Ok, honesty time: Do you feel like your home just isn't working? Chances are, you're missing one or more of these three very important elements. Let the tenets of your life–your history, place and sense of self–guide your decor.
Yourself (and your family)
I read a quote recently (of course I can't find it for the life of me now) that basically said, "Interior design is a study in autobiography." It's your personality, taste and style (and those of the people you live with) that should come out in your decor above every other influence. The secret is eschewing the "must have trends" from magazines and design blogs (yes, even this one) and going with your gut about what you love. Don't stick to one store, and avoid having a home that looks like a showroom.
Where You're From
This is an extension of "self," to be sure, but it deserves its own consideration and, by extension, its own spot on this list. "Where you're from" is about geography, yes, but also about your heritage, culture and values. Decorating with your culture in mind gives you an avenue to express your personal beliefs–making your home more of a happy place than before. Pieces and accents that speak to the unique parts of your heritage also serve as great conversation starters and have a way of drawing people in.
Where You Live
A sense of place is important to a home. A beach house motif wouldn't play well in a desert abode, for example. Let your landscape dictate some of the way your home looks and it will build harmony between the space inside your walls and out. You can also steal some of the dominant design styles that are popular in your area. If you're not sure what decor reflects your city or state, pay close attention to the decor of popular local restaurants.
How do you express yourself through your home?