How to Decorate So You Feel at Home

How to decorate your home in the best way possible, so you feel at home.

4 room images of rooms decorated to feel good.

When I first started blogging, I kept one of my favorite quotes about decorating and lifestyle in my blog’s sidebar.  If you have been a reader since the beginning, you may remember it.

diana Vreeland Quote

Diana Vreeland the legendary fashion editor’s insight so elegantly reveals the impressions we feel when we are in others homes. We may visit a friend’s home and love the way she arranged and accessorized her family room.

When we enter our own family room we frown and think it lacks style and we need to go buy something new because it doesn’t look the same as your friends…

…or does it?

Decorating versus Lifestyle

When I did residential design, clients would show me room clippings from magazines with the look they wanted to achieve in their space, but I found what they really wanted was the lifestyle and feeling the room evoked.

I ended up not actually decorating for them, but helping them to “style their lives” and help boost their confidence in the choices they made.  It rarely involved spending money. It was more of a matter of making better use of what they already owned.

When you think about how to decorate your home  – walls, furniture, paint, fabric, and accessories usually come to mind, but the list often omits the most important factor – YOU and your families unique traits, passions, and personalities, and of course the “stuff” you love.

These traits and things we all personally do to our homes with individual flair add up to enlighten others without us even knowing it. We don’t see our own decorating style from their perspective.

It is when we think we need to copy or follow the dictates of some arbitrary decorating source to create a beautiful home, that it backfires on us because it is not authentic.

How to style a table tray for fall decorating raffia tassels

When I look at magazines, I get more excited when I see a glimpse into the homeowner’s personal life – a telltale sign that shows a life in progress.

It could be the books in the bookcase or the way they have their mudroom set up with the names of their children over each hook. These elements add human interest and tell the lifestyle story of the occupants.

Instead of thinking “designer” or good, better, best as the only element when choosing furnishings – think comfort, function, and personal style.  Instead of wanting to copy a look you see in a magazine – first figure out what it is about the space that caught your eye – then proceed to add that element to your home.

It may not have to be purchased or it may just require you to move items out or in from another room.

How Do You Want to Feel in Your Home?

Wall of windows

Stop thinking about how you want your home to look, instead think… How do I want to FEEL in my home?

Ask Yourself These Questions:

  • Does your home truly reflect who you are?  If the answer is no, or only a little,  then ask yourself – Why not?  Then figure out what is needed so that it does reflect you.
  • Are all your needs being met physically and emotionally?  What do you do upon waking, eating, working? Is everything you need at arm’s length or easy to get? Do you have the right wattage of light bulb to read by? Is the sink at the right height, the cabinet for your dishes right above the dishwasher so you can empty it with ease. Do your rugs feel good under your feet?  These little things make the way you live “the best” – not designer plates or an expensive appliance.
  • How do I really want to live?  Is it casual, formal, cozy, spacious, dark, light.
  • If you were the only person you had to impress, how would you decorate your home?  This is the hardest to figure out but once you do, you will be on your way to knowing what change is needed so you feel good in your home.

How one feels in their home is as individual as each one of us – our tastes, personality, and past. Your home should feel customized just for you and your family.

How to Begin to Feel at Home

So how do you get your home to start feeling the way you want?  Simply start with a list.

Start small… tackle a kitchen cabinet first.

Take everything out and ask, “What do I hate, what do I love?”  Only put back in what you love. From this point forward only add back in what you truly love or need to that cabinet and then move to the next.

Keep going around your kitchen. Once you’re done, start in another room until you have edited every room in the house.  It may take you weeks or longer, but know that you are on the right path to creating a home that feels like you are getting a big hug every time you walk through the door.

How to decorate worksheet

My Feeling at Home Love List:

I have expanded on each item to show you how I try to make it happen in my home.

  • Comfy Seating – I have an oversized sofa and chair and two movable ottomans in my family room – they are worn, but super comfortable.  To make them look more cohesive with each other, I covered them with white slipcovers.
  • Lots of Natural Light – I don’t have window treatments that block any light so throughout the day the house always feels bright and cheery.
  • Smells Good – This one is a constant struggle, but I do feel much better in my home when it is clean and smells fresh. I use home fragrance to entice my sense of smell. It also helps when I don’t have a chance to get the Spic N’ Span out every week.
  • Expansive views(a recurring theme that goes with the natural light above – makes it extra important that I make sure I have this in my home). I have regular sized windows, but do not cover them up with heavy window treatments that block the light or views.  I use roller shades at every window so that if I do need privacy or to block the sun, I can simply roll them down.  On windows were I have curtain panels, I made sure that the rods were cut wide enough so when the panels were hung they didn’t cover the window, only overlap the window trim.
  • Clutter-Free – I only keep what we love on tables and mantels and bookshelves. Trendy or stuff bought on a whim always seems to end up in the pile for Goodwill.
  • Fresh Air  – Window and door screens are a must in my house for the summer.  I want to catch every breeze that blows by. I could not even imagine living in a house without open windows and doors to allow in the fresh air.
  • Color – I like white walls and seating with pops of color scattered throughout each room.   If your spouse dislikes a color you love, don’t let this stop you from enjoying the color in your home.  Paint the inside of your drawers with it. Think how happy it will make you feel when you open one of them to grab a t-shirt.
  • Low Maintenance – Enough said  ;-)  Even as a DIYer I have my limits on what I want to take care of around my house.
  • Natural Elements – In the Spring and Summer I bring in whatever is blooming outside and place it in a vase. I usually place it on the kitchen table or island.  In the Fall, I bring in branches with colorful leaves still hanging on.  In the Winter – greenery that I buy at the local nursery and at Christmas, the clippings from the bottom of the tree when we buy it.  In the Summer, I display my shell collection, in the Fall – pine cones and acorns, although with Trax the cat, the acorns usually become his play toys.
  • Candle Light – Candlelight is magical.  I like to use it as much as I can, at dinner, taking a bath, along the mantel, outside in the summer. It elevates the mood to one that says sit and stay awhile.
  • Photos of Family – I used to have a lot more photos of friends and family around, but as the photos faded or the frames outdated, I have only put back a few – mostly of my daughters since they no longer live at home I like to see their photos and blow them a kiss as I walk by.
  • Mirrors – Across from windows and doors to expand the light. I also place one by my front door so that I can take a quick glance at myself to make sure I look presentable when I answer the door. If you work from home in yoga pants all day, having this is a necessity.
  • Simple, Yet Highly Functional –  I like simple appliances with no bells and whistles that take a 100 page manual to learn how to use. On/Off is good enough for me.
  • Texture – I don’t like anything that feels scratchy against my skin.  I once made pillows with burlap.  Not only were they scratchy but they smelled of burlap when you sat or laid on the sofa. Not a good feeling.  Out they went.
  • Soft White Lightbulbs – I am not a fan of the new LED and CFL lightbulbs.  Even the newer ones that are said to have nicer light still give off an odd cast of light. As long as they keep making soft white light bulbs,  I will be using them.

When a space starts to feel off, I take out my list and edit the space until it feels just right again. Many times all that is needed is the removal of a few items and the addition of an item taken from another room.

How to decorate

In the journey to feeling at home you will take some missteps, but decorating a home is a journey that as it evolves over time, will get better and better.

What would be on your list? Nobody’s list will be exactly like yours, but if you follow it and edit the rooms in your house you will begin to feel truly at home.

Free Printable Feeling at Home Love List

Home Decorating Workshop sheet

Remember When Decorating Your Home to Keep These Points in Mind

Colorful bedroom

Enliven Every Day – Surround yourself with beauty.  Don’t save items that you love for special occasions only- use and enjoy everything you own every day. Drink your daily intake of water out of a crystal goblet.

Use the good china every night. Buy the fluffiest towels so when you step out of the shower you feel pampered.  Place a lit candle on the table at dinner every night.  Keep a vase of flowers on your desk.

Fulfill All Your Senses -All through the house, play your favorite tunes and spray or diffuse room fragrance. Buy the softest bedding you can find so after a tough day your body melts into the sheets.

Edit…Edit…Edit…  Learn to be choosy – most of us are so programmed to live the way marketers want us to live.

They rely on the fact that people no longer have the creative energy after a busy day to think for themselves.  Edit out the noise and only choose what truly makes you smile.

Follow Your Instincts – That little voice in your head is usually right.

Break the Rules – How boring would homes look if we all followed the rules? Decorating rules were made to be broken. There is no such thing as the decorating police – you are the only one stopping yourself from doing what feels right when it comes to picking out what you like and don’t like.

Instead of thinking you have to have a sofa in your living room because that is what is expected, ask if your family would prefer to each have their own chair to watch TV.  Four oversized club chairs arranged in the room may be a better option.

Let it Evolve – Take your time; decorating a home to feel good does not have to be done in a day, a week, or a year.  I let my decorating evolve – it will never be done since I am still living.

It will be done when I am no longer alive.  When you take the time to let the rooms evolve over time is when you create rooms that fit perfectly into your life.

The next time you find yourself doubting the way you decorate your home, turn the tables.

Cherish the way you decorate. Realize that others are inspired by you, just as much as you are inspired by them.

Take pride in the fact that you organize your kitchen cabinets in a way that is ultra efficient.

You think it is nothing, that anyone can do it, but your neighbor thinks it is terrific, since no matter how hard she tries she can never get her organization to the same level.

The more you edit, follow your gut, and break the rules, the more you will feel at home.

4 photos of home decorating with a text overlay that says, How To Decorate do you feel at home.  #decorating

More Home Decorating Tips to Try:

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  1. I see that I have not left a comment on this post when I have read it three times and even referenced it on my own blog! I am gradually coming into my own where my home is concerned. For years I had things that were foisted upon me from my MIL’s home. After my hubby died, I took stock of everything in here and I have been purging and refining what I want in my space. My home is my sanctuary and I am making it reflect who I am and how I want to live. So thank you, for the extra push – you put into words what I know to be true!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Gina – It makes me happy that my post has inspired you and you referenced it on your blog. Thanks It is nice to hear that after your husband died that you were able to move forward in a positive and authentic way to create your home just as you want it. Enjoy your sanctuary.

  2. Irene Madrid says:

    I recently remodeled/redecorated my home and I get so many comments on how much my home is ME. ALL new wallpaper/borders, 2 facing sofas, several large antique chairs, new teal handcrafted mermaid tail backsplash in my colorful kitchen, PINK & TEAL & Whites are used mostly.Crystal chandeliers, gorgeous lamps, whimsical Mackenzie reindeer abound, maximalist style of romantic, elegant and ME!

  3. Irene Madrid says:

    Wish I could send photos of my newly remodeled/redecorated French Normandy home. It is so ME!! I used my fav soft teals,pinks, ivory to rewallpaper EVERY room in the house, switched out drab backsplash for handcrafted teal mermaid tail tiles that go so well with my swirled brown granite, wraparound almond cabinets with pink/gold/ivory ceramic pulls, blush pink velvet stools/chairs/oversized floral teal sofa in bog kitchen. Antiques mix with traditional and modern elements,lace or velvet draped over lampshades . I tucked jeweled trinkets all over for the children to find, Mackenzie reindeer everywhere, velvet throws galore. Romantic, elegant, whimsical maximalist ME.

  4. Irene Madrid says:

    Wish I could send a photo of my newly remodeled/redecorated French Normandy home in my fav pinks, teals and whites with ALL new wallpaper, antiques mixed with traditional and modern furniture, handcrafted teal mermaid tail backsplash, blush velvet stools/chairs.oversized floral teal sofa at in kitchen table, wraparound almond cabinets, mottled brown granite.Apparently I am a Maximalist and it ended up French/English Cottage GLAM Coastal ….and very much ME! I used my strong intuition and I get raves; entertain a lot more now.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Irene – Thank you for sharing about your lovely newly remodeled home, it sounds amazing and so colorful. Best part is that you used your style and intuition to make it your own. Enjoy it!

  5. Charlotte Fleet says:

    I love how you mentioned the importance of decorating your home in a way that reflects who you are. I want to purchase new decor for my house this fall. I will have to find a shop that sells items that match my style and reflect who I am well.

  6. Rachel C. says:

    Amazing post! You’ve outdone yourself! Thank you for such wonderful decorating tips.

  7. Nayan singh says:

    Love it! I think that´s a great post. Thanks for sharing :)

  8. It is amazing how long it takes sometimes for reality to settle in. I too have been in our retirement lake house 5 years this May. I’m just getting to the point where I truly like my surroundings and have stopped trying to fix this house the way I think everyone expects me to versus what I like.
    After redoing our kitchen and replacing our flooring in our living area I purchased lighter area rugs to offset the much darker than expected wood floors. The rugs have a bit of coral/pink in them, a color I used in the late 80’s on a Reno of our home at the time. Who knew how much I missed having this color? The touch of some blush pillows and a throw to match makes me feel so good. I was ready to toss out two French chairs done up in rose fabric that I consider outdated but instead I’ve brought them out and have started using them as head chairs in my dining area.
    In a time where the trend is having everything neutral, I’ve stopped fighting my husband and embraced having color in my home. Your post is reassuring and a reminder that we should strive to enjoy our surroundings rather than accolades from friends and family that visit every so often.

  9. Sanjay Mishra says:

    Thank you so much for sharing with us:)

  10. Revivefurniture. pk is online furniture store that is plentiful with an excess of furniture items and interior design artifacts and also have great home décor furniture in Lahore. To confirm their home furniture, office furniture proposed buyers or current owners touch with us to avail of way to great furniture items.

  11. Hoàng Gia Vũ says:

    LOVE the look. Thanks for the perfect project!

  12. Great post with a lot of inspiration for me! We have lived in our new home for a year now and realize that getting everything moved in is different from setting things up the way we want them. Now that we have finally settled into our new house, I feel the need to make everything suit us and our new lives. Despite doing a lot of decluttering before we sold our old family home, I can see that there is more that needs to be sorted through and removed.
    I’m curious about how you make your house smell good – candles, diffusers? I have lately been boiling a pan of water with citrus slices and cloves, to freshen the kitchen air after cooking. I’m thinking I could also add some rosemary growing in my garden.
    I just cut my own hair also. I used to do it in high school, some 50 years ago, to get the look I wanted. Haven’t done it since then, but I do know my hair so I’m happy enough with the result. Too bad I can’t see the back of my head very well!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linda –

      I am still decluttering even after moving to the lake 5 years ago – it feels good and I have even gotten Ed to do it. :-)

      As far as getting my house to smell good, I can’t use scented candles – highly allergic to whatever is used in them. It is in my genes as my dad and grandmother had the same problem. I can’t even walk by a candle store at the mall. I have to hold my nose shut and walk past fast.

      I have two essential oil diffusers that I use citrus oils in. I like the clean smell of lemon and orange. I also do exactly what you do – steep spices and herbs from my garden in a pot of water. Natural and easy to do. It is what my mom always did.

      To cut the back of my hair I have a wall mounted large round mirror on a swing arm in my bathroom on the side of the big above the sink mirror. I get the swing arm mirror positioned just right so I can see the back of my head in the large wall mirror. Then I cut the back of my hair. Here is the exact mirror I have: But any swing arm mirror would do the same thing.

  13. Very timely post! I live in an apartment but it is my home. Therefore, I recently painted the entire apartment (knowing the mgt company would not paint it) a very neutral color. So fresh and clean! However, in the process, I learned something about myself. In the past few years I had been trying to decorate with all the pale, neutral and white colors. The things in style, so to speak. Not me. I didn’t realize how much I didn’t like it and how much it was dragging me down until someone gave me a book on color and WOW!! I love color! I thrive on bright, vivid colors! I’m now going for the boho style and feel invigorated. Amazingly, so much of my “stuff” that was packed away fits right in. I think I’ve been “boho” for years but just didn’t know it. I now “feel at home”.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Susan –

      I love hearing this and happy for you. So many people go through life without taking the time to truly find out what makes them feel their best at home. Color therapy is a real thing. It is so easy to get caught up in trends, but life is so much better when we stick to what we like. Enjoy getting reacquainted with your colorful style.

  14. Beverly Hayes says:

    Well, as everyone else has commented, this is quite the post. You’ve outdone yourself! Thank you for such wonderful tips. I want to start decluttering right now!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Beverly – Thank you for the nice comment. I wrote this post 6 years ago. Over the last week I have been working cleaning up old posts that are no longer relevant on my blog. In the process I came across the post and decided it was time to to re-post it since many of my readers were not with me 6 years ago. Enjoy the process of decluttering and making your home feel just right for you and your family.

  15. Carol Heartfelt Whimsies says:

    Diane—I absolutely LOVE this post and couldn’t agree more. So much great advice! I had to smile when you said you blow a kiss to your daughters’ pix as you pass them. I made a little xerox copy of the last photo I have of my grandma to put on the side of my fridge. As I’m getting out the dishes she left me (I use them daily), I look at her sweet face and blow her a kiss.
    Thanks for your inspiring blog! I appreciate you!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Carol – After coming home after seeing the movie Coco at the movie theater a few years ago, I went to find photos of my grandparents and parents who have all passed away. If you are not familiar with the movie it is about the Mexican Day of the Dead where you remember loved ones. If you don’t have their photo displayed in your home, then their spirit can’t get back for the celebration. ) I now have them displayed in photos and do blow them kisses as I pass. They may be gone or as in the case of my daughters and granddaughter – live far away. It makes me feel connected to them. Thanks for reading my blog. XO

  16. This is a “WOW” post! Thank you! Such great tips and the important message of permission to just be yourself.
    Love it!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kim – Thanks – Being ourselves is truly happiest way to live the best life possible. The more you find what works for you, the more confidence you have to live in your own style. XO

  17. Mary Cardon says:

    I loved this, Diane!! Gives me more confidence in what I actually like about my house and furnishings. I inherited a lot of things from my Mom and Grandmothers and some of them I love and some I don’t. So I will be pairing down. Thank you for the encouraging words!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Mary – I totally understand having to deal with hand-me-downs and inherited furnishings – some great, others not so much. When I was younger I kept more than I wanted, but over the years learned to say no and not feel guilty about discarding items that were just not me. Enjoy the paring down. It will feel wonderful. XO

  18. Hi Diane, this is one of the best posts you have ever done! Everything you said, made so much sense, to me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I know it has made me fired up to make changes in my home and life.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Erika – This is what I love to hear and the reason I write my blog… to inspire others. Thanks for taking the time to tell me and enjoy making your home feel just right for you and your family. XO

  19. Adored the section on Let It Evolve!!!! I relate to that–so glad someone else feels that way. Thank you for your wonderful blog.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Mary – I learned from my mom as a kid. I remember her always saying to let a room and style in general to evolve to see what it needs to make it feel just right. :-)

  20. REBECCA PLATT says:


    That wasn’t my husband who just commented from Don’t know why his name came up.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Rebecca – Technology can get so confusing at times. My husband gets my Amazon Kindle books from our library on his account. We have no idea why this happens and just deal with it as no one at the library of Amazon knows how to fix it.

  21. Douglas Platt says:

    Hi Diane,

    Yes, I have been cutting my own hair and it’s never looked better. I did what I could never convince a hairdresser to do, but it straight across like a piece of material. No layers.

    Anyway, I know my hair better than they do so I thought, why not try it? It’s only hair. Right! I have had so many compliments on it. So good for you.

    Loved this post. Our homes are OUR homes first and foremost. Stay well and God bless.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Again Rebecca –

      I can’t believe with my DIY spirit that I have never tried cutting my hair myself before now. Like you mentioned, I can never get the hair stylists to cut my hair how I want. They give me all sorts of reasons why it won’t work. I now want to go back and show them – yes my hair can be cut this way.

      Funny story – I recently went to the mall to get some hair product at an Aveda salon.(I never got my hair cut at this salon) As I was browsing for the product I wanted with my mask on, one of the hair stylists came up to me since the salon was open, but empty and told me she loved my haircut. When I told her I have been cutting it myself, she was truly impressed. That made me know I was doing the right thing in learning how to cut my own hair.

      Stay well XO

  22. Wow! I think this is my absolute favorite post ever! There is so much to mull over here. I’ve pinned it so I can always go back and re-read when I loose my focus. Thank you so much. This is incredibly helpful to me.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kathy – Reading your comment and how my post has inspired you is the reason why I blog. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me that you loved the post and found it helpful. I hope I can continue to keep inspiring readers. Enjoy the process of editing and finding what truly works for you so you feel wonderful in your home. XO

  23. Love this post .
    I think that by looking and envying others “lifestyles” on fb or Instagram etc you forget that the images have been staged for the photograph and would be impossible to maintain on a daily basis. But you can still be inspired and apply it to your own style.
    I’ve inherited the furniture etc in this house, I can’t afford to replace it but by looking at posts like yours I’ve been able to change them with paint and fabric. Now I’m gradually obtaining my style with what I have.
    Thank you for all the attainable inspirations.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Julie –

      Thanks for the nice comment. I hope I can keep inspiring you with making over hand-me down furniture. Right now I am in the process of redoing my kithcn table for the 3rd time. I am so excited to see how it turns out and will post once it is done. I agree that you can be inspired by staged photos, it is when we feel the need to copy exactly that it backfires on us. Enjoy getting your home just right for you. XO

  24. Murray C. Thaler says:

    If you want to decorate your place so that you can feel your place like home, first you need to utilize removable decor and personalize the space make it the way you want it to be like home or find an architect that is good at Interior design.

  25. Excellent post! There are many decorating concepts with Ceiling lamps, wall lamps, canvas prints, hand paintings and other hanging items for your space here with high quality.

  26. Rachel Perry says:

    One thought caught me and I am having trouble with answering – If I were the only person I was trying to impress, how would I decorate my home… What is the suggestion for someone who loves many different styles? I love white, I love Espresso, I love black. I love country, I love city… How do I incorporate many different styles into something that doesn’t look like a miss-matched disaster?

  27. Patrick Martin says:

    The decoration is not only therapeutic but is also a representation of who you are as a person. Once you have decorated your home, whosoever enters it would know the kind of person you are. This can only be achieved when you have thought of utilizing every inch of the space you have in the room. This blog defines what are the things that contribute to the decoration of the house. However, the entire process, if you are looking forward to making it a do-it-yourself project, can be pretty expensive and time-consuming. That is why it is always suggested that you hire professionals in the job for gaining a lot more benefits at competitive rates.

  28. Levi Armstrong says:

    I love it when you said I should ask myself how I would decorate my home if I were the only person I needed to impress. Since I don’t have a family yet and I’m living on a condo on my own, I find it hard to find the right motivation in designing my home. But with your article saying that I should be the only opinion that matters in styling my place, I think I am on the right path. I only need to start looking for western decor accessories in the area so I can begin feeling at home in my condo. Thanks!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Levi – I am so happy to hear that my blog post has helped you in how to go about decorating your condo. Making it your own is the best way to make the perfect home for you. Enjoy the hunt for western decor. Don’t settle for anything that doesn’t say YOU. Happy decorating!

  29. Melinda Wilhelmi says:

    The picture of the white kitchen, is that a window through the cabinets? Or did you use one of those qall murals on the inside of the backs of your cabinets. I love the look! Tell me please. I promise I won’t copy it, I just gotta know! Thanks!

  30. Elisabeth says:

    Hi Diane,

    I hope you see this reply to this fabulous blog post above. How beautifully explained and how totally gettable and sensible! I read many blogs and, at times, find myself feeling a tad inadequate as I look at all the beautiful homes. I think of how I could create that same look, but you are 100% correct, it isn’t the look at all that I want, it’s the feelings engendered by the look. Brilliant! It’s as if you’ve freed me up to find the way, but not have to replicate anyone else’s home/room. Thank you for this insight into what is, truthfully, blatantly obvious! Now it’s been put down in writing, it just makes sense!

    Thanks again, Diane.
    Cheers, Liz (Australia).

  31. Ann Galassi says:

    LOVE your post! Especially your list of what you want your home to be and feel like. Exactly what I’ve been wanting for my home but couldn’t define it. I’m inspired and can’t wait to get started!

  32. Can’t wait to try these decorating ideas in my new apartment.

  33. says:

    This is an amazing post. I personally think there are two main ideas that make a comfortable home. One is comfortable furniture and two is a lot of natural light. Both you have mentioned. I love how you expand more on the ideas though.

  34. This is a terrific post and I especially liked the love list and the points to keep in mind. I’m not a decorator and often feel very incompetent in this area. Your thoughts confirmed that I might be on the right track and made me feel a lot better about my own insights.

  35. Wow, Diane, what an awesome post! You hit on so many things I’ve been struggling with. My husband and I have only been married 5 years and I’ve moved into his family home, so decorating is a touchy subject at times. Thanks so much for the great advice! I’m going to share it with him and see if we can lose some of the extended family feeling and decorate the house to make us happy.

  36. I loved your ideas. This will be helpful to me as I do some major reorganizing, which I hope will lead to some low budget redecorating. Thanks for a great post.

  37. Sally Norbury says:

    You know what, you are absolutely 100% right about all you write in this article. I was planning to hire a professional designer but how could a complete stranger make ME feel at home. This person is not familiar with what I like and definitely know anything about who I am, right? So, I will download your Feeling at home love list and will fill it as soon as possible. Then I will take things into my own hands and will renovate and decorate my own house to make it feel at home. Well, I have to admit that I might make a lot of mistakes because I don’t know anything about decoration but at least this will be my own mistakes and I could fix them after all. Thank you so much for this article. It inspired me to make a change :) Now cross your fingers because renovation will be in process :)

  38. This is why I love reading your blog so much! You are creative, wise and talented.
    Oh, how I wish you could surprise me in my home and help me tackle one room.
    Your blog is my all time favorite, comfy blog I come back to again and again. Thanks
    for a great post and the inspiration to create.

  39. Great post! I can see why your home is so bright and cheery and creative. I am going to save this one to refer to from time to time to remind me of what is important. Thanks Diane!

  40. Connie Nikiforoff Designs says:

    Your “love list” is so similar to mine we may have copied each other’s thoughts ;-) Wonderfully written article. I just told a client yesterday “Don’t be surprised if we do something that ‘breaks the decorating rules’. That’s what’s going to make your house a home.” Thank you Diane for your lovely and practical insight.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Connie – We are kindred spirits in many respects. XO I am sure once you are done with your clients home they are going to love it!

  41. Marty@A Stroll Thru Life says:

    Great post and tons of helpful information and inspiration.

  42. Great post Diane! I will earmark this one to read later too- super content. So glad I found your blog.
    I also just watched Diana Vreeland’s autobiography last night on Netflix. Outrageous visionary!

  43. Beth@HomeStoriesAtoZ says:

    Brilliant tips and cuts right to the heart of the matter! Thanks so much for joining my How to Decorate series. :)

  44. Excellent post! Perceptive, well-written and, obviously, thought out. I loved reading it, so read it twice, smiling and nodding at times. Thank you for sharing.

  45. A wonderful article. I can tell it is written from the heart.

  46. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    Also, it has been almost 11 years for my metal roof and it still looks shiny clean & brand new…… I just love my metal roof. It does not hold the heat like the shingles. It does not have steam coming up from it when it rains like the other houses with shingles.

    And it looks so neat, clean and gorgeous!

  47. Kathy Barte says:

    These are words I said to my clients again and again. Every so often it is good for me to hear it myself. Thank you.

  48. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    You definitely hit the nail square on the head for me. While reading this post of yours, I have already (in my head) rearranged my kitchen cabinets….. well at least two of them…. both upper and lower. They were okay for the winter, but for this summer with the kitchen door open for the screen door, it is a pain. I have my plates and saucers and cups in it….. ugh, have to move the door stop and shut the door at least 3 times a day.

    I still desperately want to copy your 3 D Mirror wall in your guest room though… still no mirrors yet, but I will do it some day. I have been saving scrap wood to do it too.

    And I just primed my front door with white primer….. to decide if I want to paint it the pale yellow of the house or white or the Deepest Woodland Green. I was never keen on the very dark green (which is the trim color, ya know, the shutters and post that hold up the carport roof). I also had considered the dark bronze of my windows….. but ugh again. I think I am going to go with white, I might paint just the casing of the glass oval a pale yellow…… not sure though, cause the leading in the glass is gold. No one is painting their doors white any longer…… but it is the only thing I like so far. And leave it to me to be different. I was the very first to put a metal roof on my tiny house here in this neighborhood. My closest neighbors were quite vocal about no one else in the neighborhood had a metal roof. I said it was my roof and I wanted metal…….. then others followed. Here in Florida, they try to tell you it is a 30 year or a 15 year roof and guess what? Try to find that roofer that guaranteed your shingle roof….. even after 10 years!!!! Been there, done that one and didn’t like it. lol

  49. You wrote such a great post. It made me feel so good to just think about what works for me and my family in our home. I also like the idea of editing things and moving things from one room to another. Thanks so much.