The Secret to Styling a Home You Actually Live In

Living Room

I love styling and decorating our home. But let’s be honest. We LIVE HERE. We have stuff. Everyone has necessities that we need to have on hand, but not everything can be hidden away at all times. Fortunately I have a styling secret that I have used in my home for many years. I don’t mind seeing items we use every day out in the open as long as they are cute or fit in with our decor! :-).

Kitchen open shelf display

I’ve shared this secret here from the beginning of this blog, why have things in your home that aren’t attractive if you have an option of choosing something prettier? Little details like that matter to me, whether it is having pretty dishes or books on my shelves, attractive kitchen utensils, or even the look of the hand soaps we choose. I even pick pretty kleenex boxes because … WHY NOT? Did you see the kleenex box in the family room photo? I will always choose things that go best with my house if given the opportunity!

Wooden Spoons in a White Pitcher

When your everyday necessities blend in with your decor, you don’t have to hide them away.

That’s been my designer secret for styling a real life home: make everyday things more beautiful.

The Secret to Styling A Home You Actually Live In
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  1. Glad you’re feeling better Melissa. :)
    I love seeing the lace curtain in your window with the beautiful brown drape. There’s something about a lace curtain that is just plain pretty. It’s a lovely contrast, and I like that it affords some privacy during the day while keeping the windows open for light in the bedroom. I rarely see lace curtains any more and I miss them. Do you think they are making their way back?
    Diane recently posted..Book Page Valentine MantelMy Profile

  2. Glad to know I’m not the only one who has Kleenex boxes out :) But you’re so right, if they’re pretty it helps so much.
    Shannon [Our Home Notebook] recently posted..Brownie Hearts RecipeMy Profile

  3. This post is an example of why I am falling out of love with so called design blogs. I actually hoped to find something useful here, based on the title, but all I found was a Kleenex commercial. You seem very sweet and I often enjoy your blog, but, in general, all the commercial endorsements on blogs – not just yours – are getting old.

    • Yeah, I wish we lived in a world where we didn’t have to pay our bills, but even design bloggers need to make a living! :-) Our posts are free for readers to enjoy though so at least we don’t charge YOU! I have limited sponsored posts here but when I do, I do try to give you helpful information, my honest endorsements, and my favorite decorating tips. Today’s tip is one of my all time favorites — making everyday things more beautiful transforms how we live at home. I hope that helps inspire you as much as it does me!
      Melissa recently posted..{Romance Week} Cozy Reading CornerMy Profile

  4. I also think Kleenix has cute boxes (I thought I was the only one)! It makes having to buy them (when you’re sick) a little bit better! I hope you recover soon :)
    Amy recently posted..Oops.My Profile

  5. I would like to ask a question the last picture where the clock is I LOVE YOUR curtains can you tell me where you got them. Thanks, getting ready for more snow here in NYC I guess its time to get more Kleenix just say’n ENOUGH ALREADY love Jack’s picture

  6. Although I buy in bulk from Costco often, I spend a lot of time picking out the big package and then sorting the boxes when I get home. The blenders with my décor go in front and the others go in back to be used under covers or in areas where they won’t interfere – although in a desperate pinch, any box will do. Fun post. And I love your lace curtains too – very inviting – and I’ll take the table below it now, if you please.

  7. I have been enjoying the new designs very much as well. In fact, I am looking at a box of Kleenex right now. Hope that you are all remaining vertical now.

  8. I have a quick question for you along these lines. I have pulled out all of my pretty serving dishes and put them on my shelves, which solves a storage problem in my kitchen and serves as beautiful decor. However, when we have guests over and I have to actually use my dishes… My shelves are full of empty homes. I’m trying to eliminate extra belongings so I don’t have a bumh of stuff hiding elsewhere to throw on my shelves to fill in when my dishes are in use. Any thoughts? Thx!

    • Oops! Typing on my phone… Sorry about the typos! (Empty holes; bunch of stuff)

    • Great question, Molly! When I need to use my dishes or serving items on my open shelves, I usually just do a bit of shuffling and rearranging. Because I really do try to make everyday things more beautiful, I can pull out mixing bowls, some cereal bowls, coffee mugs, a vase or cookbooks and book ends to fill in the gaps! I also might take one extra plate and put it on a stand or put a cookbook upright to fill up empty space.

      I’ve figured out over time there is not only one way to style my shelves so am always rearranging and mixing things up anyway since I do actually use many of the items on a regular basis. Like you, I try to not have a lot of excess stuff hiding elsewhere but rather just use what I have! At the end of this post linked here you will see a collage of a few ways I’ve styled my shelves and links to the posts.

      Hope that helps :-)
      Melissa recently posted..{Romance Week} Cozy Reading CornerMy Profile

  9. Glad you are better! I know all about the crud. My husband brought it home from his latest business trip and it has slowly gone through the house. I still have the cough and just can’t get rid of it. When the crud was going through the house I bought the ‘other’ tissue that advertises itself as soft and strong. NOT. I think they changed their formula or something because it wasn’t soft nor strong and my husband ended up using 5 or 6 tissue at one time. NOT cost effective. I bought Kleenex ‘cool touch’…. and I’m telling you – soft and strong and great. You only need 1 tiisue. So I won’t be buying any other kind from now on, I just wish they made it in a larger box. I’m done with my user endorsement! :-)

  10. I LOVE that key hook and have been looking for one exactly like that for months, do you mind sharing where you found it?
    Thanks!! LH

  11. I was just at the store last week stocking up on Kleenex and even though I wasn’t feeling well with the sniffles, it was so nice to actually enjoy picking out a pretty kleenex box that I wanted to take home. :)
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  12. Glad you are feeling better….the flu has hit some of my grandchildren….and I feel like a walking tissue box. =)
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  13. Thank you so much for your wonderful blog. Just wondering if you would share where you found the metal “bamboo” and glass table that is behind your chair and beside the fireplace. I have been searching for something just like that for ages.

  14. I couldn’t agree with you more! If you have to have those things why not make them cute! Here’s a funny story, I bought the gold honeycomb lamp that you have in the first picture, and was actually going to take it back, because I just couldn’t find the right spot for it. But, now that I see yours & how you have it displayed, I love it!! Thanks for the idea!! Kathy
    Kathy recently posted..Light The Way To A Beautiful RoomMy Profile

  15. Laure Gill says:

    Please tell Kleenex i wish they’d make boxes that look like burlap and linen. I love kleenex and with three kids we always have boxes of tissue available…..but I wish the boxes werent trying to add a pattern…but rather they would sit quietly and coordinate with my home. thanks!

  16. Melissa, so glad that you are feeling better! and glad I’m not the only one who spends 10 minutes hunting and sorting through the tissue boxes at the store to find the cutest patterns :-)
    Cynthia recently posted..the great board & batten wall part 2 – tutorialMy Profile

  17. Kathy Stern says:

    I hate the clutter on the table between hubby and I’s chairs. I buy pretty boxes and jars for him to put stuff in but he never puts them back in there. I’m always looking at his newly opened mail, remote controls and medicine bottles! Arggghhh! Outside of trading him in, got any suggestions?

  18. Help! Ditto what Kathy said about Hubby and his clutter! I have 4 kids that do the same thing! I want things to look nice but feel secumbed to the “can’t have anyone over syndrome” every day! I can’t keep up after them all. How do you get them all on board? We may be putting our home on the market soon and I’m totally overwelmed! …..And I just love your new table! I love anything beachy.