Home Decor Magazine LooksA have a new friend and neighbor down the street named Kim. She lives in another custom home — her husband is a contractor. Her home is another version of the modern craftsman.

When we were building and trying to decide on some of the subcontractors, she invited us over to look at some of the work done in her home. One word: gorgeous. Her home is simply beautiful, inviting, elegant, and completely put together. Her home isn't stiff or formal, but it looks like a home decor magazine.

She has the kind of style that I simply lack. I can tell what I like, but don't know how to create it. Sam is a genius at home design. But when it comes to home decorating, I really don't know what I'm doing.

Because of this, I've been telling one of my dear friends for years now that when we move in, she's going to be my pro bono stylist. Dallas, like Kim, has a sense of style that looks like a professional walked in with an unlimited budget.

Still, we have enough of an idea of what we like/want, that we really wanted to make the basic purchases ourselves, to be followed by help on the details. Since we've only recently completed the furniture purchases, we haven't really had time to get to all the odds and ends.

Two days ago, however, I hosted the women's group in our church congregation for a Christmas party. After having watched the construction — and having not yet held my promised house warming party — it was kind of the “coming out party” for our house. I love entertaining, but am rather intimidated in having my home aesthetic scrutinized. And the fashionable Kim — among others — would be there.

The party was great fun and had a little bonus. Kim came up to me and said, “I haven't seen the house since it was in the final stages of construction. You did a fabulous job. It looks great!”

Maybe I'm not a complete home decorating dud after all. I'm still going to call on Dallas and her expertise. But it felt good.