Design, decorate and de-stress

by Diana Fox

Imagine how it would feel if every time you walked through your front door it said, “Welcome.” That your home’s interior reflected your lifestyle — that the furniture, accessories and colors created a soothing balance of style and beauty – that the room’s ambience extended an invitation to sit, relax and linger…

When the outside world feels harsh and your life is cluttered with stress and chaos, coming home to a relaxed atmosphere is a feeling of absolute comfort. It’s a gift you give yourself and an expression of warmth you extend to family and friends.

Design your home as a reflection of your personal style and taste. Feel yourself absorbed in the comfort and luxury of a room decorated and inspired by your indulgences.

Designing impressive rooms has little to do with money and everything to do with style, placement and balance. Play with different furniture arrangements until you find one that suits the shape and function of the room. Important questions should include how you want the room to feel and what mood you are trying to capture, as well as practical aspects of traffic flow and how the room will be utilized.

Once you’ve established a good design, layer in accessories and decorations. These details tell others who you are, offering them a glimpse of your lifestyle and personal taste. Often they are the unexpected and memorable part of a vacation or a delightful afternoon outing. A signed print bought from a street vendor in New Orleans, an exquisite lamp acquired at an estate auction, an area rug handed down from your grandmother, seashells collected from a romantic beach walk or a stack of handsome, leather-bound books all make terrific accessories. Each item reveals a story or special memory and, when blended together, collectively set the mood and atmosphere for a relaxed setting.

Placement is a key factor. Create impact by grouping accessory items together that relate by mood or color, or gather several smaller pieces together for a bold statement. Think in odd numbers when designing an arrangement. A variety of candlesticks on a silver tray, a collection of small, stacked wooden boxes or an assortment of antique doorknobs casually placed together all capture your interest and attention and create drama.

Finding the time and place to relax can sometimes feel like work, so create spaces in your own home to give you the feeling you’re always on summer vacation. A relaxing spot can be anywhere that helps you reconnect and unwind — a window seat piled high with pillows, a reading chair and ottoman placed in a favorite view window or a chaise lounge on the outdoor patio. A perfect escape with a cup of tea, an afternoon nap or for doing absolutely nothing!

Make your home your refuge. Create beautiful rooms that nurture and inspire your well-being. When the simplest human needs are met with gentle grace, comfort becomes the greatest luxury of all. Relax, put your feet up — you’re home…

Diana specializes in interior arrangement, room design makeover, color consultation and relocating services. She ahs been assisting client since 1986 and can be reached by phone at (951) 202-7859, e-mail at or on the Web at