The Inspired Room Big News

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks around our house. You might have noticed I went radio silent for a few days there, but things started to get a little crazy. We had a bit of a life-altering but exciting situation take place just before I headed out of town recently! After talking about the idea of moving to Seattle since spring, we decided to just take the first scary step towards selling the house.

I was still apprehensive because my son would be starting school in September so depending on what happened with our house, either he would be staying here or starting a new school. Sometimes there is no way to know what will happen unless you just take a leap of faith and put the idea out there to see what happens! At the time, I wished we had put the house up for sale earlier in the season to give ourselves a bigger window of time to sell with less stress. But we figured if it didn’t sell in a few weeks time, we could pull it off the market at the end of August and just forget the whole idea ever happened :). If it wasn’t meant to be, we’d accept that as an answer. We didn’t want to wait months in limbo. So, we contacted a realtor on a Thursday just to ask questions and have her visit our house.

Guess what? We didn’t even get the sign out in the yard before we had a signed contract to sell. Suddenly we were faced with the reality that we had just a few weeks to pack up our belongings, move out, and ... dun dun dun…well, we had no place to go. OH MY GOSH! Under other circumstances we might have been thrilled to start looking for a new house, but we had already been looking and there was very little available in our price range or the kind of houses we were interested in. But, we were thrilled to have a contract on our house so if we had to be homeless for awhile, so be it. And just as we got that exciting news, I left on an airplane across the country for a week to speak at Haven. Ha! House hunting from across the country is quite the experience.

The Inspired Room Dining Room

I can’t wait to tell you the whole story about what happened next and fill you in on all the latest details! It’s a good story with a few twists and turns. It feels bittersweet to be leaving a home I love so much and I think I’m still processing how that feels. But before I write out all the details to share, I have to go pack :).

PS. I might share some of the happenings around my house on Instagram so if you aren’t following me there, do it! Also, are any of you on Periscope? I haven’t tried a live stream video before but if I’m feeling brave, maybe I’ll give it a whirl this week! To be honest, my daughter Courtney and I ACCIDENTALLY streamed a live Periscope video a couple weeks ago while we were at a restaurant. That was awkward. But now that we’ve accidentally done one and entertained 20 humans we didn’t know as we were trying to figure it out, I fear what might happen if I try one on purpose. Anyway, you can witness the awkwardness if you want to follow me…add me on Periscope at @theinspiredroom or on Twitter and I’ll tweet if I’m live!

If you missed my first posts about the move, you can catch up here:

Staircases and Big Steps Part One

Staircases and Big Steps Part Two

Chasing Dream Houses

Summer House Tour

Summer House Tour - The Inspired Room Entry

Hello everybody! I’m so glad you are here. I hope you are having a great Monday! I’m excited because I’m joining in Gina’s Summer House Tour! If you are just stopping by from Nester’s, WELCOME!

Even though we are still a few weeks away from the official start of summer, I’ve been starting the gradual evolution towards preparing my house for the warmer season. Now that might make it sound like I have had nothing more to do that just putter around all day getting the house all pretty for summer. IF ONLY! Ha! That would be my DREAM weekend right there. But alas, no.

Summer tour of homes

In my usual fashion of attempting to do ALL THE THINGS at the same time (why, ha!), we are now preparing to move (if you missed the news, you can catch up here.) SO, yeah, kinda doing a bit more than just puttering around making things pretty. But nesting is my hobby and my therapy so even when I’ve got lots to do to keep life rolling, I love slowing down to show some love to at least one corner of my house. It’s a good thing for me! In those especially crazy seasons, when I’m decluttering like a mad woman and my house is a complete mess, restoring order and prettiness to at least part of the house lets me feel more at peace so I can take a deep breath and keep on going.

I’ll admit I am pretty sad about leaving my house (should we proceed to move as we think we will). We’ve worked so hard on making it feel like home and while I knew all along that this might not be our forever home, I grew to love it enough to be perfectly content to stay, should we decide that was the right thing to do. We’ve already lived here longer than in any other home, so I definitely feel settled and comfortable and in my dreams I’d be here forever.

A new non-custom construction house was a blank slate for us, so we’ve really enjoyed seeing it transformed into a home. The journey to make this house our home wasn’t always easy though and many times I felt like we were going at a snail’s pace (and sometimes at a standstill!), but when I look around at my house today after six years of TLC I know that each corner represents a part of our story, reflects a bit of ourselves and is prettier than when we started. Moving always feels like we are leaving a little bit of ourselves behind but I know I learned many lessons in this house that I will take with me wherever we go.

I’ll be sharing more soon, but for now, let’s talk about SUMMER decorating! Pretend the sun is out, OK?

Summer House Tour - The Inspired Room Entry Table

This little green table was found at a local flea market awhile back and I knew right away I would find a place for it so it came home with me. I especially love the unique legs. As I was dusting the entry last week I had an idea, what if I took my Turkish towel from the wing back in the dining room and tried it on this table? I was so tickled when I thought of it (I always get pretty excited when I think of a new way to arrange or use things I already have) that I ran over and picked it up to try it immediately. Sure enough, I love it for a fresh summery look! I’m all about the little rope tassels and the green stripes, too.

A few weeks ago I was in the mood to “shake up the house” a bit and moved the giant shell from the family room to the entry table. I had never tried the shell anywhere else (I’m not sure why!) but I loved it in the entry as a bold summer statement as you enter the front door.

Summer House Tour - The Inspired Room blog

While the sun has been out periodically and it’s even been warm already this season, we aren’t really in full summer mode here until mid-July into early Fall. It still gets a little chilly on cloudy days. It was really dark out the other day and it looked like it might rain, so I was chuckling to myself as I was “summerizing” the house and taking pics while wearing a sweater. :) For cozier summer evenings I’m keeping one blanket over the sofa, just in case. I think it will come in handy.

Summer House Tour - The Inspired Room Fireplace

But in spite of the cloudiness outside, I was excited to bring a little sunshine inside with a couple of yellow pillows. I love yellow. I also was pretty thrilled because my peonies are blooming! Ever since we moved in, I dreamed of a little cutting garden in my backyard and I finally have one! I have roses, peonies, hydrangeas, daisies and more. I’ll be showing you more of my secret garden and other yard projects in the upcoming weeks (you can see a sneak peek of it outside my family room window in the next pic!).

Summer House Tour - Family Room - The Inspired Room

Now, speaking of shaking up the house, I did a little furniture rearranging. At Christmas time when we had family visiting, I moved these white painted rattan chairs from the kitchen into the family room to offer more seating during the holidays. I thought it might be a fun change even for the summer since the chairs are so light and airy, so I brought them back in and put the trellis wingback in the kitchen (sorry, I forgot to take a pic of it in the kitchen in time for this tour, but I think it looks cute there!).

Summer House Tour - The Inspired Room Family Room Chairs

I love these stools for sitting and for end tables, they are so versatile!

Summer House Tour - The Inspired Room Blog - Leather Sofa

My leather loveseat is from Pottery Barn, I’m so pleased with it. You can see why I chose leather here.

Summer House Tour - The Inspired Room Mantel

I adore the little frameable inspirational art quotes created for my book, Love the Home You Have. You can download this free print and many others on the book page. I like having inspirational quotes around to inspire me to keep on creating a home I love.

Summer House Tour - The Inspired Room Blog House Tour

Summer House Tour - The Inspired Room blog - Gallery Wall

I added some colored books to the antique bowl I found at a secondhand store a few weeks ago.

The Inspired Room Kitchen - Farmhouse Sink - Summer House Tour

I cleaned off my windowsills and added different containers with planted herbs and cut flowers. You can see my kitchen remodel (with more photos!) and my kitchen source list for more details on the kitchen.

The Inspired Room Kitchen Sink View - Summer House Tour

This is my third year growing Wisteria outside my kitchen window as a privacy screen and it has grown so much, I LOVE IT! For the first time it is actually blooming. The scent is glorious wafting through my sliding door.

The Inspired Room Backyard - Trex Adirondack Chair

We’ve been working a bit outside trying to finish up some of our projects, but we still have a ways to go before I feel like it’s done. I recently showed you one of my backyard corner makeovers.

The Inspired Room Backyard

Our yard started out as a typical barren “new construction” backyard but we’ve come so far in the past couple of years. This little spot looks really cute now, you can see the before and after in this post!

The Inspired Room Backyard Updates

While I love decorating inside the house all year round, in the summer I’m mostly working outside, soaking in every bit of sunshine I can out in the yard. I’ll be showing you the progress on my little secret garden soon!

Love the Home You Have - by The Inspired Room blog

Before you go, be sure to follow me on Instagram because I’ll have a book giveaway there sometime today! Have you had a chance to read my book, Love the Home You Have? I have a second book, a coffee table book, due out November 1st that I’m super excited about! But this pretty little book is near and dear to my heart. It’s all about finding (and remembering!) the love for the home you have. Whether it’s a temporary abode or your forever home, sometimes we just need a little inspiration to embrace what we have right in front of us. Big or small, our home is a gift we can open as long as we live there! This book offers encouragement and practical tips to create a home and life you’ll love. Thank you so much for all the love many of you have shown for this book already! I’m so grateful to have such great friends out there.

I’ll be back with more summer decorating and projects, and of course, updates on what’s next for our family!

Thanks for stopping by!

Now head on over to City Farmhouse, the next house on the tour! Enjoy! (preview below!)


Commonly asked sources:

Tufted ottomanGray WingbackDip-Dyed StoolFamily Room Wood Mirror

Paint Colors in My House

Lighting Sources in My House

See more of my home on my House Tour page and the whole tour will be in my upcoming coffee table book, The Inspired Room!

Staircases and Big Steps {Part Two}

The Inspired Room - Dish CabinetFind part one of this post Staircases & Big Steps here.

In 2009, we took a big step of faith moving from what we hoped would be our “forever” home in Portland to a small town in Washington to start a church. If you read Love the Home You Have, you probably read the stories of our many moves, including what eventually led to our move here. The Inspired Room had its humble beginnings eight years ago in our 1930s English Tudor in Portland. But for the last six years, we’ve been here in Washington running The Inspired Room and the church.

Honestly, as much as we wanted to be here, that step of moving was hard on us in the beginning. Portland was home. The move separated our family (we had to leave our middle daughter Courtney behind to finish school, our oldest daughter Kylee was in college in Oregon and our son came with us without his siblings). We moved here without knowing anyone. We worked so hard over the years to make our new life here possible. After leaving our home and struggling to rebuild a life and get established here, we finally feel settled.

While my daughters eventually moved to Washington to go to school (YAY), they are in Seattle which is over an hour away from us (BOO). We were grateful to have them close enough to visit regularly, even if we couldn’t visit as often as we’d like.

Fast forward from our move six years ago to today. So much has changed in our life! My daughter Courtney and I now work full time together running The Inspired Room. We have the best time doing what we do as a team, but she still lives over an hour away by ferry. We commute regularly back and forth on the ferry as often as we can, but the distance, cost and logistics of ferry traveling sometimes takes a toll on our creative energy and time we could have spend working together.

My oldest daughter Kylee wants to help us and be a part of what we are doing (and we want her to be a part!), but she and her husband are working full time at Amazon, which makes collaborating with us challenging since the travel cuts too much into her only available hours after work or a few hours on the weekend.

The Inspired Room blog

While it’s natural and even expected for kids to head off to college and eventually get married and leave the family behind (no! stop! wahhh!), there’s something wonderful about having your family near when you genuinely enjoy being together. While we willingly sacrificed so much to move here, six years later we are now really longing to be able to get together for spontaneous family dinners on a weeknight, impromptu projects around the house, and to be able to head off on a moment’s notice for shopping and coffee on a Saturday afternoon.


But even more than that, we are feeling a little sadness that our son wasn’t living closer to his sisters for so much of his childhood. Amazingly, all three kids (and my daughter’s husband Lance) have remained very close. We feel very blessed by their influence in his life and that they have been able to spend quality time together in spite of the logistics of traveling back and forth across the water all these years.

climbing trees

Our son experienced so much of his childhood here in this place, growing from an adorable eight year old boy to a handsome fourteen year old young man. How did that happen? His childhood seems to have flown by in the blink of an eye. But since he’s just finishing up eighth grade and will be heading into high school this fall, we realized that while he has lived the past six years here (essentially experiencing his day to day life as an “only child”) we could still give him at least four years of closer and more frequent bonding time with his siblings if we were to move to Seattle.


OH MY HEART. Friends, when my husband and I started to really think about the impact a move to be near our girls could have on our son in day to day life in so many ways, when we let that possibility sink in to the depths of our hearts, there was no other choice. As a mom, I want this for him for these next four years more than anything. Our girls want this for our family.

Courtney Luke and Kylee - The Inspired Room blog

I love our home now and wish wish WISH I could just stay and enjoy it for years to come (that was our plan). I keep looking around at the home we’ve created here and feeling sad at the thought that we might leave it behind. But the truth is there’s a big piece of our heart missing here. If we are willing to take the leap and make this move happen, we can bring our family back together again in so many ways after our long six years living further apart. And that feeling brings me a sense of peace about our decisions ahead.

The Inspired Room - Wood and Brass Telescope

At first my worry was whether or not my son would want to make the move to a new school. Of course I know a move would still be difficult for him even if there’s a big benefit (change and moving schools always is hard for kids!), but I was relieved when we recently had him shadow at a new school just to check it out and much to my surprise, he liked it. One less fear all around.

A move to Seattle is not going to be easy or without stress. I know we can create a home no matter where we go, but Seattle is crazy expensive and that part really stresses me out. We aren’t sure what house we would be able to afford. We want to be within a 15 minute drive of the girls (they will likely live in the same area for the next five years so we’ve narrowed down our neighborhood options). It’s a hard market for buyers because of the stiff competition and prices. What kind of house will we find in our price range? That alone is a scary thought.

And secondly, this move will be interesting because our world as we know it would do a flip flop! Our church is here and my husband is devoted to continuing to pastor there. So should we decide for sure to make the move, the tables would turn for our family and he would be making the commute each week as needed for meetings. The girls and I would have more time during the week to work together, allowing us to invest more time into our business without commute time. And we would still be at church on Sundays, so our church family will remain a priority. That darn Puget Sound makes commuting challenging at times, but the ferry ride is BEAUTIFUL and peaceful so at least there’s that. :)

The Inspired Room blog - Family Room

The thing that helps me feel less stressed about the challenges ahead is knowing that it isn’t just about moving to a new house or a neighborhood. We’re moving to our family. The goal is worth it. There’s nothing more important to us than that. We don’t know exactly what neighborhood we will be going to, and we have no grandiose ideas or plans for what kind of house we might be moving into. We just know it’s going to work out because the joy of turning any house into a home for your family always makes the journey worth it, no matter where you put down roots.

Happiness doesn't have just one address #lovethehomeyouhave

There’s so much more to share, but I can leave the rest of the details for another time. You know I’ll want to share ALL OF THE FEELINGS that will come along with moving and leaving this home :). For now, thank you for reading and being a part of so many of my house adventures. You’re truly the best!

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