Think First About How You Would Like Your Home to Feel

Posted by: Gail VanKleeck  |  Date: 01/30/2014

Think First About How You Would Like Your Home to Feel

The best way to begin any decorating project is to FOCUS FIRST on how you would like your home to FEEL.

Focusing first on how you would like your home to FEEL, rather than how you would like it to LOOK will expand your sense of what is possible and empower you to make your furniture, accessory, window treatment and rug choices from a more expanded perspective.

In decorating, just as in life, what we focus on is usually what we see.  Sometimes when people are thinking about making a change in their home, they focus first on their limitations.  They worry about the cost of the rugs, chairs and lamps they need or about finding a style or color combination that their family members will like.  While those concerns are legitimate and need to be addressed, thinking first about your limitations can reduce your options and cause you to make your home decorating choices from a more limited point of view.

One of the best ways to identify and articulate the kinds of surroundings in which you would feel most comfortable is to buy a small selection of magazines and go through their pages slowly.

Before you start, go to Step One of The Magical Interior Design Guide.  Review its list of FEELING ADJECTIVES and choose the seven adjectives that best describe how you would like your home to FEEL.  Write those adjectives on a piece of paper.  Once you’ve completed your list, you are ready to begin.

1.Go through the pages of your magazines slowly, until you find a room that satisfies at least four of the adjectives you have chosen.

2. Look at the individual parts of that room and notice how each of them FEELS.

3. Think about what you might change the individual decorative items in the room so they would FEEL more related to the adjectives you have chosen.

Using an illustration from Step Four of The Magical Interior Design Guide, this is how I might proceed.


A Peaceful Feeling Room

A Peaceful Feeling Room


For me, the room in this photograph FEELS casual, comfortable, friendly, family-oriented and inviting.  While it doesn’t contain all of my adjectives, it contains at least four, so I’ll look at the decorative elements in the room to determine how each of them feels and what changes I might like to make.

The Wood Blinds … These blinds FEEL as though they are connected to the room because they are related to the color of the window moldings.  They be opened a little, to provide privacy and protection from the glare of the sun.  I like the FEELING of having options.

The Rug … The colors in rug are related to the color of the furniture.  This kind of kind of relationship FEELS comfortable to me.

The Wing Chair on the Right … This chair FEELS inviting and comfortable, but the pillow FEELS as though it would need to be moved before someone could sit down.  I might change the FEELING of the chair and pillow by using a smaller pillow and perhaps adding a fringe trim.  The trim might reflect my “playful” and “happy” adjectives and this change would also be simple and relatively inexpensive.

The Table Between the Chairs … I’m not certain this table FEELS quite right.  It seems to separate the chairs a little, rather than making them FEEL connected.  If this was a room in my home I might use a table that repeated the wood of the chair on the right so the three pieces FELT more related.

The Artwork Above the Table …The placement of the artwork FEELS a little high to me.  If it were mine I would lower it a little so it would FEEL more related to the table below it.  I might look for an entirely different piece of artwork, one that would be more related to my “Playful” and “Happy” adjectives.  

The Wall Color… Although the wall color doesn’t actually match the chairs or the rug, it FEELS as though it blends with them and draws the room together.

The Leather Chair in the Foreground … While some people might FEEL as though this chair seems a little worn or tired, for me it FEELS just right.  I remember my father reading his paper in a chair like this and that memory FEELS so safe and honest it makes me want to sit there myself. 

If you and someone you love are thinking about the changes you might make in your home, this process will become invaluable if you do it together. You’ll be surprised at the conversations it will encourage and at what you discover about each other.  It can give you a greater awareness and sense of appreciation for what you have in common as well as a greater understanding and respect for your individual differences.

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