Everyone wants a home that is comfortable to them – personal. That means design and décor that are homey to that specific person. What is the best way to do this without creating a space that is a jumble of ideas? How do you turn interests into a cohesive, magazine-worthy home?

The first step is to think about what makes you happy – activities, colors, things that are important in your life. These factors should be the foundation for your choices, creating a home that tells the world who you are.

Next, think about how much work you want to undertake to inject your personality into your home. Is it necessary to paint a wall red to demonstrate your passion for the color? The answer is no. You can accomplish this in less labor-intensive ways.

For example, a recent design client wanted to keep their home’s integrity but wanted updates that would welcome guests, serve as workspaces, create a music center, and add a reading nook, all without structural changes. Add in that the client is active, giving, hardworking, and social. They are avid bike riders and love music. The challenge was to evaluate all of these factors and create a design that told their story.

The charm of their 1932 home had to be kept intact. So, what to keep and what to change in the quest to create a space that reflected their personality? The hardwood floors and gorgeous woodwork with interesting lines all had to stay.

This family chose to highlight the woodwork with yellow paint that complemented the yellow walls in a slightly darker shade. It’s a perfect way for them to share their energy through a design choice.

Their piano, and a red bike sculpture that was given to them as a gift, are additional ways to highlight who they are and what is important to them. These items became the basis for other choices made to accomplish their overall desire for a space that reflected who they are as a family. They added things like a black and white photo of a bicycle drawing their daughter had done, again tying in their love of bikes and activity. They chose furniture that was comfortable and inviting but with unexpected lines and materials – all carefully selected to convey their zest for life.

In creating a space that says “you,” what is the message you want to share? Don’t be afraid to have fun with it. If you love feminine things but live with someone with more masculine tastes, incorporate items that are more masculine in form but in a finish that speaks to your girly side. There are ways to compromise and still create a space that is all you.

Remember, your personality can be incorporated through everything from furniture to hardware to soft goods like pillows and blankets, to lighting and even flooring. Just remember that function is important, so don’t forget to test the perfect chair before you buy it to make sure it offers the comfort you’re looking for!