Designer Cortney Novogratz Talks Decorating, Shares Easy Ways to Personalize Your Space

Your home is a reflection of your personality, so it's not surprising that, despite similar accessories, no two homes look the same. Decorating your space is fun, liberating, and exhilarating. Whether it's a cozy studio apartment or a mansion of sorts, we're all looking for ways to personalize it and to give it our unique touch.

Designer and "Home by Novogratz" author Cortney Novogratz is featured on HGTV's "Home by Novogratz" and Bravo's "9 By Design," and she recently partnered with Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating to help make homes a true "comfort zone." Courtney tells Yahoo! Shine about her decorating style, choosing between passing fads and timeless classics, and shares easy tips to personalize your space.

The basics of home decorating

Cortney Novogratz says to have fun with home decorating and to trust your judgment.

While our inner designer believes that we have nailed down the basics of home décor, what's Cortney's mantra of designing? Is there a rule book you should follow? Is decorating an art or a science? Cortney tells Yahoo! Shine, "When it comes to design, my husband and I feel that there are no rules. What's most important is that your home reflects who you are. It's a little bit of art and a little bit of science, but what I think is most important is that you have fun when it comes to decorating."

Cortney explains that you shouldn't be afraid of using color. "Everyone needs color in their life, and I think that when you have color in your home, it brightens your day," she says.

Balancing between trends and timeless looks

At some point, the glossies in the home and garden magazines have lured us all. Trends keep changing and our perspective shifts. So, how does one balance between the hottest trends and a lived-in, classic look? How do we decide what trends are worth the investment? Cortney says, "You need the best 'bones' to your house, and then, when it comes to trends, you can sprinkle in a throw pillow. There are easy ways to spruce up your house and keep it classic when it comes to the basics."

Cortney advises focusing on your home and what will make it comfortable. "When it comes to things that are come-and-go, like a sectional sofa, those are pretty 'hot,' but it does not mean they'll be 'hot' in five years," she adds.

Easy ways to personalize your space

Use photographs to personalize your space.
Photographs: While many believe that photographs are the easiest way to give your home your personality, many are intimidated to put it all out there. Some never find the perfect picture to display. Cortney explains, "It's really important that you use photographs. My husband and I happen to have seven kids, so we use all of their photographs when it comes to decorating."

Color: An inexpensive color adds warmth and brightens up your day. Whether you like it bold, demure or warm, use colors to make your home unique.

Resources: Go beyond the realm of your favorite store. "We use flea market and tag sale finds, and that's going to be great because it makes our home different than anybody else's," says Cortney.

Art adds color and personality to your room.
Art: Art for home décor doesn't have to be jaw-dropping. Simple projects often make great displays. Cortney says, "We also use art: from our kids' art to famous artists."

Have fun: While you may adhere to the basics of home décor, you should trust your instincts and enjoy the process of home decorating. Don't be apprehensive to take chances!

"I think that what is most important is to definitely have fun when it comes to decorating with your partner, your roommate, your kids, whoever has the time and decorates your house with you," Cortney recommends.

Best quick fix for a room

Cortney advises, "A quick fix to brighten up a room is, maybe, simply changing the knobs on an old dresser. You can change the knobs or the pulls and it really makes a difference to the entire space."


Tell us, how do you personalize your home?