Sure, you can follow the latest trend or replicate a layout or colour palette you've spotted elsewhere - but the real cherry-on-top will be those details that are truly unique to you and your requirements.
Sometimes big (for example, a much longed-for piece of techology, or a kitchen storage solution you've fantasised about for years) and sometimes small (a cosy seating area to curl up with a book, say), these are the interior twists that - sound the cliché klaxon - truly make a house a home.
Here, these real readers reveal the details that were key to their home overhauls...
1. Pre-loved charm The detail: upcycled doors. "I often fall in love with salvaged pieces, which I buy not knowing what I’ll do with them," explains Kali Cavanagh, who owns this historic miner's cottage. "When I saw these doors, I knew I had to have them, and in fact I redesigned the layout of the ensuite to incorporate them."
2. Stylish storage The detail: a walk-in wardrobe. "Originally, this space was two bedrooms but we wanted a walk-in wardrobe, and also to be able to stroll in from the bedroom, to the wardrobe and then to the bathroom," says Paul Craig, who lives here with his husband Tim and was inspired by the interiors of his favourite hotels when it came to the décor of his own home. "It was a challenge to make it flow for us. We did sacrifice with bedroom space to achieve a walk-in closet this size but it was a good compromise. I wouldn’t change anything."
3. Can get the service The detail: a dumb waiter. "The dumb waiter is a godsend," reveals home owner Mrs Gupta. "We have a cinema room upstairs, a roof terrace with dining space and a dining room, and the intention was to use all of these spaces. Realistically, you wouldn’t if you were dragging trays up, so it’s just how we wanted it."
4. Island adventures The detail: the perfect kitchen island. "The idea was to create a home where family and friends can meet and enjoy time together," explains Anella Rogaczewski, who lives in this breathtaking home with her family. "The big island in the kitchen is central to this. It’s great because you can have lots of people making food together, or you can just hang out in the bar and have a glass of wine while the host cooks."
5. Tub talk The detail: a stand-alone bath. "I knew that I wanted a large freestanding bath that felt connected to the bedroom so that we can chat from the bed to the bath and a double shower so there was no arguing in the morning," says resident Sam Vogel, who lives in the stunning space with her husband and three sons.
6. A home-held cookery show The detail: a sociable layout. "By creating an open-plan room for cooking, eating and entertaining, we instantly made a much more family-friendly space with room for everyone to do their own thing, but still be together," reveals home owner Grainne Morton. "We wanted an 'unfitted' look for the kitchen, with classic country furniture cabinets designed as freestanding pieces instead of being built-in."
7. Somewhere to unwind The detail: a relaxing bathroom. "I wanted a space that was very Zen, very pure and calming, a place to focus on the spirit," muses Pilar Albertson, who resides in this beautifully airy property with her husband Scott. "It’s very special to lie in the bath and feel part of the countryside and at the same time be safely cocooned."
8. On-point technology The detail: tech-savvy kitchen essentials. "Now I can’t imagine life without the Zip hot tap," reveals Emily Matthews, who lives in this mid-century inspired Georgian property with husband Paul. "I’m so used to having steaming water on tap, I would never go back to a kettle. I also love the breakfast station and the extractor that rises out of the centre of the island. Everyone finds it entertaining because it’s very James Bond."