Fashion blogger Candace Ourisman shares her top five tips on putting together a space that shows your personality.


The living room of the Ourisman house mixes a lot of periods and artworks. The white horsehead on the coffee table reflects Ourisman’s love of all things equestrian. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

1. Let your home reflect your passion. Having ridden horses all my life, the equestrian lifestyle resonates with me. Throughout my house, there are touches of equine just about everywhere: a photo of a powerful stallion galloping through water in my bedroom, a wooden sculpture of a horse on the living-room mantel, even a whimsical bench with four hooves. Surrounding myself with my passions makes this house feel like my home.


A glass-topped table in the family room. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

2. Collect books that tell your story. I have been collecting coffee table books for years. Family and friends have caught on, and many of them have given me some of my favorites. These books, sprinkled throughout, serve as a constant reminder of my interests and passions: art, fashion and design. Whether your interests are space or watchmaking, start collecting books that you display to infuse your home with what you love most.


The dramatic dining room reflected in a vintage mirror. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

3. Create an opening statement. I love a good conversation starter and wanted a space that was anything but boring. The graphic wallpapered dining room is the first thing you see when you enter our house. You immediately have a glimpse into my personality.


The eye candy in Candace Ourisman’s entryway is always a big bowl of M&Ms. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

4. Show your own style of hospitality. Food is something everyone relates to. I have a notorious sweet tooth, so friends know that when they come over there will always be a giant bowl of M&Ms out. I always know which friends walk by without a blink, and those who can’t resist.


A golden goat sits atop shelves lined with books that have been organized by color. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

5. Honor history. Pieces of our family histories are sprinkled throughout the house. My favorite is a large gold goat that used to live in my foyer growing up.