Many years ago, I snapped a random photograph of my young son standing on the beach in Hawaii.

When my photos came back from the printers, I was surprised to find that not only did I capture him by the water’s edge – but also his shadow in the water.

Inadvertently, I’d even captured his shadow on the sand!

It was uncanny.

I called the photo “Ashley 3Ways” –because I’d unintentionally captured three different aspects of him.

I was thinking about that photo a few days ago while watching The Big Bang Theory on TV.

Have you ever watched that show?

It’s entertaining, in a goofy kind of way – ideal for those times when only something lighthearted will do.

What I noticed about several of the main characters – who all live in the same building, by the way – is that each apartment appears to be identical in layout.

Maybe the floor plan is flipped, but the layout is still the same.

Yet each of their homes looks entirely different from the other.

It’s a little like that photograph – you’re seeing the same thing, but in three distinctly different ways.

In this case, their homes tell a story about their respective characters.

The set designer (as opposed to, say, an interior designer) personalized the space by choosing furnishings which perfectly encompass what each of the characters represents.

(It is a TV sitcom, after all).

For example, in one apartment, you have Sheldon & Leonard, two physics nerds who work together and also share an apartment.

Their home reflects a typical bachelor pad, with leather furnishings, electronics and a subdued, masculine palette of brown and black that says “men live here”.

Across the hall we have Penny, a bubbly blond who lends a much needed feminine touch – and her apartment reflects that.

The colors are brighter, sunnier, and girly – just like her character.

Each apartment has the requisite sofa, front and center in the living room and a comfy lounge chair.

But the sofa style, fabrics, colors and accessories are completely different!

Whether on TV or real life – it really makes no difference.

The idea of “home” always varies from one person, or family, to the next.

Go to any sitcom, and you will find the exact same thing.

You could just as easily have a young couple with children in one unit, with all the accompanying chaos that comes with raising a family.

At the opposite end of the spectrum – and an identical apartment – you could have an elderly couple with children long gone from the nest.

One apartment might be modernist in style, with a neutral color palette – the other traditionally furnished with antiques and classic designs.

Perhaps it’s the young couple who has traditional tastes, while their elderly neighbors are the ones who lean towards the mid-century modern.

Who’s to say?

This is how each of us chooses to personalize our space and make it “ours”.

Even when our homes are identical.

But that’s about where the similarity ends.

After all, it’s the people who live there who add their unique, personal statement.

That’s what makes your house a home.

So – speaking of unique, personal statements….

What is yours?