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10 Ways to Make Your Home Part of the Family With Authentic Decorating, According to Veronica Valencia

Show: Revealed

The Revealed designer infuses her clients’ family history, heritage and heart into every home she designs. Here are 10 of her best tricks for making a house feel like a home.

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Photo: Katherine Valencia

Homes With Heart

“When I design, I want to tell every family’s story,” says designer Veronica Valencia. During each episode of her HGTV show Revealed, Veronica and her team (fine artist Josh Smith, designer Tommy Rouse and contractor Dave Bohler) work closely with clients to bring their family history to life through design. “I love incorporating culture and heritage into a home,” Veronica says. She does this by learning about her clients' home-design goals and digging deep into their family history. The result: Touching, thoughtful and meaningful designs. Ahead, get inspired by Veronica's decorating tips for every room — and learn how to add a little heritage to your own space.

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In the Dining Nook: Materials That Matter

Homeowners Genni and Sean are newlyweds, soon-to-be parents and ready to imbue their 1950s ranch-style home with warm touches that honor their families. Genni grew up on the island of Guam, and Sean is of Thai and Hungarian descent. To bring their formerly cramped dining room to life, Veronica and her team maximized space and comfort for the couple’s large extended family using deliberate design details to pay homage to the couple’s heritage. For Genni, Veronica and her design partner Tommy added pottery-style texture to the base of the built-in banquette with hand trowels and dry brushes to mimic indigenous Chamorro pottery from Guam. Veronica applied raffia to the simple bifold doors, which lead into the laundry room, as a nod to tropical-inspired materials. The dining nook is now a cozy, light-filled place to gather with loved ones.

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In the Nursery: Symbolic Blooms

Mom-to-be Genni's love for ballet — she took classes until she was 18 — inspired the soft pink palette of her new nursery. Genni’s mom sent Veronica some of Genni’s most treasured ballet collectibles (ballet shoes and ballerina figurines) to add a nostalgic touch to the space. Veronica chose a rose-hued grasscloth to add warmth and commissioned fine artist Josh to craft a beautiful hand-painted wall of flowers. He painted tulips to represent Sean’s mother’s Hungarian roots, plumeria for Genni’s childhood in Guam and hibiscus to honor the couple’s cozy California home, where a vibrant hibiscus tree blooms in the front yard. Sean’s mother delivered the family’s cherished bassinet, made by her cabinet-maker father and used by babies in the family for 40 years.

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Photo: Dustin Reynolds. From: Veronica Valencia Hughes.

In the Kitchen: Spice of Life

“We want the house to represent us, our family, but more importantly our culture and our heritage,” says homeowner Manish Patel of the home he and his wife Priti — both first generation Indian Americans live in with their two children. The couple enjoy a mix of modern and classic design and share a passion for authentic Indian cooking and celebrating their culture with friends and family. In the kitchen, Veronica was inspired by the family’s masala spice tin, which contains the primary seasonings used in Indian cooking. She crafted an expansive built-in spice rack that hugs the range. She also commissioned a brass hood that echoes the shine of the masala tin, which is a true focal point of the room. Classic white shaker cabinets with bronze hardware and sleek Brazilian quartzite countertops (complete with shaker panel-style trim on the waterfall edges) honor the couple’s sophisticated taste. In another corner of the kitchen, Veronica and her team crafted a beautiful hutch and handmade box to hold the family’s Mandir, a Hindu place of worship. To the delight of the homeowners, Veronica worked with Priti’s mom to situate the Mandir in a respectful and appropriate way.

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