Go to any bookstore and look in the home improvement section, and you'll find book after book about decorating, designing, creating, building, planting, etc. Just browsing the magazine section can be overwhelming―Better Homes and Gardens, Home and Garden, Home, Decorating, Martha Stewart's array of magazines, Southern Living, Woodworking, Log Cabin Homes, etc.-the list goes on forever.
Bombarded by all of this information, how does a person make their abode their own? I think having a plethora of ideas is a good thing because it helps you to define your style. Are you a modern-style person who likes vibrant colors? Are you a more earth-toned person who likes subdued and soothing colors? Or are you a mixed palate kind of person―where you like both vibrancy and calm?
Most decorators will tell you that you need to have a focal point in every room. Sometimes that is easily determined by the shape of the room, or by the location of a fixed object (fireplace, window, etc.) Other times, the focal point needs to be created. Decorators will also encourage you to experiment with colors and think 'outside the box'. One of the easiest and less expensive ways to make your home 'yours' is to paint. Painting is relatively easy. Wallpapering takes some skill; however, most home improvement and wallpaper stores offer classes on painting and wallpapering. All four walls do not have to be the same color. The ceiling doesn't have to be white anymore. Color and texture can make a room seem bigger or smaller depending on how you use both. Dark colors tend to make a room look smaller. Large patterns do not work well in small spaces.
Look at the things you have collected over the years that have special meaning to you. Are there ways you can incorporate these in your decorating scheme to enhance your space? Sometimes just changing out a frame on a picture can freshen up a boring room. Grouping and shadowboxing items can have a big impact on space as well as showcasing your collectibles. Going to your local arts/craft stores, you can get some great ideas-and they also offer classes, as well.
The most important thing about making your abode 'yours' is to capture the essence of who you are and reflect that in your decorating style. Don't get stuck into thinking that your house needs to look like something on the Home and Garden channel, or something out of House Beautiful. A home should have all the elements of what you enjoy in life. Your home should be a safe haven from the outside world, a place where you can open the door and feel the four walls you call 'home' envelope you and make you glad that you're there.