A Spring Refresh with Birch Lane


I‘m so happy to say that SPRING has actually sprung in Seattle! Our trees are blossoming and bulbs are popping up from the ground. The warmer sunnier days (in between the windy, cold and rainy days, ha) are really inspiring me! Recently Birch Lane invited me to be a part of their Spring Refresh campaign, so I am thrilled to be able to join in along with four other bloggers. I’ll also be doing a take over on Birch Lane Instagram’s feed so please come say hi? I’ll be sharing the four ways we refreshed a corner of our basement for spring!

If you are new to The Inspired Room, we moved into this 1950s house six months ago. It was hard to leave our mostly finished house knowing we’d be starting over here, but we are so thrilled to be in Seattle near our family that we are choosing to look at this as an adventure. You can read the story of our move and see a video tour of our new house here.

Our first improvement in this house wasn’t exactly a blogger’s dream makeover. We had to replace …. (dun, dun, dun) the sewer. Fun project, yes? Read about that here. Subsequently it made sense to replace our cracked driveway and a horrible side courtyard at the same time. But now that those repairs are under way or being completed, we are finally ready to focus our attention INSIDE to make this house our home. And that brings me to today and why I was SO excited by this fun chance to get a new project started!

The Inspired Room Spring Refresh - Birch Lane Nailhead Trim Larson Chair

A few days ago I showed you our empty basement before pictures (in this post). We intend to use this lower level as a family gathering space. Our longer term goals for this space include new flooring, blinds, paint, trim work and new furniture. We sold our big navy velvet sectional with our old house, so we have planned to mostly start over with new seating in this room. So as you can imagine, this opportunity to do a Spring Refresh came at just the right time to give our space a jump start.

Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming knowing where to begin on home improvements, especially if your room is currently in the BEFORE state or you have to furnish an entire room (or basement). If you have a cute room already, a Spring Refresh might be about the finishing seasonal touch with pillows or accessories. But when you are furnishing a room from scratch, you have to start somewhere.

Because we aren’t furnishing our entire room at once (we’ll be adding additional pieces at other times in the near future) we wanted to start our spring refresh with one piece we really love so we can build the room and look the right direction from there.

We absolutely fell in love with this gorgeous blue-green Larson nailhead trim chair from Birch Lane. We chose the fabric called “Bryant Calypso Textured Slub”. We could not be more pleased with the quality, comfort, color, size and shape of this chair and its matching ottoman!

Jack the Goldendoodle - The Inspired Room

Most of the new furniture we hope to add will be upholstered in neutral fabrics, so the pretty color of this chair will be really special. It sets the tone for the overall color scheme and the fresh and fun vibe we envision for this room.


It did my heart good when this chair and ottoman arrived this week because we could finally see first glimmer of what this space will be like, even before we paint our walls. I love dreaming up things in my head, but I especially love seeing them start to take shape. Up until this week the lower level was just a random assortment of stuff so a new chair was a great first step.


Since our plan is to replace the carpet with hard surface flooring, we found a neutral striped rug at Wayfair awhile back that is just placed right over the existing carpet, grounding the space and conversation area, but it will also look great when we get the new floors.

The Inspired Room Spring Refresh - Birch Lane Nailhead Trim Larson Ottoman - Jack the Goldendoodle

Obviously, Jack approves of the ottoman. His feet kill me.

The Inspired Room Spring Refresh - Birch Lane Nailhead Larson Chair

I love the nailhead detail on the chair, it adds an extra bit of style and class which I really like.

The pretty scalloped pillow cover from Birch Lane adds just the right spring vibe. I’m excited to see how different this chair will look throughout the year with other colors of pillows!

The Inspired Room Spring Refresh - Birch Lane Lidded Basket
We have had Birch Lane lidded baskets for awhile now and we LOVE them! I have one in my bedroom for extra pillows and blankets and we will use this one to hide those unsightly remote controls. It also makes a great little side table if you put a tray on it!

Birch Lane Stratford Floor Lamp - The Inspired Room

I kind of have a THING for statement lighting, and this floor lamp? It had me at HELLO.

Here are 4 takeaway tips that we used for a Spring Refresh of our space!

1. Color is one of the best ways to update the look and feel of a room, so leave winter behind and bring a fresh spring hue to your space! A striking color offers personality and a fun point of interest to any room. A solid color on upholstery acts like a neutral, allowing you to still change the mood all year round with seasonal or patterned pillows covers and throws!

2. Tidy up your space and bring texture to your room this spring with a woven basket to corral the clutter, stash the magazines or store those TV and gaming remotes!

3. If you aren’t sure where to begin to refresh a room, why not start in a corner? You don’t have to makeover an entire room, focus on creating one space you really love. In our space, we took a previously uninspiring corner and set up a beautiful spot for reading and relaxing.

4.  Lighting is a great way to add new personality to a room. Every chair should have a light nearby, so for our Spring Refresh we selected a stunning floor lamp to finish off our reading space. Floor lamps are so versatile because they fit just about anywhere. They are easy to move around as needed for light and can be tucked into corners of other rooms if you decide to rearrange.


Shop this post and more of my favorite spring finds at Birch Lane by scrolling through below! Thank you to Birch Lane for providing the chair, ottoman, lamp and pillow for this post!


Larson Nailhead Trim Chair in Bryant Calypso Textured Slub (we ordered a few fabric samples online so we knew exactly what to expect when it arrived. I highly recommend ordering samples whenever possible, as colors can vary between computer screens!) :)

Larson Nailhead Trim Ottoman in Bryant Calypso Textured Slub

Stratford Floor Lamp

Yellow Scalloped Pillow Cover

Woven Lidded Basket

Taupe and Ivory Striped Rug

Horse Bookends

Wood Mirror

Be sure to visit the other participating bloggers’ and their gorgeous rooms in their spring refresh posts: Home Stories A to Z, Dear Lillie, Craftberry Bush, and Thistlewood Farms.

A Little-Known Secret of Success {10 Things I Know}

Queensland Homes Modern Coastal Island Decorating
 Queensland Homes  – Bayden Goddard, BGD Architects

Photos Inspired By: A Modern Coastal Island Style

I had a crisis a few months ago. I’m over it now, but don’t worry. It’s not the sort of crisis where you are admitted to the ER or need to be talked off a precipice. But rather, the sort of crisis where you suddenly realize once again, you are feeling in over your head for whatever reason. Perhaps you are trying or starting something new and scary, or perhaps you are decorating a new-to-you house. Decorating can be scary, right? You have to find your own way and might even fear you have to make all the right decisions if you are going to succeed.

Island Coastal Style Kitchen Studio McGeeStudio McGee

I’m no stranger to these sorts of crisis moments. Yes, I’ve moved to quite a few styles of homes so I’ve had to find my own way in new places often. But even outside of home decor, back in the day (when I first started blogging in the darker quieter ages of blogdom) I had a blog style crisis. As far as I could tell, there were basically three kinds of bloggers in the home blog world in 2007. There seemed to be creative bloggers, homemaking bloggers and design bloggers.

Now, likely there were more types of bloggers, or maybe they weren’t quite as defined as I thought. Perhaps I was all wrong and clueless (likely), but that is just what I perceived as a newbie to this strange new world of “BLOGS.” I assumed everyone else knew what they were doing and they were all doing it the right way within the boundaries of those labels.

Coastal Style Blackband Design Master Bedroom
Blackband Home & Design

Since (in my typical indecisive form) I couldn’t decide which type of blogger I was or should be, I just made up what I was going to be and do. I just did what I loved and felt like doing. I made it all up in my mind. That’s scary, but it’s reality. I didn’t have a clue what the correct way was to blog, so I just DID whatever I could. Sometimes I was a homemaking blog, some days I guess I was more of a design blog, but every now and then I was just feeling creative so I dabbled in a few rare and embarrassing crafty moments. Basically, I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT. I still don’t. That may be pretty obvious by now, ha, but still, for better or worse, I kept going.

I could go on here and explain all the times and ways over the years I have had no idea what I was doing, but suffice it to say, it’s an awkward amount of times. Was I confident in everything I did in the past? No. Am I confident in everything I do now? Nope.

So why am I bringing this up now? (i.e. Do I need therapy?) 

Maybe, but not really. I’m fine! Really, I just hope it will encourage you to know a little secret I’ve learned. The truth is, I’m not the only one who wings it. Maybe I do it more than some folks, but the truth is NO ONE who is creating something totally unique or brand new to them knows what they are doing at all times. Most people are just winging it until it comes together in a satisfactory way (or it becomes obvious that it is time to try something new, ha).

They aren’t necessarily faking it, they might be, but sometimes that’s what you do when you have no clue what to do but you have to do something. It should be called experimenting with confidence. Even if people might look like they have it all together and are confident in who they are and what they do, inside they often feel like they are just making a lot of it up as they go.

Island Style Shutters Historial Concepts Southern Livingvia Historial Concepts Architecture & Southern Living

People who try new things can learn from their mistakes and what they’ve done successfully in the past. And those mistakes and successes will definitely shape what people know to do in the future. But when they were making the mistakes and heading towards those first time successes, most of the time they didn’t actually KNOW in advance what would work and what wouldn’t. They just kept trying. They might have good instincts, a good eye or good training. Those things are helpful. But perseverance is often a big part of success.

Everyone can assess what has worked for them in the past (or what they have learned or believe to be true about the current situation), but to truly feel pretty confident about what will work NOW, you either have to have done that exact thing before under the same exact circumstances, or what you do will involve floundering a bit through trial and error. New things are just that…new.

Coastal Style Living RoomHouse Beautiful

Every time I’m faced with a new room to decorate, a new house to figure out, a new post, a new challenge, a new budget, a new book to write, a new look to create, a new opportunity, a new idea, another teen to parent :), whatever it is that I have to put my heart into on any given day, it feels like a huge RISK.

I worry that I could totally embarrass myself or fail or stress out if I don’t know everything I need to know in order to succeed. I can start to fear that maybe I’m a fraud. Ha. Not really, but more like I might be a little bit in over my head, until I talk myself down off the ledge and remind myself of the things I already know.

10 Things I Know for Sure

  1. A brave no is just as powerful for success as a timid yes.
  2. I don’t have to do something expected (which eliminates the guesswork and fear about what exactly IS expected!).
  3. I don’t have to worry, unless I am making the type of mistakes that are fatal.
  4. I can seek advice from others and learn from smarter people, I am not alone.
  5. I have already learned important lessons that I can apply to any situation.
  6. I will grow from constructive criticism, but other people’s critical spirits won’t define me or my failures.
  7. There are always people who are better at what I do, but there is only one person who can be me.
  8. What I have to do, want to do, or feel called to do, is worthy of pursuing, even if I can’t do it perfectly.
  9. I can confidently do my own thing in my own way, even if it is through trial and error.
  10. I’ll love the result, be proud of my effort, or at least learn from my mistakes so I can improve going forward.

That’s it. Those ten truths are really what we need to hold on to when we are venturing off into new territory or afraid we might fail.

If you are willing to try something new, you’ll end up a little bit wiser or a little bit braver, or both. 


True Confession: This started out as a post I was going to call Inspired By: A Modern Coastal Island Style (whatever that style is, I might have just made it up). But somewhere along the way, I got inspired in a different way and starting writing a totally different post. Was it about blogging? Decorating Style? Book writing? Trying new things? Success in business? All of the above? See? I have no idea. Awkward, right?

Colorful Coastal Island Style - Coastal Idea Home Historical Concepts
Historical Concepts – Coastal Living Idea House

The Little Known Secret to Success - 10 Things I Know For Sure - The Inspired Room blog

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