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I'm newly divorced. Any tips on building my own nest?

The question

Post-divorce, I'm feathering a nest of my own and am having trouble locking into a style. Can I mix modern, vintage, industrial and contemporary or will the overall effect feel disjointed?

The answer

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First of all, congratulations. It's a long haul, so spread your wings and nest solo for a while. (You certainly won't be in it alone, at least not figuratively: More adults live alone today than ever before, regardless of whether they are in a relationship.)

You don't seem to have left out a style, but the time is now to be the true you. I have always said that if you love something, it will go with everything, particularly in fashion, but in decor, too.

Having said that, it's the edit and the placement of pieces that really matter. I always work with floor, wall and ceiling treatments first, followed by placement of furniture, then lighting. Place furniture so that paths of travel can be easily accessed, with a minimum of 18 inches from sofas to coffee tables. And don't forget to include options for overhead and task lighting.

Try to spread the styles around the room and, after accessorizing, remove the pieces that don't feel right to the eye. I use the camera test: If, after you take a picture, the room seems flat, keep going. Remember the jewellery rule: Accessorize as you wish, then remove one piece so that you are understated and elegant. On the flip side, arrogant and eclectic has been known to work, too.

Follow architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace on Twitter: @ddtaylorddd. Have a design dilemma? E-mail

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