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Published August 22nd, 2018
Intentional design to highlight your personal style

Can you believe we are already winding down summer? I am not ready for it to end, but I will not miss this heat. With autumn around the corner our thoughts switch from family vacations, paddling around the pool and outdoor dinners to the comforts of indoors. Shorter days and cozy fires, homemade soup, and lazy Sundays spent lounging around reading.
I love walking into a home and feeling how connected the homeowner is to their home. Their walls my be filled with cherished family photos, or their bookshelves filled with their favorite books, or the coffee tables display some treasure they purchased on their recent travel overseas. Our homes are our safe place, a place where we can be ourselves, let our hair down, put our feet up, show what we love and are drawn to. But our home is also a place where we share with others, our friends, our family, our pets. We want to put our best foot forward when we welcome others into our personal space. And that is where I fully believe that you can have both a space that is comfortable and approachable (i.e. lived-in) as well as beautiful and well appointed.
One does not negate the other. Beauty is a need; we were created in beauty and we crave beauty. Our homes, our surroundings, are a reflection of our soul. And sometimes we need to beautify our surroundings so that our souls can be nourished.
As a designer I take pleasure in connecting with homeowners and their families, learning who they are in their home. My goal is to connect them with their home. One of the greatest compliments I have ever received was from a client's friend who had visited her home and said to her, "This is so you!" It is so important that a home reflect those who live in it.
Here are some ideas on how to create a home that reflects you:
1) Use your hobbies as inspiration. Do you love to garden? Why not hang some pretty botanical prints? Do you love music? Maybe hang some framed classic record albums. Do you love photography? Collect antique cameras to display. Just be careful to not get too "theme-y" (yes I made that up). While you might love the beach, don't fill every nook and cranny of your home with beach paraphernalia. There are subtle ways to display your love for the ocean. A bowl filled with seashells, framed sea fans, or maybe just decorating in colors of the sea can add a costal vibe.
2) Travel. Make it a point every time you travel to pick up something unique to display - no snow globes allowed! Preferably, choose something a local artisan has made. Pottery and small artwork are great and easy to pack in a suitcase. We like to take photos of architectural elements when we travel and I print them in black and white and have them framed.
3) Look to your closet. Your closet speaks a lot about you. What colors do you wear the most? Is your wardrobe casual and comfy or bright and colorful? Use that as a jumping off point for your home's color palette. If you are most comfortable in a pair of jeans, T-shirt and a pair of Sperry's, then your home will want to reflect that casual feel. And we are not talking about beanbags and tray tables, people. Let's keep it classy, shall we? But comfy sofas, upholstered ottomans to put your feet up and maybe a woven sisal rug can help the space feel like "jeans and T-shirt." Or maybe you are a little more formal and glamorous, and a button tufted sofa and mirrored coffee table is your ideal.
The most important thing to remember is this is your home and it should not only reflect who you are but it should bring out the best you. It reminds me of the quote from Oprah: "Your home should rise up to meet you."
Take some time this week to ask yourself if your home truly reflects you and your family, and if not, commit to taking some of the steps above to make that happen. And if you find yourself stuck on what to do, give us a call, I would love to embark on that journey of discovery with you.
Until next time!

Photos provided
As the Owner and Principal Designer of Lamorinda-based Amanda Carol Interiors, Amanda Eck believes your home's interior should be both approachable and well- appointed. She often asserts, "Beauty is a necessity."

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