What is style? Who decides who’s got it and who doesn’t? And who’s to say when something’s out of style? The answer is YOU.

I’m always rearranging things in my own home, trying to find new ways to combine my purchases with my grandmother’s knick-knacks (much to my husband’s dismay, there are few signs of any male living here). I used to think if everything wasn’t the same style then it shouldn’t be placed together. Then I thought, “Do I want to live in a model home, or do I want my home to reflect who I am?” I chose the latter.

Style shouldn’t be confining. It should be expressive, especially when it comes to your home. Style is about who you are, where you’ve been, and where you want to go. Sometimes those things don’t coordinate, but it’s what makes up the layers of you and your home! Is your sofa a vintage, family heirloom piece and your coffee table brand new from Design Within Reach? In my opinion, the more you integrate, the more interesting and inviting your home becomes. Guests will enter and have a true sense of who lives there. Experiment and have fun mixing it up!

When it comes to organizing with style, many people feel challenged. We all wish we could better organize our homes with things other than plastic bins. It’s true, even the items we use to organize our home can reflect your style; wicker or fabric baskets, decorative boxes, and interesting containers. I use my grandmother’s suitcase from her honeymoon to store my serving trays. It serves as a decorative element in the corner of my dining room, coupled with a tall vase. On the occasions when I need to use the trays, I can easily access them, while adding my own style to my home.

Another organizing tip: Look for spaces that you wouldn’t normally think of to store things. For instance, the space under your bed (or your guest bed or kid’s beds) is what I like to call a storage gold mine. This is a huge amount of underutilized space. Measure the width, height, and depth, and purchase storage items you like, whatever reflects your taste.

Here’s another example of a storage gold mine: Guest rooms (they aren’t just for guests). This is the perfect space to use that extra dresser for storing summer clothes, or use the closet for your winter coats. Think of this room as a “dual purpose” space; one that you can utilize and your guests can enjoy.

Unsure of what your style is or how to make better use of your space? Keva Stewart Design is here to assist you with all of your design, decorating and organizing challenges! For a complimentary one-hour consultation, call 609-571-5986. See ad, page 12.

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