Give it to me Straight
So here's the thing. We all like what we like. And we want to live within an environment that is filled with pieces and references to those thoughts/places/people/things that make us smile. And far be it from me to be the voice of reality. I say suspend it whenever possible. BUT
We also live in the real world. And spaces are more effective when they live in harmony with their surroundings. That doesn't mean that your rooms have to look just like the house next-door or that you should settle for the "trend" because your friends and HGTV like it. It does mean that you should be creative. Find the common ground and you find your perfect formula for spaces that make you smile and also feel cohesive with your life and your surroundings.
Go back to elementary school and play with your Venn diagrams. Draw circles for the elements that make you happy - the colors, patterns, subject matter that make you want to close your eyes and sigh like a little kid with a cold ice cream cone on a hot day. Make sure that you include a circle for your house style and your geographic location - these are an inherent part of the story that you are telling and you can't get a complete picture without them.
ASSESS your circles. FIND where they can overlap. THIS IS YOUR "THING". RUN with it.
Let's look at a few examples.
House style: Denver square (a typical style in the area) luckily this goes well with Denver.
Burning passion: To sail the seas. You love the ocean and seashells and beaches... if there is a coastline you are interested.
Harsh reality: THERE ARE NO COASTLINES IN COLORADO
How do we remedy this? Before you throw up your hands, set your jaw and decide on those coastal blue and white canvas chairs, take a step back. Why can't we all win? Look for the common elements. Or look further for another interest that works to tie both of these together.
Maybe you are an avid reader. You love books that take you anywhere and everywhere. USE IT.
So you can't have seagrass rugs and fishing net accents in landlocked Denver, but you can stack your shelving with books and seashells displayed more like artifacts collected from your many intellectual learnings on all things sea-faring (see all the travel books and the battered copy of Moby Dick in a shadowbox on the wall? This makes your sea obsession look smart and intelligent rather than like a crazy delusion and denial of the 3 feet of snow outside your window.
You can do it. Embrace what you have as well as what you want. Use your powers of creativity to make them the same thing.
Give me your examples - if you aren't finding a common ground tell us all and we will help you. You can make your space fully authentic while still giving that smile to your face when you walk through the door. Be straight with yourself and your space and you will gain a more genuine, multi-faceted result.
Happy diagramming - let me know how it goes!