3 Ways to avoid Box Store Syndrome

Box Store Syndrome 1. A condition characterized by look-alike living rooms, bland bedrooms, and souless spaces.

2. Letting an unknown store decorator dictate your style; lacking a personal touch.

Never ever ever ever buy all the pieces of furniture in one set.  We've all done it.  We should all not do it again.  Let's make a deal.

I'm as guilty as the rest of you, but I'm still kicking myself for it.  Take my living room.  When we first moved in, our living room was a bit of a snooze (understatement of the year).  It said nothing about who we are and it really could have been a room in any house.

By breaking up the seating set and mixing up materials with a new glass coffee table, even the in-progress living room is much more interesting.

Play with styles and finishes.  Have fun with your furniture!  You can still find a living room 'set' at one store, though if you look a little harder.  Instead of buying the sofa and chair of the same collection, look around the showroom for complimenting pieces.

Don't get me wrong, not all the pieces need to be different.  A sofa of one style, and a pair of chairs in another can have the same stunning effect.

Own your space!  There are many other ways personalize a space beyond family photos.  Your room should reflect who you are.  Are you a fun young couple who loves the outdoors?  Your space should not be a stuffy formal room with perfectly polished accessories.  Love hiking? Incorporate rustic woods.  Are you a theater buff?  Add drama through window treatments.  Do you LOVE the color purple? (guilty!)  Don't shy away from it, celebrate it!  If your room feels like YOU, it will feel more like home.

One of the best ways to put your stamp on a space is through accessories.

If an item speaks to you, find a way to incorporate it into your space.  Souvenirs from your travels, artwork from your children, or simply a piece that makes you smile will all add personality to your surroundings.

Group items together for a more cohesive feel.  Pro tip: odd numbers are almost always more pleasing to the eye.  Try this in action by grouping 3 items of different scales together (think small, med, and large).