There is no great mystery to design. The real secret is how to make things work, and that is a gift that must be nurtured. Of course, how one designs tells a good deal about oneself. Antiques may speak of mystery or romance; paintings or objects may reveal a preoccupation or interest. The objects used in a room should have special meaning and relate to how you live and your personality. Here at the gallery we love to create rooms that give that “lived-in” quality. We cover the walls with our wall art and the tables are covered with our possessions that create a sense of beauty; by doing the same thing in your home, you could create a scrapbook about you, and your family’s life. Now, that is what makes a house a home. It certainly is no mystery about the gallery to see that we love beautiful things that just exude beauty and romance. Is there really anything else? In our photograph featured on our post today, we are showing you, once again, many elements of design. Notice how our wall art is arranged around a beautiful gold gilded French mirror; below it sits a very stately oriental sideboard from the late 1800’s with one of our most favorite features, chinoiserie, which is hand painted patterns of Chinese motifs on furniture. We have adorned the top of the sideboard with an ivory King and Queen carved from elephant tusks and used a matching pair of rose medallion antique vases to compliment our theme. The gold on our buffet lamps give the cohesive tie needed to unite our gilded motif. The dining table is dressed with the classic three wise men from the orient as we continue our journey to Asia; we all know that a room is not complete unless it has at least one oriental element. We have thrown in a pair of needlepoint pillows with Chinese jugglers to finish our look. The old-world élan of our rooms may well owe even more to secrets we have gleaned from our friends from France, England and Asia. How else do we explain — given our preference to justapoxing different periods and far-flung influences in edgy ways, just as we have done here, into fabulous settings suitable for anyone. The take away today is to be courageous in decorating; use a mixture of furniture from different periods as well as a mixture of different elements. You might just surprise yourself!