1. Order the Domino Guide to Decorating, which teaches you how to define your own style and execute professional looking rooms. Yes this is possible even with drexel heritage furniture. Our personal style is mod/farmhouse. As you can see, it is whimsical, but we think it works.
2. Collect pieces that say something about you. A lot of the pieces I own are from flee markets, antique stores, and auctions in Ohio; and the art is either from friends or relatives (I have the wonderful luxury of having a MIL, aunt, and great uncle who are all visual artists; an aunt who is a fab interior decorator; and a long line of antique-hunters that goes back to my great-grandmother). Life after Jerusalem recently wrote a post about Foreign Service Officers telling a story with their houses/apartments (read it here).
3. Find the cheaper alternative. Can't paint? Try a wall sticker to make a statement or large prints of your favorite artwork. Can't wallpaper? Try framing large swatches of fabric to use as wall hangings.
4. Read magazines and blogs and bookmark things you like. Your dream house/apartment will be easier to pull off if you can visualize it. Even better if you can find DIY tutorials like my friend Mandy's. If you pull of something fabulous, share it!
Any tips of your own to share? Favorite sources of inspiration? What two words describe your personal design aesthetic?