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.**

Create an Inspiration Board {Make Time & Space for You}

Creative Inspiration Board - The Inspired Room

Do you set aside time and space for YOU? Do you have even a small corner of your home set aside for your passions or hobbies, a place that inspires you to do what you love?

While this blog is a part of my business, really the home is one of my passions. THIS space, this blog, is where I share the things that I enjoy.

So while many bloggers need to treat their blog as their job, I would have to say that for myself, what I do is more of a passion than a job. It’s actually kind of hard to know where the passion ends and the job starts, except during tax season. :) Then it’s clear. Ha.

A home is like my playground, it’s a fun place to express my creativity and nurture myself and my family.  Even though my passion and purpose and job all intersect, I still find it important to remember that this is what I love apart from what I do for a business. My daughter Courtney and I laugh sometimes because when I try to take a night off for me, the next thing I know I’m refreshing a mantel or something because that’s truly what I would do for me, whether it was my job or not.

Finding time and space for you and what you love is important. It matters! I know for myself, while I do enjoy writing books and blog posts, writing isn’t my first love. Creating a home is my passion. I told my book editor the other day that I just needed to get away from my computer and DO the things I was writing about. I had to write from a place of authenticity and passion or I felt disjointed and exhausted. So, to recharge my energy and fill up my ME JAR, I shut down my computer and headed out of my office to do some puttering around the house! That’s where I shine and find joy!

Blue and white vase - pretty coral tulips - The Inspired Room

Sometimes you just need a little inspiration to remember who you are and what you love! It’s easy to forget YOU in the hustle and bustle of life. I recently inspiration boards right above my desk to remind myself of things I love to do. That is my happy place. Yes, it’s in my office. Yes, I have to work there. Yes, I work really hard. But the honest truth is, I feel like I have more time for myself than ever before because now I am purposeful about setting aside the time and space to BE ME. My work is woven around what I’m passionate about and best of all, I get to share it with others in this community. Does it get any better than that?

Of course, just like everyone else, there times when I lose sight of things I love. It’s not all about the house for me, in fact, if I spend too much time thinking about my house or working on my house, I lose perspective on what really matters! Taking time for ourselves away from the house, the family, the responsibilities is important too. I sometimes forget to make time to get away from work or escape the day to day schedule. Making time to be a balanced person and just enjoy life and connect with others is so important too.

The Fringe Hours - Making Time for You by Jessica Turner

I’ve been reading a great new book written my friend Jessica Turner called The Fringe Hours, Making Time for You. If like many of us, you get to the end of the day and realize you haven’t done anything for yourself, this book will empower you to take back time in your day for you! It has some great insights and tips to inspire you!

If you struggle to find time and space for you, here’s a fun little project Jessica recommends in the book to help you reconnect with YOU. Make an inspiration board! No, don’t get on Pinterest. That’s fun, but we’re talking about the real deal. An inspiration board in the real world will remind you to take time to BE YOU. If you have an unused board you can use, pull it out. Or make a board. Or go find a new one. Or find a blank space on a wall that you could use as an inspiration board.

After you are done reading this post :), shut down the computer, turn off your phone, put some music on that you love. See if someone else can watch the kids (if you have them) so you have an hour or two of focused time. Now look around your house for things that you can use for your inspiration board. What do you love? What makes your heart sing? What brings you joy? Cut things out of a magazine. Look through drawers for mementos or treasures that might inspire you. Look through cards that people have given you. Gather pretty scrapbook paper that inspires you. Draw something. Paint a little scene. Find fabric swatches or yarn or ribbon. Look through old photos and awards.

Now pin up things to your board that inspire you to BE YOU. Be creative.

Step back and look at your board. Do you see YOU? You are precious. You are wonderful. You are unique and special. You need to make time for that girl to be who she was created to be.

The photo at the top is just a little peek at my in-process inspiration board! :)

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