Beauty Begins The Moment You Decide To Be Yourself

The Inspired Room Family Room - Fireplace

If you ask any interior designer or design enthusiast for ideas about how to decorate a home, you’ll likely find enough opinions to make your head spin. Some ideas you might like, some you won’t, some will leave you scratching your head. Everyone has their own style and way of approaching design, but not everyone will understand your preferences and how you want to live in your home. You have to seek out ideas that resonate with you and apply them in your own way.

As you might know, I see design as a process of discovering what you love and embracing what inspires you in whatever season you are in. Since I’ve studied design principles and my own home preferences for decades I feel like I have a good sense of the look I like and I know what has worked for me. But I’m still always evolving in being ME and learning how to embrace my own style.

Beauty Begins the Moment You Decide To Be Yourself - Coco Chanel - Hand Drawn Quote by The Inspired Room

There isn’t only one way to decorate a home. Even if you don’t feel like you have a strong opinion on design yet (or decorating just isn’t your thing) you still might have a sense of what you like when you see it. You know what will feel comfortable to you, you are drawn to colors and textures that appeal to you, and your heart might even perk up when you see a pattern or a style that inspires you. Your home should be personal and reflect the people who live there, so what you surround yourself with really matters!

I wasn’t sure if I should feel sad, or just laugh at the irony of her words but a recent Amazon reviewer of my coffee table book The Inspired Room shared that she didn’t like my color palette, didn’t like how we arranged our chairs in the kitchen, and basically said I decorated my house all wrong, in her opinion. She concluded her lengthy commentary by implying that bloggers shouldn’t share their homes or decorating ideas because that is like the blind leading the blind. 

Sadly, I think she misunderstood the point of the book (and blogging for that matter) and missed the whole philosophy behind it. 

The Inspired Room - Gathering Room

I don’t believe that the only acceptable way to decorate is to do it my way. Certainly not! I am willing to open my home not because it is a perfectly designed space (it isn’t!), but so I can share attainable ideas that have worked for me in my home. My hope is that you’ll feel inspired to embrace what YOU love and feel more confident and excited about using what you have.

I think when you are encouraged to be true to who you are, you’ll start to love where you live, too.

“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” Coco Chanel

I’m well aware my imperfect home or decorating advice will never grace the cover of Architectural Digest. Amen and bless. I’m more than OK with that, though, because somehow in spite of my limitations and its imperfections, it still nurtures our family and is a place we love to come home to. And isn’t that what really matters? After nine years of sharing the significance of embracing authenticity at home, I am convinced we still need this message. Maybe now more than ever!

How do you try to embrace authenticity in your style?

**You can find The Inspired Room book here. Thank you to those of you who resonate with this message and have always encouraged me to keep on sharing it! You are my people. If you are new here, welcome! You can sign up to stay in the loop of blog posts via email, here.**

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  1. Yes a lot of people don’t get the concept of sharing our homes, what works for us might not work for others, and why we love blogging about our homes! The reviewer definitely missed the concept of your book and the message you give to others about loving their homes, loving and embracing who they are and what they love. You and I have completely different styles in the way we decorate, but I keep coming back because I love your inspiration, your ideas, your voice (blogging voice). I can appreciate your design choices for your home and your family and input them in my own style if it’s an organization/decor idea that I think might work for us too. For example, Melissa has a small island in her kitchen to house baking supplies, I think this might work for us too but I want in to have drawers instead of open shelves and paint it olive green with brass hardware. Or she has a blue entryway table with a lamp and a picture on the wall, this might work for us but a smaller size console table, with a pineapple lamp and a bamboo mirror…etc… You tell me to love my home even when it’s not my dream home, and guess what, I love my home even if the bathroom has brown tile and a beige bathtub that I would love to take down with a sledge hammer. Our budget might not allow us to do that right now but maybe I can buy a beautiful shower curtain that I love or sew one and add some pretty accessories that can detract me from the brown tile. I have learned that my house doesn’t have to be my dream house for me to love it, thanks to your inspiring words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing your home with us who appreciate it and your words, your words, those that are written in your blog and in your New York times best selling author book!
    Carmen Gomez (Lilly) recently posted..Plans For The Dining RoomMy Profile

  2. Phyllis Krieg says:

    I love your palette and your ideas, Melissa. Both of your books are deeply inspiring to me as I look forward to remarrying this year and downsizing into a smaller home looking toward retirement. When I first opened Inspired Home I knew I had found the serenity and motivation for my future space.

  3. I have your book and love it! I read the review you referred to and have to say I agree with one of her points: your dogs are really cute! :)

  4. Oh, snap, Melissa! It sounds like that Amazon review was harsh and I completely agree with you that she/he obviously doesn’t understand the intent of your blog or lovely books! I mean this sincerely when I tell you that YOUR blog and both of your books have not only inspired me to not only to live authentically, but to really think about how I want my home to FEEL and to FUNCTION & be BEAUTIFUL. My home needn’t be impressive aesthetically to anyone but me or my family, but if those who are invited into my home can feel the love I have for my home and the welcoming spirit it hopefully provides to those who enter it, then I am happy. I’ve been a lover of home all my life and I have spent countless hours reading, studying and collecting design and decorating books and magazines,but I’ll tell you what, sweet Melissa, it wasn’t until I came upon your blog and began to,read about your life, your homes and viewed all that you shared about your own homes and design journeys have I ever felt that I’ve found a true kindred spirit! You obviously are doing something right because you are resonating with many of us out there! Thanks for being who you are and for sharing your God given talent with all of us. Continue to be blessed ~.

  5. I think that many of us have gotten to the point in our lives where we have no need for negative energy in our lives. I would say to read all the positive book reviews and don’t even read the negative ones. What are you gaining by reading them? Nothing. Any truly constructive criticism would have already come from your publisher, and they believed in you and your vision enough to fund not just 1 book, but 5 BOOKS from you. Talk about a vote of confidence!! I say leave the haters behind and don’t indulge in their opinions, surround yourself with the people and things you love, and positive experiences will continue to come your way. I appreciate your blog, your voice, your way of helping us look at our homes differently, and WE are your audience, not the haters. Trust me, WE get it. :) Keep on doing what you do best !

  6. I had to laugh out loud at that review! Style is personal to each and every one of us. I am continually amazed at the license people take “on line” in expressing their opinions and the tone in which they say them. I think that we as women LOVE seeing what others have done in decorating their homes–it inspires us and gives us ideas–hence the name of your blog ☺. That is why we buy tickets to cottage walks, home tours, garden tours, and pay to visit historical homes. Keep up the good work and continue to shine in the gifts God has given you.
    Lynn Marie recently posted..REVISITING CHALK PAINTMy Profile

  7. Hi Melissa,
    Well, I have both of your books. They’ve been so inspiring to me and have really helped me to love the home I have! We owned our home for 15 years ( I think I shared this before) and lost it when my husbands job changed. We rent now, a much smaller home, but your books have really helped me to love where I am!
    So for someone to say those things, they really don’t get your purpose…so thank you for inspiring me!
    Susan Totten

  8. Debbie Fitch says:

    Hi Melissa!
    I just want to say that I absolutely LOVE your home design. You are very real and down to earth and you help us regular folks understand that it’s okay to have an imperfect home. I love your color scheme and the cozy, comfy feel that emanates from your home even through photos! Please know that you are fulfilling a real need in the blogosphere! Thank you for sharing your home and yourself with the rest of us.
    Hugs to you!

  9. Robbie Zeller says:

    Thank you for spurring me on in so very many areas of life! My home looks and operates so much better because of your example and wisdom.

  10. Hi Melissa!

    I can’t even begin to count the reasons why I have bought both your books and keep coming back to your blog many times a week. I really appreciate what you do and how you do it, and I want to learn from you. I am so grateful.

    “Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds.” Albert Einstein

    • Well said and ditto.

      Your first book inspired me to press on with the renovation and rejuvenation of my tiny (900 sf) home – the first home I purchased on my own…..20 years following a devastating divorce. My home will also never be perfect, but it is slowly becoming a comfortable nest for me and an inviting place for me to welcome friends.
      Thanks for your books and your blog – oh, and also thanks for introducing me to Grove!

  11. Melissa,
    Thank you always for being the positive/happy “encourager” for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don’t have. There will always be those so don’t get us….I’m thankful you do what you do.
    Happy Day!
    teresa recently posted..Almond Blossoms-My Profile

  12. Melissa,
    As an interior decorator, I share your same philosophy. My goal is to help my client create a home where they….and their family…can come to be loved, refreshed and encouraged. I love the way you are encouraging people to do just that! I am proud of you!….and love the way God is using you! You are an encourager!

  13. Melissa, since I discovered your blog a few years ago I have been more inspired than I ever have been about decorating. After looking at designer rooms for ages and just shaking my head at the costs….I did nothing …thinking any decorating beauty would be way out of my budget. Thank you for showing us ‘real folk’ possibilities. I find your rooms so much more interesting and welcoming than many of the ‘perfectly designed rooms’ online. Keep up the good work!

  14. Erin Prohaska says:

    I say, ‘Shake it off!’ :) You’re talented and have a wonderful eye…and most of all you’re kind to help others by sharing your knowledge. I loosely ‘plagiarized’ your last homes kitchen in my last home and sold it for over asking price. No one is ever great at not feeling the sting of others negative words…I felt a protective sting for you but I truly hope this doesn’t make you falter. Your blog is gold and I don’t know you but I’m guessing your heart is too. So please…Shake it off! Hugs!

  15. I’ve been a reader of your blog for some time now, but I’ve never commented before. I just wanted to add to the overwhelming response of gratitude for sharing your home and philosophy and helping to inspire so many. I actually love your design style, so I am definitely biased ;) but there are certainly many aspects of it that would never work for me or my space. But I am just so moved by your “love the home you have” motto, and while I don’t always feel this way – particularly now in an apartment I greatly dislike and will be moving out of later this year – I hope to be able to follow that philosophy more in the future. It’s a process for me, negative person I can often be, but you always inspire me to do better. Please, keep it coming and coming and coming! (Also as a daughter of a contractor and interior designer, I am IN HEAVEN reading all your recent posts about all the work being planned for your house. All the details – love it!)

  16. There are miserable people out there. Jealous and in my opinion, have too much time on their hands (to write such a negative review of such a beautiful book). At the end of the day, you are so right: Our home still nurtures our family and is a place we love to come home to. No matter what our home looks like, we are so blessed. Thank you, Melissa, for being authentic and sharing your amazing tips and ideas with us!
    Sandy recently posted..Orange Beet Fennel SaladMy Profile

  17. Denise Thadathil says:


  18. Sue Davies says:


    I have been reading your blog for several years now ever since I first discovered it. It’s one of the few that I do read on a regular basis. I love your ideas for loving the home you have and I’ve learned a lot from you. Unfortunately you can’t make everyone happy and I’m sorry she was such a downer for you. You must know you wouldn’t have so many followers, be featured in magazines, on other websites and the author of several books unless you were doing something right! Just keep doing what you’ve been doing and sharing it with us because we love it! Although I was kind of sad to see you leave the beautiful home you created, it is also fun to follow along with you on this new adventure of creating another beautiful home. I’m old enough to know what I like in design and I’m less concerned what others think of my home as long as it makes us happy and comfortable. My design style has changed very much since I was first married over 47 years ago and I love that. I feel your home should evolve with you and your phases of life. Keep up the good work.
    Sue in FL.

  19. I have so enjoyed your blog! Keep encouraging us all to find what fits for our family-I made each room work for our family of 8. The boys got the master because they needed the room more than the 2 of us. We switched it all back to sell the house, I am working on our new home and love the “ah, ha” moments when we think of a new solution to make our home work best for us. My parents moved off the farm and their new apartment has turned into a gallery of farm and family photos, photos of all of Mom’s quilt projects and paintings. Now it is theirs and not ours-another transition and they embraced it, it is so personal-like we are able to see their lives’ works :)

  20. Cindy Franck says:

    Your blog is appropriately named , “The Inspired Room”. You not only share your personal inspirations that shape your home’s design, but you inspire your readers to engage in your process, and to think about our own environments. I love your receptiveness to our excitement about giving our ideas for your new home. Whether they are used or not, you give opportunities to others to think and use creative energy. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Let’s celebrate the fellowship of those who inspire one another.

  21. Melinda Young says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Melissa and being yourself!
    Your blog, along with your books has really helped me look at my style.
    I love many things you’ve done to your homes. They inspire me! Since I’ve found you I’ve created a more peaceful home. It’s more clean and organized too, however most importantly it’s now filled with what we use and love. That is what is most important! Thanks for doing what you do!!!

  22. I appreciate your blog and I have gotten so many great ideas from it and from your book “Love the Home You Have”. I like your sense of style and your color choices. Thanks for your honesty and for being an encourager! Keep doing what you’re doing.

  23. I find there is always someone willing to misconstrue the most well-intentioned or heartfelt message. I find your blog to be an ongoing conversation with a friend about a topic that is close to my heart. Creating a beautiful well lived-in welcoming home. Be it by how people enjoy the pictures on my wall or the conversation around the table. Please keep up the conversation going.

  24. Love your style, Melissa, and your philosophy on life and decorating. I read some of the reviews on Amazon when I’m deciding on a book or other item Some are thoughtful and helpful. Others are rather angry making me wonder about the reviewer. Keep up your great blog!

  25. Judy Bomar says:

    Thank you for being you! The reason I have purchased your books (given many as gifts too) and follow your blog is because of the way you inspire us about our homes. You motivate us to have the confidence to make changes and try new things. Keep up the good work!

  26. Melinda Labombard says:

    I enjoy your style and you have definately inspired me to embrace my own;no matter what others may say there alot of people out in the world who would try and discourage others from following their dreams I would like to say Thanks for sharing yours with the rest of us:)

  27. Pam Belanger says:

    Oh, my. :-(

    How naive am I to not realize that even someone whose blog is as incontroversial as yours would be subject to “haters”. I can’t even imagine how sad ones life must be to want to trash someone else’s efforts at both beauty and kindness …. In order to feel better themselves.

    Haters gotta hate, Melissa.

    You, however, offer is nothing but suggestions and posts that are filled with grace.
    Thank you for a blog I look forward to sharing- and ignore the negative.
    In fact? Shame on them! Best, Pam

  28. Cindy in Oklahoma says:

    I think every home should reflect the people who live in it, so I’m completely on board with your philosophy, Melissa. Nate Berkus is also all about filling your home with the things you love. I’ve seldom come across a blogger or designer yet who has not inspired me in some way, even the ones whose “style” is not even close to mine… a person who purchases or gathers things to impress the world is rarely satisfied… but a person who purchases or gather things which mean something, either by holding a memory or just flat out feels good to sit on or look at will love coming home and sharing their home with others…..

  29. Love your point, “embrace authenticity”. In the world of pinterest, instagram and just social media as a whole, we are losing authenticity.

    “There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self expression..” –Iris Apfel, renowned designer.

    Thank you for your allowing us to “peek” inside your home and affirming the rest of us!

  30. Hi. I don’t usually comment, but this comment made me feel like it was time to share my opinion. Honestly, I don’t share a lot of your specific tastes. My tastes are just different. I do, however, read your blog daily. I don’t read blogs to see the same exact things that I am inclined to do. The same goes for all of the other blogs I read. What I like is that your designs are different than my own. Even if I would never use all of the same elements as you, I always appreciate the way it all comes together. The differences in your approach are what I would consider inspiring, and that’s why I come back daily. If I only surrounded myself with designs just like mine, or people for that matter, everything would no longer feel special and would become boring quickly. To sum it up, thank you for being different than me.

  31. Hi Melissa,
    It’s sad that the reviewer couldn’t find the beauty in your tips and ideas because she was so distracted by the particulars. I love your books and blog, but we certainly don’t have the same taste. Even though I probably won’t make the exact same choices as you, I always find myself thinking of new and creative things to do in my home after reading a blog post or a chapter. Keep it up, we love to hear from you!

  32. Your question, “how to embrace authenticity?” resonates. When decorating, be true to your yourself – there will always be others who ‘don’t get it’. We used to live on a hobby farm and now live in a subdivision with a yard the size of a parking stall, and when I look at all the houses and rows of back yard fences, I grieve a little, every day.
    So I am trying to live by “bloom where you’re planted.” I could turn my home into a farm shrine with ceramic chickens and sheep and rough-edge wood all over, but that just wouldn’t suit the house. I have a pale green and white living room and found the most wonderful, colourful picture of a cow which I put over the mantlepiece. I love it. It makes me happy. I’m sure some people think it looks misplaced, but I don’t decorate for guests. I agree with everyone who has posted on this subject: It’s an inspired room and an inspired life, after all.

  33. What I love about your home and the many other bloggers who are generous enough to share their stories is that your homes do not look”decorated”. Your home is beautiful,cozy,and it works for your family. Keep inspiring us with your beautiful ,but “lived-in” home.

  34. I just bought your book because you do inspire me !! Please keep doing what you are doing loving every minute of it. Let’s face it we all need inspiration …..

  35. Sharan Cook says:

    I love your books and your blog. Your style is similar to mine, but you always say “make it yours”. I love to express myself through decoraing, and you always have so many great ideas. Thank you for sharing your home and ideas with us. Keep doing this!!!!

  36. Karen on Bainbridge Island says:

    Oh Melissa you should definitely laugh at the reviewer who missed the point of your book or any other decorating book for that matter. No decorating book should be a how-to! How hilarious.

    Certainly, if a picture of a room or a whole house looks perfect you should feel free to copy it, but a book on home decor should excite and inspire the reader to act on their own behalf to create the home they want. And that’s what your book does.

    Now, about that kitchen chair arrangement……..

  37. Love your style and especially love the encouragement you give to enjoy the homes we have! And to make it our own! I look forward to your emails every time! God bless!

  38. I’m a relatively new reader (a few months) and personally think it takes courage to show one’s home through the process of renovation and decoration, knowing that these choices are personal. Like some other commenters, my palette is different to yours, but I am learning so much about the process of decision making around renovation; each time I see your next idea, I am amazed that it seems a more perfect fit than the last idea, and it is helping me to see the wonderful possibilities for my (or any) home. This is a generous gift. While understandable, because of time constraints, too often, designers offer one ‘complete’ idea, whereas you are teaching us the patience necessary to let the ideas that will make our homes work better for us, evolve over time.
    On a sideways note, given that this all began with an unkind comment, have you read the book, “Love Kindness: Discover the Power of a Forgotten Christian Virtue” by Barry Corey?

  39. Hi Melissa, I love this post and Coco’s saying-and I’m very sorry someone left you such a rude comment. I’ve been a blogger for many years and follow many blogs devoted to decorating their homes and while some may not be my style, I always come away appreciating what they’ve done. You are blessed with a sense of design and writing-which is why I follow you(plus my daughter and her family are getting a Standard Poodle puppy next week, so your dogs drew me too). I love seeing your nest and how you’ve made it so welcoming. I don’t have either of your books yet, but hope too. Your blog is so welcoming and inspiring and I thank you for that. Hugs, Noreen

  40. No matter how clear we try to be, it seems there’s always someone who misunderstands. Grace to her, and kudos to you; you have the right attitude, Melissa. Your house is beautiful, and your blog is top-notch! Keep Authentic and Carry On!

  41. Oh, man. I admire your style, but it isn’t mine, either. (Gosh, what a boring place this world would be if we were all the same.) My own home looks very, very different from yours — different style, much different color palette, etc, but you do such a good job presenting a theoretical framework for design decisions, one that is not married to one’s actual personal tastes. I find this very helpful in my own decision making. Keep up the good work, and ignore the haters.

  42. Please do not listen to one bad review when the overwhelming majority absolutely love and respect you – and your designing! I have read both of your books cover to cover, word for word, and I constantly pull them out for inspiration! I have a feeling whoever wrote that review may be a bit jealous of your amazing success and many followers who love you! Please do not change a thing!

  43. Oh goodness, your style isn’t mine either, but I appreciate the ideas behind your decorating…go with what you love, incorporate what you love, etc…. anyway, where did you find the glass cabinet in your living room??? :)

  44. “Love The Home You Have” has changed my entire outlook on my home and how I approach decorating. Yes, I still dream of my little cottage by a pond but I know I can be happy where I am planted at the moment.

    You can’t please everyone. Keep in Blogging! I love reading about your home.

  45. Hi Melissa,

    So many others expressed my thoughts and feelings about you, your blog and the negative reviewer! That being said, rejoice in that person’s reaction. Her response means that you touched her, for negativity is often the first phase of personal change! You obviously are doing something powerful. Sending all blessings to you in your life and your work!

  46. I’ll admit, my blood boiled a bit at that review. What an awful outlook on one of the most wonderful things to come out of the past few decades in home decorating– blogs! And bloggers like you! I love interior design, but what made a beautiful home feel attainable to me was the impact bloggers had on my life! Bloggers are regular people like me just trying to make their house pretty on a budget. I love that. I love the impact you and so many others are having on home decorators around the globe. You are making a difference– not just lovely designs. Thanks for sharing. :)
    Rachel recently posted..The Beauty In Every DayMy Profile

  47. Oh my goodness. I’m sorry someone responded that way-I’m sure they must have been having a frustrating day learning to love their home. I admit some days I look at bloggers homes and feel any mixture of emotions-jealousy, amazement, and even sometimes I wonder what they were thinking! but I love love looking at other people’s ideas-it always gives me something to take home with me! Your style is lovely-don’t change a thing!

  48. My dear sweet friend, I feel so badly that you had to read such harsh words. But, I think I feel ever worse for the person that wrote those words. She is missing the joy and happiness you derive from freely expressing yourself through your decor and sharing it with your reader. Thank you for being faithful to continue to share and inspire through the pretty and not-so-pretty times and for being authentic in the doing. I love your style. I loved your previously transformed home and I’m pretty sure that I’m going to be awed and inspired by your current home’s transformation. Keep pressing on. You are loved. And you are amazing at helping us believe that we, too, can create a home that’s just right for our families. And…. don’t be surprised if AD sends you an email someday…. you never know!!! {{hugs}}
    Diane recently posted..Make an Eggstra Special Easter Mason Jar They will LoveMy Profile

  49. Mary Crozier says:

    I completely agree with you! I once had an interior designer come to my home and quickly dismiss all the pieces I love and cherish-stating “they all must go!” –I had a few choice words for her in my head but politely led her out the front door. Everyone can gather inspiration from others if your heart is willing and open
    Please know that you have helped many. Recently my father died in my home and I so struggled with my house after that. I purchased your book, Love the House you Have, and you, my friend, made me see through the grief and love my home again. So there will always be people in the world that are cruel and jealous. I guess we just have to pray for them.

  50. You know I agree with you. I love that your home is YOU and not a copy of so many others. I love the freedom to make my home for MY family and myself. I love being inspired by many designers and bloggers regardless if their style is mine or not!
    Deanna Rabe recently posted..Thoughts Of Home: Rearranging FurnitureMy Profile

  51. What???!!! That’s crazy talk!
    You have many things in your home that I don’t have in mine. But I still love what you do! And what I appreciate most about you is your honesty and grace and ability to make me see things differently and appreciate them. And even learn to like them! I don’t want to become you, I want to be inspired by you! And that, my friend, has most definitely been the case for all of us! You inspire us and we have all learned much from you! Keep it up!
    Ann recently posted..A Cave, A Campfire, and a Watering HoleMy Profile

  52. This is all so true.

    I remember a few years ago my sister redid her master bedroom in black and white. It was stunning. I liked the polished look so much that I used some of her ideas. Result: I hated it in our master bedroom. It was not our personality and it didn’t fit us.

    I learned from that experience that I need to be me when I make our home cozy. Others may not love it, but as long as it makes our house our home then I need to trust what I like.

    I can still appreciate the beauty in other people’s choices and gather lots of good ideas. But there is only one place that our family shares….and that is our home.

  53. Amen!!! Although I am in the business of decorating client’s homes, I really feel my purpose is helping those clients decorate their own homes so that the result is an authentic representation of them and their family. When I took the leap to starting my own business I couldn’t imagine doing it another way and felt like there was a market for what I was offering. Well, five years later, I am happy to say that LOTS of people need a little help in finding their authenticity! I am living my dream!

  54. I (for one) think you are decorating from the heart! Don’t concern yourself with other people’s opinion because they don’t live with you! I find your “style” as comfortable and inviting in a traditional way. If I were invited to your home, I would feel welcomed and not be afraid to “touch” something. Home is where we live and can be ourselves. Don’t stop sharing and ignore the critics.
    I’m excited to see how you transform your new home. Thanks for letting me take the ride with you and your family.

  55. Totally agree with you The amazon reviewer did totally miss the mark. I love it that you are willing to open your home to us bloggers and share your ideas. It’s informative and also assuring. Sometimes us bloggers that are into decorating need inspiration and reassurance. We provide that for each other and are constantly relearning things we forgot and embracing the new. Thanks for sharing your insights and progress and keep the information flowing.
    Joanne Taggart recently posted..The Love Your Home ChallengeMy Profile

  56. I’m a reader of your blog and also follow you on Instagram. I like your style which is totally your own and it’s OK with it.
    I’m developing my own style: I love colors but, at the same time, I’m fascinated by the white and/or neutral palettes that I find on the Internet. I’m now making over (again) my kitchen/living room area. I’m short on cash and plus I live in a rental. Luckily enough, my landlord allow me to paint walls and make little changes as I wish.
    Well, I think I’m missing the point of what I wanted to say about home decor. I use to say: “there are three ways of making things: the good way, the bad way and my way” (which is usually something in between the other two) :-)
    This means that things have to fit my needs and my style, even if it doesn’t comply with the general rules of home-decor.
    I hope I made myself clear. I’m Italian, so my English might not be as fluent as I’d like to. I apologize for possible mistakes.

  57. I live in Scotland and love reading your blogs and looking at the photographs of your lovely home.
    I think your home is beautiful and is so warm and inviting,not a showhouse. I have copied many of your ideas in my own home.
    Dare I suggest the person who posted such negative opinions of your home might be a little jealous.!

  58. Michelle, I love that you share your home just as it is – you share a home that I could easily live in! We are in the process of building a new home (we’ve never done this!) and I’ve found myself getting caught up in trying to choose things that are “right”. This post was exactly what I needed to trust my own instincts and what is “right” is what makes OUR house feel like home. I’m SO happy I found your blog and I look forward to your messages in my inbox!!

  59. Rebecca Turner says:

    One off-key voice blaring above the chorus of appreciation…and still it must smart a little. She sounds like a snob. You need not defend yourself. Your fans, your book deals, and magazine features, all show that your style is relevant…but even without those things, your style is relevant to YOU! And your family. Home is personal. Thank you for sharing yours with us! As for me, I love your color palette! But what I love most about your home, are the little details that reflect the amount of thought you’ve carefully given everything. Blessings to you!

  60. Linda Grubbs says:

    Melissa….I love that you share your home with us, I love following your blog. You bring a lot of joy to so many. Keep shining your light!! xoxo

  61. I have been following your blog for years and this is my first comment. I had to write because I wanted to say that I absolutely lover your decorating style, colors, arrangements. I feel the opposite of that reviewer, but I guess we all have our preferences. To say that you should not blog about decorating, is absurd. So there should be no decorating blogs? She sounds jealous to me. You have given me so many amazing ideas. I feel like I have grown in my decorating style because of you. Thank you for sharing all that you do.

  62. Anne Nonna-Muss says:

    Though I am a newcomer to your blog, I was aghast at the Amazon blog review. Provides yet another reason to detest the monolithic Amazon mentality. Blind leading the Blind, isn’t that so cliche ? Rather, I would summarize your approach as Find, leading the Find. You encourage us to seek what we love, develop solutions to design problems and curate beauty with function. What more could any homeowner want ?
    Am curious who this woman is and would love to dissect her artistic and home decorating bible. I will continue to visit your blog and incorporate your ideas into mine. Keep up the great job and I do agree with TB: it is blatantly jealousy mixed with job security at work in that Amazon review. Sad that an untrue and scathing attack on great blogs will morph into JOB SECURITY for a corporate shrill.

  63. That reviewer sounds cranky and clueless. I read blogs to see what other people are doing in their homes. There are some things I like and some things I don’t. Both can be inspiring. It would be pointless to read blogs or magazines if all the homes shown were the same! I especially love blogs because they are a glimpse into how real people live with products that are accessible to most. Architectural Digest features houses and apartments that are beautiful, but they are done on budgets that far exceed my own. They are nice to look at at, but I don’t get a sense of comfort and warmth from them.

  64. I have not read your book, however, I think your philosophy towards interior decorating is ahead of it’s time, probably a concept difficult for some to grasp as we are bombarded by magazines telling us what’s “in” what “isn’t”, not to use oil rubbed bronze, (so out) use brass, (so in), white kitchen’s are “out”, wait, “in but only with italian marble”… get my point! Using your own creativity and allowing your space to evolve and disregarding the “trend setters” is progressive!

  65. Love your blog! Our homes are meant to provide a positive safe place for our family and friends, I believe the only way to accomplish this is by having our homes reflect who we are. I love that my friends have their own style. If we always follow someone elses rules we never truly embrace our own uniqueness. Keep on keeping on! You are doing a great thing!

  66. kddomingue says:

    The internet has given us so many wonderful things, among them are bloggers who invite us into their lives, their homes, their crafting spaces, their hearts and thought processes. It takes a lot of courage to put one’s self out there like that. Unfortunately, with all of the wonderful things come some not so lovely things. One of those is the sense of anonymity that some people feel when putting things online. It never ceases to amaze me the kind of comments people will make online that they would never (hopefully) make in person. And then there are just people who are rude, obnoxious and ill-mannered in ALL facets of their lives. They are to be pitied…….and ignored.
    You have a lovely blog which I just recently stumbled upon. I like your attitude toward making a house, a home. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Your home, your taste, your special things? It would be a boring world indeed if everyone liked the same things.
    I get upset with pundits who feel they have a moral imperative to disparage other people’s efforts and endeavors. In a perfect world we would all have all the money we needed to buy, furnish and decorate our homes. We do not live in a perfect world. Most of us are working with limited funds, juggling everyday life, work, family, kids, etc. Few of us have or will ever have the “perfect” home. But the funny thing is, is that one’s idea of perfect seems to change over the years. I know my idea of a perfect home has changed quit a bit over the last 35 years as I’m sure many other people’s have.
    Your blog seems to very well liked because you are an advocate of finding ways to love the home you have. Bravo! The world needs more people like you and, judging from all the comments, the nice, friendly, supportive community of people who follow your blog. The world could stand to have a severely reduced number of people like the unpleasant person who left that rude review.

  67. Cheryl Ann says:

    Melissa you have been a blessing to me and several of my new friends in Nashville, TN. I moved here from Seattle 3 years ago to be closer to family, downsizing from my dream home with a panoramic view of the Cascades. It has been a challenge to come here and make a home. When I saw your blog 2 years ago, it really got me to thinking that this is my home now and I needed to put some effort into it. One of my best southern new friends, had also recently downsized in preparation of retirement. We had bonded over our “smaller homes”. What a silly thing! We talked about our old homes and their custom “this & that” and how we missed those things. Then I read your blog & sent it to her. We are faithful fans and bloom where we are planted! We have much more important things to talk about now. Thank you so much for sharing your philosophy and design ideas…I truly feel at home and so does she. My husband and I are “Inspired” to making this home! Thank you!

  68. Melissa! Your thoughts are spot-on. Thank you! Something that has helped keep my home authentic lately is instagram. Having a collection of pictures of my home in one convenient place has allowed me to see when I’m off track in my authentic style. When I look at my pictures, I can see when I’ve been influenced too much by one trend or someone else’s style. Their homes are not mine! I noticed it just this week and did some quick regrouping. After I shopped the house and moved some things around, I felt like I could breath again. Thanks for encouraging us to love the homes & authentic styles we have!!!

  69. Just so you’ll know — I never read one-star reviews on Amazon, because the ones I read in the past were never constructive. How a person could object to a book that says “Find your own unique style and what works for you” is a mystery to me. Love that Coco Chanel quote.

  70. Hi
    I live in Australia The Gold Coast. Our houses are so different and our lives very different I’m sure, but I love your blog and photos. I see through the blog that you are a Christian in the true sense of the word. Your home is not for show or to make money. It is a way to serve God. God does not believe in us being all the same and it is a great thing to be able to enjoy our lives and serve in the way God wants us to.
    I tried to buy your book in Australia, they told me that it would take forever. I bought it from booktopia so it came to Australia via Britian. the joy of the Internet. Please keep your blog going it reaches me over here and I feel encouraged to love, enjoy and use the house I have.

    Hoe to find your first book soon
    Thanks again and God bless you

  71. Melissa-
    I am thankful I found your blog. I bought your first book earlier this year. Our home is 22 years old and in need of cosmetic upgrades. Everything is a shade of brown with brass fixtures. Sigh. I spent several weeks on the Day 1 challenge of gratitude. It has made a difference in my attitude. I love the idea of intentional spaces. I can do that on my budget! I have been focused on the Day 2 challenge for several weeks now. It is amazing how much stuff we have that is ready to be set free. I look forward to this week’s challenges! I have the perfect drawer to declutter! As for the Amazon reviewer – it is her perspective- accurate or inaccurate. It’s not shared by me and many, many other followers of your blog. May you continue to inspire us with your message. It is a blessing to many!

  72. Melissa, now I *must* go look for that review! Of course, your reaction to it is perfect. The person clearly missed the point on all counts! Your decorating style and mine are completely different, yet I love your book and your blog and find them inspiring.
    Jean recently posted..One-Pan Turkey Quinoa Taco Casserole – or Taco and Burrito FillingMy Profile

  73. Melissa,
    I am glad you have a lovely group of ladies who are offering encouragement and affirmation. That is something everyone should have. However, the need for encouragement and affirmation comes from a single review of your book (which you so regularly self-promote). Positive and constructive feedback is expected when you release a book to the world. But writing a blog post blasting that reviewer? Poor taste. What happens when you receive another negative review? Write another blog post and hope for more words of encouragement, affirmation, butterflies, and rainbows?

    If you want to be surrounded by your ‘kind people’, try to stop blasting those who disagree with you and be ok with criticism, even when you don’t agree with it. Publicly blasting your critics is something Donald Trump does, and heaven knows you don’t want to be like him.

    So good luck on [redacted] Ave, lady.

  74. I love your books and have given them as gifts…every recipient mentions often how much they enjoy them. Thank you for what you do … and I think you have great taste. I love that you share your own home and give ideas for the concept behind the design. God bless you <3

  75. Keep doing what you do!

    I just started reading ‘Love the Home You Have’ and it feels like I’m sitting across the table from you and listening to me share your story and your encouragement. You’ve already helped me begin to love my home again after several years of comparing it and my style to those of friends and blog I follow. It didn’t help when my sweetheart said he didn’t plan for this to be our ‘forever’ home and that we would sell someday and relocate. I got caught up in looking at everything in my home and the projects that needed to be done just in view of ‘resale value’, not what would make us love our home. We recently decided to upgrade our kitchen and enjoy it – and perhaps stay here longer. That happened about the time I got your book and you have been such a big part of me being able to say that I LOVE my home again! Don’t stop what you’re doing. We need you.
    Adrienne recently posted..Another New YearMy Profile

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