How to Add Style to Your Home

Danielle Pergament, Allure magazine

An interview with Nate Berkus, an interior designer and the author of The Things That Matter (Spiegel & Grau). He has a line of accessories and home goods at Target.

The best interiors are assembled and layered over time. Before you acquire anything, stop and take a beat-it's really important to have a connection to what you are buying. You wind up with a house full of little stories that reflect who you are.

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Be inconsistent. I try to buy in odd numbers. Three frames or candlesticks look less rigid than two. Don't go for one uniform accent color-it looks contrived, like you live on a TV set. If you want pops of green in the living room, make sure you have five different shades of green. And be inventive: Put a green palm leaf in a clear glass vase; add a grosgrain ribbon to a lampshade; paint your coffee table. There are plenty of ways to add arftul details without spending a lot of money.

Elevate the mundane. I use woven baskets and decorative boxes to store those necessary things that look messy or ugly, like remote controls. I never lose my spare keys because I keep them in a beautiful box in my living room.

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Edit your frames. Photos instantly make a space feel personal, but they can look jumbled. Settle on a theme: white, wood, and silver; or black and brass. Whatever it is, they should feel cohesive. Also, the table shouldn't be so packed that you have a hard time seeing the pictures-move a few to a bookshelf.

Thing for yourself. Following interior-decorating trends can make your home look like everyone else's. If I've seen something in three different places, I don't want it in my house. Here's how you avoid trends: Frame your kids' artwork or a page from an old book. That's the personal stuff that makes your house feel like a home.

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