After a hectic ten hour workday, I need a peaceful, relaxing sanctuary to return to. My home is just that for me. However, it takes a lot of time to keep it the way I want it. It can be exhausting, but the finished product is well worth it.

Luckily by being around so many different designers at work, I’ve learned the difference between environments that improve life vs. those that take away. Everyone has his or her own style and taste.  I have the luxury of working amongst the best and definitely take advantage of their talents.  My co-workers/friends have given me many tips that can make it easier to create a home environment that improves my lifestyle while maintaining a full time career.

In the quest for the perfect home, people often overlook the psychological element involved. At the core, despite what passes for luxury during whatever era you live in, your home has to be about you as an individual or family.

For example, I love being outdoors, I love to cook, and I love music. A lot of what I’ve chosen for my home reflects that. My wine cooler and sound system are integrated into my design choices, especially those having to do with my kitchen, so I don’t have to struggle to get my hands on the things that make me happy.

At the same time, I know that it’s usually dark when I leave for work and dark when I return. That’s why I’ve paid serious attention to strong (but not harsh) lighting complimented by soft colors.

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to weaving happiness into quality interior design, start by thinking about what colors, textures, surroundings, and items you were surrounded with during peak moments of your life, regardless of trends.

My younger daughter wore only white for her first year. As a result, white makes me feel good.  It’s clean, crisp and fresh. Beige is a close second.  Likewise, my hobby is photography and many of my favorite memories include times when I was doing it.  So instead of paintings, I accent my walls with photographs.

The list goes on.

Your interests and hobbies may not be the same as mine. For you it may be fitness, Renaissance sculpture, or classic cars. Whatever that is for you, make sure your home contains elements of it.

In short, high end interior design means making an environment for yourself that never fails to improve your mood. Take the time to think back to your happiest moments and your most cherished passions, and let your home reflect them to the very core. You’ll never want to go anywhere else.