It can be difficult to know when and how to think about home decor and design. Many of us are busy, morning to night. A full-time job in the United States means an average of 47 hours worked, with almost 40% of full-time employees working more than 50 hours. Bring in family responsibilities, a social gathering, and a visit or two to the gym, and the day disappears. So much for mental self-improvement, not to mention house projects.


In reality, however, we all make design choices on a daily basis. Each day, we decide what to wear. Each choice is based on utility and is an act of communication. Decor decisions are the same. The same principles we use on ourselves can and should carry over into our living spaces.


Consider this photo of three models in suits. All are "put together" with appropriate shoes and accessories, creating statements that ask for interpretation. The one in the center is appropriate for a wide range of circumstances. Perhaps she has decided to dress up a bit more for a job interview. Perhaps she is the president of the company. At any rate, the choice of a pants instead of skirt suit consciously plays down her femininity, while earrings and boots retain it. But in general, the classic, dark suit has purposely hidden much of her individuality.


The woman on the left, in contrast, is someone who is allowed to make more individualistic choices. On man or woman, a pinstripe suit attracts more attention, and a white pinstripe even more. The suit is cut beautifully for a woman's shape, and with the pink tie becomes almost as feminine as a long dress. She would probably not wear this to an average job interview, unless it was at a fashion magazine. She could easily be going to a high-end party, or anywhere she plans to interact with powerful individuals. She communicates beauty, femininity, and free use of power.


Finally, the model on the right could just as well be a man in the same suit, were it not for her beautiful, high cheekbones. She is making a powerful statement against stereotypical femininity. The more extreme choices of fabric and cut would be far too flashy for most offices. For the fashion world, though, she is perfect.


That said, one might wonder, what about those of us who are jeans and t-shirts sorts of people? We still have style. That is our style. Most likely, we still make design choices. We have our favorite t-shirt, and the fact it is our favorite communicates something about us to the world.


Home design choices should happen the same way. We can assemble a high-end decor style and complement it with matching "accessories." This requires a bit of study into that style, learning its "language," so to speak. Or we can find an idea or thought that is our favorite and bring other aspects of the room to match it in harmony and comfort. Either way, our home style choices say something about us, whether positive or negative, and are worthy of consideration