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My husband and I had a conversation not too long ago about reasons marriages and families fall apart. The answer in an article we read was unmet expectations. This is super interesting to me, and it has made me think about my own expectations and whether or not I am meeting the expectations of my family. The likelihood of my husband and children not meeting my expectations or me not meeting theirs is high because first, we all may have some unrealistic expectations and second, we are all human and therefore flawed.

So how can you and I stay happy and hopeful even when life can be full of unmet expectations? I believe the answer is faith. My definition of faith is believing in and acting on something you cannot see. Even if your life is full of disappointment and sorrow, another day and happiness does exist for you. You just need to continue acting with faith and all will be well.

Faith is a mindset of abundance and hope. There is enough for everyone to experience joy without taking away from another. I do not see a higher being, but I believe that I have a loving God who watches over me. I do not see my student loan balance at zero, but I believe it will happen with diligence. I do not see my daughters old enough to do the dishes, but I believe they will learn with time and experience. I do not see my ideal reader, but I know you are out there being awesome.

The sooner we can cling to our faith, the sooner our homes will be filled with all the other wonderful feelings such as forgiveness, love and joy. Instead of always feeling cheated, you will be invigorated to live your beliefs, make your hopes and dreams a reality and prove your faith is stronger than your doubts.

What is one thing you could do to improve your faith? You might need to meditate more sincerely or read uplifting messages more often. You may need to stop ignoring the prompting to offer help to a friend or mend a relationship. Trust your intuition about a big decision. Whatever it is, do it now and you and your family will have more peace.

Do you have a personal relationship with God, a higher being or the universe? No matter what you believe in, there is a higher power who loves you and wants you to be the best and happiest version of yourself. Trust in this, and let it sink in as you connect to the energy and love that is yours to enjoy. You will feel this love and energy through thoughts, feelings, another person or your experiences. Pay attention and let your faith permeate every part of your life. When you love and trust God, you are better equipped to love the partner, children or friends He has blessed you with.

Are you living out the beliefs that you hold dear? It is hard to feel hopeful and be faithful when you feel like you are not being true to yourself. Your signature style and story will emerge throughout your entire life, with a little faith.

Your Turn

The sooner you write down and understand your values, the sooner you can live an authentic life and act on your style. Narrow down your values to your top three. Start with writing them all down (fifteen to twenty values) and then slowly rate them in order of importance.

Once you know your top three values, you can align your entire life and home with them. For example, my top three values are Faith, Family and Learning. So, every day I have non-negotiables that show myself and others what my priorities are: prayer, scripture study, writing, working out, reading and parenting. Prayer and scripture study every day help me to get onto a higher plane of thought and perspective, the workout prepares my mind and body for more learning, the reading and writing is my learning time and the parenting goal helps me to focus on my children and their growth.

Notice that laundry and cleaning are not non-negotiables for me. Even with my devotion to my home, having a messy home for a day will not make or break my happiness or the happiness of my home. If cleanliness does land in your top three, then you would make sure that your home is in order, so you and your family can be happier. Everyone will have different values, so adapt your non-negotiables to fit. It is your turn to fill your life with faith and align your actions.

Make Room for Design Basics

Knowing principles of interior design will help you to understand the reasons you love that beautiful Pinterest or Instagram photo. These basics will also help you to better implement them in your own home.


Symmetry creates calm in a space. When you have two of the same nightstands with identical lamps on each side, you are creating symmetry.

Asymmetrical design is harder to achieve, but more natural and energetic looking. If you have a floor lamp on one side of a sofa and a side table on the other, you are creating asymmetry. There is still something on each side, but the balance is not exact because height, form and color and other characteristics are different. This can still look really nice, but it takes some practice.

Spherical is when everything radiates from a round element, like a chandelier, a round table, or a round mirror or wall clock decor.

Emphasis and Focus

Focal points dominate the space and everything around it complements it. Large, bold artwork and statement lighting can be examples of focal points in a room. It is nice to have a focal point, so your eyes have somewhere to land.


Color contrast is when color differences are apparent, shape contrast would be a circle with rectangle, and space contrast is positive and negative space used efficiently. Think of the room in terms of positive and negative space. When you add furniture, it becomes positive space. The space between the furniture, ceiling, doors and windows are the negative spaces. You want to balance the negative and positive space.

Rhythm and Repetition (Movement)

Movement is repetition of color, texture or pattern or alternation of two or more elements in a pre-planned fashion. For example, consider the pattern ABAB represented by two common home decor products: candlestick, art, candlestick, art or arranging items in ascending or descending order based on size, gradient or another characteristic. Think of a staircase.

Scale and Proportion

Both scale and proportion deal with size. Scale is how the size of objects relate to each other, and proportion is how the size of all the parts relate to the whole.

The scale of a frame will relate to the size of the wall and furniture near it. The proportion of the bed needs to fit well with the proportions of the entire bedroom. If you have a tiny plant on a giant shelf, it is going to look funny. If you are wondering why your small frame above the large sofa is not looking right, it is because the scale and proportion are off. Keep in mind that most size is determined by our human perception; ceilings are considered tall when they tower above us. An example of accommodating scale and proportion in interior design is high ceilings matched with tall furniture or large pillows with a large sofa.


Small details like etched door knobs, custom spots for spices or the placement of a favorite painting adds beauty and interest into a room. The details can be the finishing touches that make huge impacts.

Harmony and Unity

This happens when all the things in a space look like they belong together. Some things that help to achieve this are “alignment of objects, similarity of color/pattern/texture, proximity (spacing) of objects, repetition (grouping) or elements based on similarity, and overlapping continuity.” (Launchpad Academy, 2015). The goal is for smooth transitions between part or thing in a space.

Interior design principles should be a guide for someone to understand the space just as the principle of good writing helps readers understand concepts.

Now that you know the basic interior design principles, you can apply them to the rooms in your home. Check the space you are in right now to see if you use any of the design principles. You may never look at a room the same way again.

The following section is filled with design, decoration, organization and function tips for common rooms in a home.