personal style. Instead of having generic coffee table books, opt to display your favorite book in your living space. Nothing tells you more about a person than what they’re reading, so I always love to see what books people have around their homes.

Inexpensive Wall Art Ideas

Inexpensive art ideas for your home

If you’re struggling with bare walls, I have a dedicated blog post with 13 wall decor ideas. These are all personalized and budget-friendly (some even free!) that you can use to fill up any empty wall you might have in your home. And if you love a good DIY project, I’m sure you’ll find something fun to tackle.

Less Generic, More Personal

Sharing our home's paint colors

Now I’m not saying that there needs to be a story behind every single item in your home. Sometimes you just want to buy something because you LIKE IT! And that’s a-okay. But I encourage you to be more mindful when shopping for home decor items. And instead of filling spaces just to fill them, I want you to decorate each area of your home with intention and purpose. This will bring new energy to your entire space.

I’m not perfect, and I’ve been known to scoop up goodies from Target and HomeGoods with the best of them, but the more I inject our story into our home, the more I like our home. So my motto is “Less generic and more personal.”

You can also check out this blog post with my best tips for buying home accessories. You’ll find lots of good tips in there to add visual interest to your home.


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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