Charlotte is one of the fasting growing cities in the country. Having moved to Charlotte in 1994, I feel like a native. But the reality is most of us are products of many moves.

In an effort to embrace their new hometowns, people immediately begin to assimilate to that area’s décor styles. Fitting in is great but decorating should be a reflection of your history, style and passions.

When it comes to staying true to their passions men are much better than women. If you don’t believe me ask a guy how tough it was to give up his beloved college and sports memorabilia when he and his wife first moved in together.

I’m not advocating turning your home into a man’s cave but your home should keep you close to your roots and fervor. Example, I’m from Texas. One of my favorite accessories is a throw pillow that is embroidered with the map of Texas, highlighting my hometown and other state landmarks. It keeps me close to my history and tells my guests a little more about who I am.

Who Are You and Where Did You Come From?

Shopping for the perfect accessories to personalize you home is all about reflecting yourself. It’s not about buying what is popular or what you saw on someone else’s table or a magazine. You may already have the perfect accessory tucked away in the attic or garage.

For example, if you’re into sailing, black and white photos of sleek sailboats cutting through the mist could adorn your walls whether your home is contemporary, modern or traditional. It represents one of your passions and a glimpse into your personality.

It can be very subtle. If you love art, keep art books on your coffee table not on the bookshelves. Replace mundane accessories like candle sticks with objects that speak to you and represent your areas of interest. It can be a small watercolor that depicts your favorite beach or a bowl of shells you’ve collected.

Who Are You and Where Did You Come From?

If you love travel, express your favorite destinations, even if you’ve never been there, with accessories that reflect that country. A colorful hand painted platter filled with fresh tomatoes and basil is an instant ticket to Tuscany when dinning alfresco with your friends.

A zebra rug may speak to your wild side. A family antique chair evokes fond childhood memories. A pair of well-worn cowboy boots setting on the floor in the foyer can transport you right back to Texas.

Take your time decorating your home. Don’t settle for souvenir type accessories. Look for the real thing. Expand your shopping resources. Once you get a sense of your style and passions, decorating becomes fun and a great adventure. You don’t have to question your selections because they speak to you and you’ll know they’re perfect as soon as you see them.

The only mistake you can make is to over do it. Decorating takes discipline. A well-edited room doesn’t over sell any of its contents. Not too much of one color, too many pillows, multiple floral arrangements or too many collections. If you find yourself falling in love with multiples, rotate them throughout the year. It’s exuberating when you put away one beloved object and replace it with another.

Let your home express who you are and where you are from. It’s an easy way to stay true to you.