It’s the beginning of a new year, and many of us are thinking about updating our interior surroundings in our homes.

I think we all start the process in a similar fashion whether we live in a home overlooking the May River or inland on one of our many golf courses.

We look through home magazines, scroll online, and attend home and garden shows. But after we gather all these great ideas, we think, “How would I possibly implement the ideas I like?”

Based on my several years in the interior design business, I would like to share some guidelines that will enable you to be your own designer.

First on your to-do list is to think the letter “B,” then correspond it to these three key words: balance, box and budget.

Balance comes in to use in so many ways in design. If you want to mix two different styles, such as traditional with a touch of modern, make sure you have balanced the room evenly with each style.

If you place all your modern touches on one side of the room, it will seem tipped to one side or unbalanced.

Try to stay focused on the word “balanced” for every aspect of what you do in the room. Your eye and mind will be pleased when it settles in a balanced room.

Next comes the box. What I really mean is don’t stay in your same box. If you have taken the time to research ideas to freshen up your look, don’t repeat what you already had.

Sometimes this step might require a professional eye to give you ideas you had not given a thought.

Last is the most telling: your budget. Everyone has one, and it pushes us to be creative. Going back to the first “B,” you must balance your budget and spread the dollars.

Know your entire vision from the beginning of your project so you can work smart. This thought process keeps you from starting an idea and falling short with your funds. Nobody likes to live in a space that never gets to completion.

So now it’s time to design. With the three “B’s,” you have the beginning tools to get out of the box, use your budget, and get your space balanced.

Cynthia Bailey is the owner of C.W. Bailey Interiors.