2. Do NOT buy everything for your home locally.
If you can expand your shopping horizons to other cities and online you will find many more options and inspiration. I suggest a healthy 60% of you home decor should be sourced out of town or not from big box stores. We don't want to show up to a party wearing the same dress as someone else. Same goes for your house. Purchase your basic furniture out of town or online where neighbors are unlikely to buy. Then search antique stores, swap meets, or grandma's attic to find one of a kind pieces. It's the unique items that give flavor to your design.
3. Be inspired by the world outside your region.
Travel is the best way to be inspired and bring home unique treasures. Whether you plan to visit Paris, France or Savannah, Georgia you will find an abundance of design. If you can't travel, search online or get a new book from the bookstore. The world if fascinating: each culture unique. The more you learn and see the more you will be open to different styles and colors and moods for your home.
4. Take something trendy and turn it around.
Often a trend comes from a modern take on historical design. The trend is so mass produced we forget where it really originated. Take for example the chevron pattern: super trendy (actually probably on the tail end of its trend). The chevron is an enlarged version of herringbone, a common pattern in mens suiting. Although large chevrons will get tired and lose popularity, the original source will continue to be beautiful lasting design. If you are noticing a trend, research it. Find the source and use that instead. Or make your own interpretation of it. Whatever, you do don't get stuck in the trend ruts.
Why are we so scared to try something new? If you want to stand out you have to be brave. Were all scientists successful on the first try? NO. But they kept trying until they came up with something amazing and revolutionary. You are not going to gild any pig if you are too afraid to try. Research, put on those work clothes, and get your hands dirty. The best way to have your own look is to do it yourself.
"According to Me..." is a collection of my design viewpoints. Hopefully they inspire others to seek beautiful environments.