Make your surroundings a metaphor for who you are.
I once visited a great architect in his office and was shocked by the clutter and tastelessness of his surroundings. How unlike his office were the structures and environment he produced! He spent his lifetime striving to make the world outside him look harmonious, while he looked at a mess inside the very room where he did his work. The only thing I ever permit on my desk is the job I’m working on. And, in my work place, there is nothing on the walls (except my nineteenth-century Seth Thomas clock) to distract me from what I’m supposed to be thinking about on my desk. I’ve always invested so much effort in my immediate surroundings because the objects and surfaces and forms that surround me must feel aesthetically right to me. Your working surroundings should not be a presentation to your clients. (Indeed, when my clients first see my office they invariably give me a strange look.) Everything I believe in is reflected in this photograph of my work area: precision, simplicity, clarity. And your home should not be a presentation to your friends. Surrounds should relate to who you are, what you love, and to what you deem important in life.