Recently, I wrote about the giving of gifts, and my fascination with the Japanese scroll.

The Japanese scroll, as you may recall, reveals itself just like a gift when removed from the custom box it has been stored in.

A home can reveal itself in very much the same way.

If you think about it, just the act of entering someone’s home can feel like a ceremony.

As you move from room to room the house will continue to reveal itself.

There could be a pleasant surprise around any corner, maybe even the kind that takes your breath away.

“Oh, what a beautiful room!” we’ve all been known to say at one time or another.

This is one reason why both designers and architects will typically hold back with their design.

We don’t want to overpower your senses all at once.

We want you to take things in a little bit at a time, and take a moment to savor the design before revealing the next surprise.

So take a moment to to ask yourself  – what is the first impression visitors have when they enter your home?

Let’s start with the Entry.

The main entrance to your abode should always say something about the person who lives there, i.e. YOU, so the question is – what do you want your entry to say about you?

You can emphasize either your decorating style, or your personal interests, thus setting the tone for the rest of your home.

Do you collect antiques?

Perhaps an antique chest, or table, would be the perfect accent for the entry.

Are you passionate about Asian art and design?

Then maybe that antique chest should be a blend of East meets West.

Maybe your lifestyle is more casual, in which case you might prefer a simple bench where visitors could rest their belongings.

There is nothing right or wrong here.

It’s simply a matter of letting your home speak for you.

And don’t stop with the Entry.

In every room of your house, you have probably decorated according to your families’ tastes and budget.

Think about what you can add to any of these rooms to freshen the look for the New Year.

Will it be a set of decorative throw pillows in a stunning color?

New window treatments?

A sleek new – preferably non-toxic – sofa for the family room?

Ask “What will people see when they enter my home?”

How will the experience unfold?

What will be the subtle ‘surprise’?