A Home that Makes You Happy Long Beyond The Trends

Atlanta Homes

Hello, friends! Sorry I’ve been MIA! I had a couple of projects I was trying to focus on and time got away from me the past couple of days.

This is the time of the year when you’ll likely run across a lot of design articles about what’s in for the new year and what’s out. They are always fun to read and I admit I do enjoy being somewhat in the know about design trends.

But I like to be in the know not because I necessarily want to follow the trends, it is just interesting to me to think about which trends might matter and which trends don’t matter at all. Mostly I think it’s fun to learn how to confidently create a home you love, despite what anyone else thinks.

The inspiration photos in this post are all from the 2016 Home for the Holidays Showhouse in Atlanta. Each room is by a different designer (and you can find these images and more at Atlanta Homes magazine). The reason I added them to this post for inspiration is simply because they are described as an inventive take on classic style. Even if all of the rooms aren’t your cup of tea, I feel the concept of an inventive take on classic style is the way to go if you want a house you’ll love for a long time (whatever “inventive” means to you).

I think the concern many people have when they are decorating or remodeling a home is how they can avoid decisions that will quickly be dated, while still wanting to make a house feel fresh and personal.

There are always lists of colors, patterns and materials that make the “out” list every year. And sometimes just to really confuse the issue you’ll even find many of same items on both the “out” and “in” lists. Ha! I love that.

I’ve even seen the same colors or material appear on the “heading out” list for years (so they never actually go out!). Clearly some of it is just a matter of personal opinion (or a sales trick!).

You know when you hear that a trend or look is “so overdone” or you read that someone is so tired of that look? Does that mean you shouldn’t use it either?

No one lives in your house but you and your family, so….a statement like that isn’t something I would worry about too much. If you are about to spend a fortune or you’ll be totally stressed out about it if you start to hate it next year, too, then you might want to reconsider. Don’t live with stress like that.

But if you are confident you will like it as long as you personally have to keep it, and your house really likes it, and how you are using it makes sense for your home, go ahead and mix that supposedly oh-so-tired and overdone trend with your own style and it’s going to be FINE! As long as you don’t invite the person who is so “over it” to your house everything will be OK. Ha.

Here’s the thing. Every home is different, so there really isn’t one right way to decorate. There are classics you can be inspired by and trends you can add in to make a home feel fresh. It’s all about the mix and how you use each element in your space that will make it feel appropriate or dated.

If everything in your home is “trendy” but none of it suits your house style, it’s going to all feel dated in a year or two.

If much of your style is generally classic but you add a few “trendy” elements in a classy way, your house is still likely going to feel fresh in a few years.

Something can look amazing in one home for years and years while look dated in another home next year.

What might seem very trendy in one style of house might just feel like a fresh take on classic in another.

Traditional materials, patterns, colors and looks cycle in and out of favor, but can still remain classic and lovely in the right home after the “trend setters” move on to highlight the next trend.

So if you happen to love a look that you are told might be trendy right now, but it also suits your budget, style, home and vibe, go for it! You’ll love it and that’s what counts.

Try to design a home you’ll love for years to come. If you are wanting to be safer with your choices, just mix things up a little so a space doesn’t feel like a time capsule or end up dated all at the same time. Invest in quality pieces that are timeless and have fun with the trends in a way that doesn’t cause you to lose sleep at night.

For that reason or budget reasons you might decide to skip an expensive trend or two you actually like. But don’t stay away from all the trends you happen love in order to play it safe. Put your personality into a space. It’s your home, after all.

Colors might feel on trend or off trend on any given year, but it’s usually more about how you use them that makes a home feel fresh or dated. And really, color is personal so you should use colors that inspire you and feel in harmony with your environment.

In small doses, nothing is a major style crisis or worth losing sleep over. 

Choose what YOU love and make your home feel like YOUR dream house, no matter what the 2017 trends may be.

Let’s chat in the comments! Tell me how you envision your own dream house!

PS. Thank you SO much for your kind responses to my health story. I’ve read every one (I still have some emails to get to!) and I so appreciate everyone who has shared their own stories with me.

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” – C. S. Lewis

Related Post:

7 Easy Ways to Personalize Your Home (my article on eBay)

Snow Day & Fairytales

Hello lovely friends. When our family first looked at what would eventually become our house here in Seattle a year ago last fall, we had an unspoken inkling in our hearts that someday it just might be a magical little place to live. It may not have exactly looked like the house in my fairytale dreams at the moment, but that didn’t seem to matter. It definitely had something undefined but special that drew us here.

This fall we had our brick house painted white and while the painters were here, we asked them to give a fresh white coat of paint to the formerly beige backyard shed, too. (You’ll get to see our white brick house and the shed makeover next year, I promise!).

When we saw that adorable shed peeking out of the fresh snow from our kitchen window yesterday morning, it confirmed what I didn’t want to dare to dream or speak out loud when we first laid eyes on this house. It truly is a magical little place to be in every season. I really didn’t expect that this feeling would come, but we are falling more in love with this sweet little home every day.

We are discovering there are so many gifts we can unwrap here in every season. It might seem on the surface like it was the white paint and fresh snow that caught my eye yesterday, but even more the changing season outside our window symbolized to me that we already had everything we needed to live happily ever after here.

This is our home, for better or worse. It’s our home when the snow perfectly blankets the backyard and the reflection of twinkling lights in the window make it all feel so magical. It’s our home in the summer when the moles tear up the grass and make our yard all lumpy and weird looking from their tunnels. It’s our home right now when I wash my hands in a Pepto-Bismal pink sink just as it will be our home in January when I wash dirty dishes in a sparkling new farm sink.

This is our home. We feel a certain peace, like we are right where we are supposed to be in this season in our life. It’s not just a feeling that has come from finally having completed projects like fresh paint on the brick and new countertops in our kitchen, although we do feel so grateful to be on the precipice of being able to cook a proper Christmas dinner in a new oven.

Get the “It Is Well” sign above HERE for 20% off with the code “THEINSPIREDROOM20”

There are still plenty of projects and imperfections to keep us dreaming, busy, broke, saving or patiently waiting for years to come. But it’s those imperfections and less-than-ideals that are my daily reminder to slow down and just be grateful for what we have right now.

A house won’t ever turn into a dream home if it is only through the projects we get to complete or the day we have the perfect setting or season in which to be feel grateful. A house is transformed from the inside out through the gifts we choose to see and open with grateful hearts.

I’ll be honest, it’s easy to be grateful for things you have always dreamed about when you finally have them. It can be flustering when people say they are feeling so #blessed and you see what they have and think, gee, I would feel blessed, too, if I lived in that amazing castle on the hill or whatever they have that you only dream about. It’s OK to be grateful for what you have, even if you are a princess feeling grateful for her castle. I try to remember that so much of what any of us have, however humble or imperfect we might think it is, is likely to be just a dream for someone else.

The real test of our ability to find contentment and gratitude with where we are is can we feel grateful for what we have and content in it, even if it isn’t at all what we dreamed about? I love our little house and I am grateful for what we’ve been able to do so far. But I’m mindful that I need to be just as grateful for its quirks and less-than-perfect qualities, too.

There is a season for everything. A season for the clouds and rain and sun and snow and wind and soft breezes to blow through. A time for transitions and a time for settling in for awhile to find joy with what we’ve already been given. But no matter the season or house we find ourselves in, love should always shine from the inside out. Like the little twinkly lights strung around a home at Christmas time, it’s the love glowing on the inside that creates a truly magical place to live.


  • If you missed it last week, come see our Christmas house tour!
  • Get the “It Is Well” sign pictured in this post here for 20% off with the code “THEINSPIREDROOM20”
  • Shop my house and gift guides here.
  • Find my NYT bestselling book “Love the Home You Have” and more of my books here.
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