Designing a home isn’t just about choosing home furnishings; it’s also about you. You may have a passion for art. How do you incorporate that into your design? Selecting items for your home is a very personal activity. Your cultural background, professional experience, and personal aesthetic all influence your response to a particular piece of furniture or design element.

Entering a living area is similar to meeting someone for the first time. Each space casts its very own uniqueness, just as people do. We form an unconscious impression when meeting someone through a handshake, a smile, their fashion sense, or energy. Entering a home is no different:  the energy, light quality, décor, and balance create a strong first impression.

The whole sensory experience should be considered when decorating your home.  Finding a signature scent that helps define you, whether a scented candle, fresh-cut flowers, or a laundry detergent, will help others connect with your home. Even music helps to make a first impression and set the tone of your home.

There are all types of people in the world, and dwellings are no different. They may be formal, rustic, modern, eclectic, and everything in between. There is beauty in celebrating those differences in style and letting your personality shine through.

As a consumer, there are plenty of online resources for inspiration. However, your personality and comfort are what matters most.  Whether you are inspired by tranquil spaces, minimalistic designs, bohemian “rhapsodies,” or traditional elements, your vision and taste should be the basis of your décor choices.

Décor selections can be personalized further through fabric choices. For example, the look, feel, and tone of a piece of furniture can completely change simply by making a different fabric selection. This same concept can be introduced very easily – and less expensively – through pillows, blankets, ottomans, and stools. Wood or metal finish changes can have a similar impact. Think cabinet pulls, accent pieces, and more!

For most of us, home is the place where we truly find peace.  Balancing usefulness, comfort, and calm are far more important than picking out a sofa or light fixture. Understanding what puts you at ease and makes you comfortable at home should always be considered before major design or décor commitments. Whether you love the outdoors and want your space to feel like it is an extension of it, thrive in a creative environment and are drawn to bright colors, or love grays and sea glass colors because of the calming effects they provide.

While a neutral palette promotes the calmest setting for many, color can add fun and excitement.  Whatever color choices you make, the addition of texture and pattern will add interest. This can be accomplished by introducing texture, patterns, and décor items such as pottery and artwork. If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, this can further highlight your design style. Think mantel, flame style (gas or wood-burning), and the finish of the flat surfaces – such as brick, slate, wood, or metal.

Take your time with décor selections so that you make choices that you’ll love for many years. Remember to choose what suits you, not what the trends say you should. And remember, you can’t go wrong if you surround yourself with finishes and décor that make your heart sing.