How to Decorate {Starting with What You Have}

The Inspired Room blog

One of the things I miss about my old house was how “put together” and finished it felt to us when we lived here. Not in a perfect way at all, just a homey way. We could relax because the house had just the right stuff to make us feel comfortable. We created an ambience we loved to come home to. We felt peaceful when we were there because the elements worked together to make us feel like we really belonged there!

I love creating a home, but I’m not a design snob. My goal is to create a home that reflects and inspires our family, so we always start with what we have and build from there.

The Inspired Room Kitchen Design - new coffee table book

You know how you feel when you are playing those board games where you get pounced on by your opponent and they send you packing back to the starting line? Now that we are here moved into this house, we could kind of feel like we are back at the start again. Square One. And we are back at the start in a way, but yet, not really.

The Inspired Room - Kitchen

The greatest thing about putting our last house together making it feel like home is we aren’t starting from scratch here. No, I don’t know everything this house needs yet. I don’t have the budget to do everything I want. I’ll have to get creative. It will take time to get things rolling in the right direction. The process of creating this home will involve trial and error just like every house does, but there is also a process that is familiar each time. I’ve lived in so many houses and made each one a home, but it wasn’t until my last house that I finally figured some things out.

I’m very excited about how this house will come together, following that same process (I pulled together exactly what the process looks like and what steps to take in my new decorating book! See a one day only 50% off deal, below!).

I know it isn’t always easy to pull together a house. Yes, if you are able to spend the big bucks you can toss everything you have out, furnish it all in one day and even hire a designer to style it all if you wanted to! But where’s the fun in that? Don’t answer that :). But seriously, most of us have to deal with limitations and some challenges because we are starting from what we have.

The Inspired Room house - New coffee table bookMirror: Lulu & Georgia

There are so many elements to weave together and we have to figure out what will make the most impact. We might have too much or too little to work with, and we have to figure out how to work with it. We have to figure out what stays and what goes, and then decide what we should bring in to transform the whole room on our budget.

So what is the first thing I’m working on in this house? Among other things, I will be figuring out what I want it to feel like. I’m fleshing that out so I can not only see it in my head, but I can describe what it feels like so I’ll know what elements I will need to make it happen. I’ll have a post on what I’m picturing, soon.

To me, being able to capture a feeling is the most important step of all! If you don’t have a vision for how it will feel, you’ll focus too much on how it looks and that can get you into all sorts of troubles :).

Dining Room Decorating - Hanging Plates on the Wall - The Inspired Room

I also have a wonderful project you’ll all love that involves a sewer, wouldn’t you know it? Me and old houses have a love affair but they always seem to have chapters that involve rats and sewers that I just can’t escape. So, that part of getting settled … well, it is not so fun. But if I can make anything about that unfortunate situation turn into a prettier project, I will. I’m trying. We are gathering details on what will be involved in taking care of that issue so I can share it shortly. The project list is growing, as all good house makeover stories tend to do. You can’t ever just do one thing, right? One thing always threatens to lead to another…

More details and visions of loveliness for this new house coming right up :).


What house projects are you working on or planning right now? Let’s discuss!


The Inspired Room new coffee table book - 50% off deal on October 15 - at Barnes and Noble online only If you want a house that is comfortable but not cluttered, one that is authentic but affordable, pretty but practical, streamlined and yet stylish, I put together the details and tips you can use immediately right where you are, with what you have! No waiting for the next house, the big budget or the perfect house!

It’s all in a pretty coffee table book that will be hitting the stores in just a couple of weeks! It’s already nicely discounted for pre-order at the online stores. BUT GUESS WHAT? Next week, on Thursday October 15, it will be 50% off the retail price on a one-day sale, online only at Barnes & Noble! That is crazy and won’t happen again so you’ll want to take advantage of that for Christmas gifts, too!

{Inspired By} Grasscloth

Grasscloth Entryway

Good Housekeeping In fall, I really start craving the coziest elements of home decor. And while there's no doubt about it that white walls in a bright sun-drenched space can feel clean and bright in the summer, there's nothing cozy about it without … ** Read more **

Vision for The Laundry Room & Craft Room {My New House!}

Laundry Room and Mudroom by Studio Mcgee :: The Inspired Room Vision for the Laundry and Craft Room in Our New House

What a week! Technology has not been my friend. From the dryer breaking down, leaving us with draping laundry to dry all over the house, to my blog practically combusting before my eyes and the resulting havoc of trying to piece it back together … ** Read more **

5 Art Prints to Welcome Autumn {Lindsay Letters}

We Love You Fall print by Lindsay Letters

We Love You Fall Print Hello! We've been having some technical difficulties with the blog the past couple days. All sorts of randomness has occurred on the site. How wonderful, yes? My apologies for any mayhem you may have witnessed. Isn't that one … ** Read more **

A peek inside my new book: The Inspired Room

The Inspired Room New Book - Sneak Peek

Do you ever just feel a bit perplexed or even overwhelmed about where to begin to pull your home together? I've felt that way, too. Unlike home makeover shows on TV, most of us don't have designers running around styling our tables for us, bringing … ** Read more **


Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

In case you thought my house was perfectly set up already for a before and after photoshoot due to the magic powers of blogs, it isn't. :) But I've been working on getting settled in so I'll share a bit of the behind the scenes for you with my cell … ** Read more **