make a house a home

Curated home

Think of your curated home as a time capsule of your life- it is unique to you. You are the curator of it- you author it, and you edit it.


Like when creating an exhibition, the starting point is looking at the content. Choose items that illustrate the narrative or theme- in this case the theme is YOUR STORY.

So how do you curate your home to suit you

Selection criteria:

  1. Does the item still have a function? This can be either a practical or aesthetic function or a combination of both. Be aware that your needs and tastes change over time so what was beautiful or useful to you a year ago might no longer be.
  2. Do you have an emotional connection to it? Does this object remind you of a person, an interest or a moment in time or a combination of all three?

If the answer is yes to any of the selection criteria, then it is something you should consider keeping.

If you feel your home is cluttered, then decluttering doesn’t have to be a lengthy laborious task. You can clear the surfaces of your home painlessly. Read my article on How to start decluttering when overwhelmed for some tips.

Order and Grouping

When you have a space filled with everything you need and love, you can start to look at the arrangement. A museum or art exhibition curator and an interpretation manager communicates the story through a series of themes. They sometimes present objects in a chronological order within the themes. They also, have stand out pieces (known as key objects) which are usually emphasised and displayed on their own.

For your home though, how you group and order your treasured belongings should materialise in a much more organic manner. 3 Legged Duck interior design shop is arranged in a relaxed way. The link between objects may not be immediately obvious but on closer analysis there will be a connection via period, type, decorative style, origin or culture.

An exhibition usually comprises of:

  1. Objects and/or works of art
  2. A means to display them- display case, plinths, shelves, and walls
  3. Contextual information- usually in the form of object labels and graphic panels and will contain text and often images, maps or plans to illustrate.

We have the same components in our homes. We have objects and works of art/pictures/paintings, and we have shelves, cabinets wall and mantel pieces. Quite often though, we overlook ephemeral items. What about that concert ticket? Or a hand annotated map (of the Elan Valley perhaps)- used when you had no phone signal on a day long hike. These things are powerful connections to an experience and will bring great pleasure if displayed. They may even inspire you to plan your next adventure.

Where to display your treasure in your curated home

The next stage is to assess which room your items should be displayed in. Some will be an obvious fit for a certain room- for example- vintage kitchenalia would probably sit best in the kitchen or utility. It might be good though to create a different less formal mood in your underused dining room by placing such items in there. Indeed, using the dining room as an example- you will probably want to spend more time in this room if you lavish your attention on it by placing some of your most favourite items in it.

Spread your most favourite items throughout the house so you have that focal point and moment of pleasure in every space. For this is the function of an beautiful, interesting/striking or humorous item. Having items you love in your home bring you pleasure which in turn aids your wellbeing. This unlocks the feeling within a house and creates a home with soul.

How to display your favourite things

 A great exhibition has a selection of objects displayed in a way that successfully interprets the story or subject matter. What I mean by this statement is that to appreciate the meaning, importance and /or beauty of an object, objects need to be displayed in a thoughtful way. This objective is achieved through successful collaboration between the curator and designer. For example, a key painting will not be shown off to its best if it is placed on a dark hallway wall.

There are also tips and tricks to create depth and emphasis in your home to make the most of your things. Find out more in Eclectic interior design.


You should allow your home to change and evolve with you. It doesn’t necessarily have to cost money- sell on the things you are tired of in order to replace with objects you love. Also, simply placing an item in a different room in your house causes you to see it in a different way giving it a new lease of life. Accept that you continually need to filter through the clutter you accumulate. I have to do this on an annual basis at least. Discover how to look after your treasured items on the Find it, fix it pages.

Your curated home reflects you so what you choose to have around your personal space should mean something to you