Vail Design at Altitude column: Style that gives a sense of peace and place | VailDaily.com

Vail Design at Altitude column: Style that gives a sense of peace and place

Yvonne Jacobs
Design at Altitude

Everyone loves interior design, but not everyone knows just what it is. Interior design goes so much deeper than how things look. Of course, we love to make homes look, and feel, welcoming and stylish, but in order for it to feel good, it needs to function well first.

Interior design is the overall purpose of your home; it's a study in space and function — it's why clients should seek out designers who have spent the time learning the trade and craft.

The "styling" part of interior design is the cherry on top. It's the special touches that make the home and the home design shine. Take the time and the extra effort to style your home to truly make it yours. So many of us move here for what we think is temporary and end up staying for years. In the in-between time, we don't make the effort to create a space that shines, something that makes us happy to come home to. Take the time to spruce up your space.

When you start, remember, styling a home in the mountains requires a different approach. We have so much going on, visually, outside that we don't want to compete with that inside. Don't overdo the quantity of items that are going into your home: Rely on nature's bounty to help with the design.

Styling does not have to cost a lot of money. It just needs to reflect your personality and what makes your heart sing when you come home. Display your personal items, something funky and fun, on the bookshelves in your home. Find a piece of art that is unique or special to you. Remember, you don't need a Van Gogh; blow up a photograph or make a collection of brightly colored framed pieces.

Pull some of the natural elements into your home; it brings a touch of what is going on outside in. And with so many of us who live here being true nature lovers, that outdoor element brought inside is welcome. Bring in an aspen branch, cut some cattails, put a few brightly colored gourds on a table. Go even deeper into using nature and rely on wood to warm up a space. Stack a few aspen logs near a fireplace (even if it's a gas burner), or find a large, round stump to use as a side table or stool.

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I love to use throws throughout the house. They add a coziness and touch of color. If it's in your budget, splurge on a cashmere throw; or find a brightly colored blanket to punch up the living room. Other ways to add a burst of color with the help of Mother Nature: seasonal flowers or plants; dried sage from summer's bounty; a bowl of pinecones, carefully collected over a weekend of hiking; or little pumpkins gathered as a centerpiece or to welcome guests on the porch.

Creating your home should be a fun adventure and reflect your life. Give it thought and take your time so your home gives you a sense of place and peace.

Yvonne Jacobs is the president of Slifer Designs. She loves finding unusual items to style a home and make it personal for her clients.