Think about this, you go to a restaurant... how do you tell that it's an upscale dining establishment? Usually, at first, it's the swanky decor. Then you probably notice the lighting features, music, menus, staff uniforms, etc. Something about the way the restaurant is decorated makes you feel like you are going to be eating well! Same goes for really any place you tend to visit. There are usually things that you like (or dislike) about a space because of the way it makes you "feel".
When I am in a setting outside of my home that I am enjoying, I try to really look into the space to see why it is that I feel that way. Sometimes, it's just because the space appears clean. Sometimes it's because they are burning the most incredible smelling autumn candle. And other times it is because of the way it is decorated or painted. Next time you are out at some place you really enjoy, whether it's your parents home, a friend's house, church, a restaurant, a store, etc., take a moment to notice why you really enjoy the space. Once you pinpoint this... try adding it to your home. Create a space you love to come back to.
Before we built our house, my husband and I went on a homes tour that is held each year in our city. It showcases custom designed homes built by established builders in the area. We were basically snooping around for inspiration. And we found some, yay!
We happened upon a house that had one of these babies, and I instantly knew that this would be a functional component in our future home. Why? Well, many reasons. One reason being that it produces heat when cold, duh. Another reason, it is pretty to look at. Haha... But for real? The main functional feature that I saw was that I could have two non-competing focal points in the room (the fireplace and tv) without having to mount the tv above the mantel (the hubs did not want to do that).
The pictures above gave us a lot of inspiration not only about the layout of our living room, but also some decor ideas as well. Now, the style in the picture is WAY to traditional for my liking. Don't get me wrong, it is absolutely, positively so gorgeous. Just not my taste for my own home. My taste, while a little rustic is a bit more on the contemporary side. The things that I was inspired by were the corner fireplace (already mentioned), the big black entertainment cabinet, and the couch / chair setup. And here is how I made that happen at our house shortly after we moved in (definitely lacking some items, I'd say):
Now, I know not everyone is building their own home and some will have to have a fireplace where they might not necessarily love it. BUT the point I am making is look for inspiration, it doesn't have to be structural like my example was. Figure out why the inspiration makes you feel good, and implement it!