Kristen Fencl
Special to the Sun

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August 8, 2012
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Tahoe home improvement: Enhance your decorating confidence

LAKE TAHOE — I often times here my clients say “I don’t know what my style is or what I like — you need to tell me”. When this happens, I usually try to help them by asking a few key questions. My clients have also found it helpful to practice a few simple visual exercises that I also recommend to help them identify what they like. And once you know why you like and why, it becomes easier to develop and enhance your own decorating style — confidently!

Discovering your style involves developing an acute awareness of your surroundings and the ability to judge your reactions. Take a minute right now, in the room where you are reading this article. Look around the room — carefully — and write down 5 reasons why you like the room. Be very specific. For example, you like the window — why? Is it because of the symmetry? Does it admit a lot of natural light into the room? Do you like seeing the colors in the window’s view?

Now, take a few more minutes, and look again. Ask yourself what features you don’t like. For example, a painting on the wall. What is it about the painting that you don’t like? The color? Is it hung too low? Too high?

By becoming conscious of your reactions to what you see, you’ll begin developing your own sense of likes, and just as important, dislikes.

Every time you enter a room, make it a habit to ask yourself whether you like it or not. An office, a restaurant or another home — it makes no difference! What characteristics appeal to you? Which ones make you feel uncomfortable? Do any of the rooms approach your ideas of what you would want your home to look like? Assess the mood that is evoked in each room, and the ingredients that vie it a particular ambiance. Does it make you feel warm, cool, cozy, serene, etc.?

Decorating confidence is something you develop, many times with the assistance of your own personal professional decorator, whose knowledge and resources are indispensable. Your home should be decorated with a sure awareness of how you respond to color, texture, form, line and space.

— Kristen Fencl, CID, is an interior decorator and owner of Decorating Dens. Learn more at, or call 775-832-8012.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Aug 8, 2012 05:18PM Published Aug 8, 2012 05:17PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.