When people don’t feel at home within their own four walls, trendy accessories, designer furniture and the newest lifestyle trends can’t do much to help.

When decorating their homes, people should recognize that only those who consider themselves and their needs are happy when they return home.

“What is good for a person and what isn’t is played out to a large extent in the subconscious,” said Uwe Linke, a life psychologist and author from Munich. Linke said in order to find out why people don’t feel well in their homes, they need to do an honest assessment and the decisive question is: “Which decorative items fit me and which don’t?” People who are insecure feel better, for example, when their need for security is taken into account in the design of their homes.

Materials that exude security such as dark wood and earth-tone walls are best. Other people feel smothered by such features and need light and lightness.

“This can be achieved through light colours, a lot of light and an airy arrangement of furniture,” Linke said. “At any rate the decor should follow a theme and have a matching colour, style and light concept.” Feng shui consultant and author Gudrun Mende advises people not to be swayed by trends. Also lifestyle guidelines such as the Far East teachings of feng shui shouldn’t be followed like law.

“I often counsel people who have their homes decorated dogmatically following feng shui and afterward don’t dare change the position of a vase,” said Mende. Instead of clinging to strict rules, she said, self—determination is the decisive decision to having an authentic home.

In order to recognize what one’s own needs are, Mende has the following tip: “Feel your way around your apartment with your eyes closed and notice what you touch,” she said. That’s where you should begin rearranging.

It can also help to photograph the apartment and look at the pictures to make it possible to see the home with a new eye.

Preparing a list of all furniture can help when it comes to identifying extraneous objects.

Often objects that might have been well-liked at some point in the past start to accumulate and they don’t always fit one’s current stage in life.

“Every person’s life changes over time. The home has to change as well,” said Linke. Even if a designer lamp was expensive, when it no longer fits into a home’s decor, either get rid of it or store it away. Possibly it will fit in at another time.

To determine which light is necessary, Linke suggests a simple trick: “Simulate a power loss and use candles to find out where in the room you most need light in order to make the space comfortable and give it enough light.” It’s important that while some dim corners might remain, there are no completely dark areas. “After the chosen spaces are illuminated by candles in the test, an electric light can be installed.”