Tamara Day's Tips For Making Your Space Truly Your Own

Tamara Day knows how to breathe new life into any home. She's best known as the host of "Bargain Mansions" on HGTV, where she restores and updates old, neglected homes using stunning — and often bold — designs that she describes as "laid-back luxe."

Our homes are a reflection of who we are. They're a place where we can feel represented and surround ourselves with our favorite things. Because of this, interior design is incredibly personal. And what is a beautiful and comforting space for one person might not be for another. We're always trying to find ways to represent our personalities, beliefs, and likes through decor to make the spaces we occupy feel like our own.

As a designer, Day encourages everyone to find their own style and search for the pieces that fit right in their home. She's constantly switching up her home decor to explore her style, according to Artful Living. Here are a few tips she's given to help people create their dream space that feels like their own.

Add sentimental value

In an interview with writer Candice Georgiadis, Tamara Day recommends making your space personal by incorporating items that have sentimental value. A sentimental item can be a piece from your childhood home or a family heirloom. According to the NY Post, 42% of Americans say they have an heirloom that's more than 50 years old. These often reflect a history that keeps you closer to your family, so putting it on display in your interior design puts that bond front and center.

But the sentimental items in your home don't necessarily have to be old. They can be recent, like a gift from a loved one that means a lot to you. The item can be something you saved up to purchase yourself or something that's been with you a while, like a table you've had since your first apartment. Or something you've put a lot of work into – Day's home features beams she's sanded herself, according to Artful Living.

A room should feel comfortable and lived-in

Tamara Day can't stress the importance of comfort enough. In her interview with Candice Georgiadis, she says that comfort brings joy. No matter how you describe your interior style, you should weave comfort throughout. Everyone has seen the images of homes that look like museums with furniture most would be afraid to sit on in fear of ruining. And while that may be some people's style, for most, that room doesn't scream cozy.

First, consider large furniture pieces like a sofa you can sink into or a bed that instantly relaxes you. But you also shouldn't forget the small details that can warm up a space. Posh Pennies suggest using texture and textiles to warm up a room. This means area rugs, curtains, blankets, and pillows to create a lived-in look. Plants and flowers also help make a space feel cozy. Day also advocates for a little bit of a mess in each room because it makes the space feel imperfect and lived-in rather than like an exhibit on display.

Choose bold details

Finding bold and unique decor is one of the best ways to bring your personality into the design. The best part is that you can define what bold means to you and how you want to incorporate it into your space. If you're someone who likes a lot of color, you may want to opt for bright furniture pieces or a new coat of paint. Tamara Day loves using bold wallpaper in her designs, according to Montgomery Adviser. She believes that unique wallpaper can add personality to the home.

But if you're someone who prefers their boldness in smaller bursts, you can find ways to incorporate unique pieces in ways that aren't always at the forefront of the design. Day suggests a unique light fixture, according to the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City. Light fixtures like a chandelier or wall table lamp will stand out but not take over the design.

Books and art

An unexpected item that Tamara Day says people should decorate with: books. In her interview with Candice Georgiadis, she says people should have books throughout their homes. Fiction, travel, hobby, or political theory, it doesn't matter what topics the books are on; they can be novels or coffee table books. Books highlight your interest and make a home feel personal.

Another obvious way to personalize your home is through art — but Day suggests finding local artwork to fill your home with, according to the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City. Buying art from big box stores won't ensure that the art is unique, and the styles are often generic rather than personal. When you source locally, you're often supporting a small business, and because many local artists make their art in small batches, you're more likely to have a unique or limited piece. Local flea markets are great places to discover your next favorite artist.