Design should be beautiful and functional. It should also be personal. In this latest Live With Love Pinterest Board, I share some of the personal items I have displayed in “Chez J,” my San Diego townhouse. I hope it sparks ideas for you on incorporating your own memories and mementos into your space. They add joy, which enhances your experience of your home and your wellness. From the “medal rack” in my garage to the stained glass lamp that sits on my nightstand, my home is filled, end to end and top to bottom, with items from a well-lived, well-traveled life.

Vintage photo of me and my dad at our Catskills summer home hangs framed on my bedroom wall.

I’ve taken this same philosophy into client projects, incorporating personal elements into their kitchens and bathrooms. In one space, we incorporated a mantel brought across country from a family farm. In another, we included garden-themed cabinet knobs inspired by the homeowner’s love of plants. There have been kitchens with glass front cabinets to display pottery collections, and vintage art-filled bathroom walls. Each of those rooms looks great, adds value to their homes and works hard for their owners, but also encourage smiles and memories.

PS: I’m glad I’m a better designer and writer than photographer!