Decorating Your House {Simply} Through the Seasons

Decorating Your Home Simply Through the Seasons - The Inspired Room Coffee Station

I love decorating my house through the seasons. As you’ve probably gathered if you hang out here much, I don’t really use a lot of themed decor. But I do love making my house warm and cozy this time of year and then lighting things up for the spring and summer. It helps to have a neutral backdrop with the foundational items around the house, such as paint colors and rugs, so the accessories can be the transitional pieces. I definitely keep things simple year round, but it is fun to have the opportunity to mix things up a bit every season.

Most of the time I use what I have, pull in some seasonal greenery and move things around until I get a new look that just feels more seasonally appropriate and inspiring!

Let’s take a peek at my coffee station in my kitchen through several seasons! You’ll see how several of the items are repeated or styled in different ways through each season (such as cutting boards and the mug holder) and a few seasonal elements are brought in (such as different colored books, greenery or accessories I made or have for the season).

I truly do try to use what I have and don’t feel the need to buy all new holiday decor each year. You’ll see below that I used my simple DIY Peace Banner on the same shelf a couple of Christmases!

Coffee station christmas

Coffee Station

Summer-Kitchen-Display-from-The-Inspired-Room

Coffee Station - The Inspired Room blog
Coffee station kitchen - The Inspired Room

I’ll share other areas of my home dressed up for the different seasons in upcoming posts. Courtney and I have been working on something else kind of fun for you guys, too. Those of you who made it to the end of this post can get a sneak peek!

For years I’ve had an online shop for The Inspired Room, but over the past couple of months I’ve been getting it prettier and better organized. Because my shop of favorite furniture, lighting, and decor from my home was getting kind of full, we started creating smaller themed shops that should be easier to navigate. We are excited to finally be better organized! We had so much fun window shopping online at a variety of sources to round up collections of some of our favorite things. Check out our new shops here!

We’ve also started to create several helpful gift guides this year of my most favorite gifts for the season because if you are anything like me, sometimes you just want to shop online in your jammies and slippers :). Check out our first few gift guides here!

Happy shopping!

Appliance Arrangement in the Kitchen

The Inspired Room Kitchen - DIY Wood Island

In our old house, one of the most frequently asked questions was about where we put our microwave when we remodeled. It used to be one of those built-in microwaves above the stove. In theory, a microwave over an oven is probably an efficient use of space in some ways, but we really didn’t like how crunched it felt for multiple people work at the stove with that appliance over our head.

We actually rarely use a microwave so we almost didn’t replace it at all. But sometimes it is nice to have one when you have a big meal and need an extra oven to heat something up or we just want a quick snack, so we set one up in our pantry during the remodel.

pantry2

And that led to another frequently asked reader question, wasn’t that location inconvenient for a microwave? The truth is I actually much preferred the microwave in the pantry! It was just a few steps from our island so it was just as close and convenient as anywhere, but it also saved counter and cabinet space in our main kitchen area which is where we spent the most time. It worked out great for us to separate out our appliances so there could be many cooks in the kitchen without bumping into each other.

english style kitchen on a budget

In our old English Tudor (above) we had a separate cooktop and then right next to it there was a wall oven and a microwave. I loved having a separate cooktop and a wall oven and a microwave, even thought they were pretty close together.

Kitchen Before Picture - The Inspired Room blog

One of the most frequently asked questions about my new kitchen is in regards to the appliances, particularly that vintage oven! Even thought it’s old, it is pretty cool to have the double oven, I’ll admit. I’ve had several emails from people wanting to buy it, so no matter what we decide to do it will continue to be well loved.

The stove/oven combo takes up most of one side of the available counter and wall space. The microwave that was left in the house was very old and sat on a chair. The microwave bit the dust a couple of weeks ago (joining our dryer in the appliance graveyard, ha! And of course, the sewer was already in line to be replaced. We also had a kitchen sink leak so we disconnected the garbage disposal for now. We’re on a roll here!).

Now as we are contemplating our kitchen design and how to best remodel it to suit our needs and style preferences, we are of course thinking about appliances. It is sometimes a puzzle how to best arrange a kitchen to be efficient as well as to allow the most storage and counter space. And if we open up that left wall at all, even to widen the doorway, it will leave less space for an oven and countertop.

My thought right now is to leave all the appliances in the same place, not only to save money but because they seem to be efficiently located.

If we eventually get a new gas oven we’d need to have the gas line brought in, so that’s something to think about too. I would also want to install a new exhaust fan as the one here currently doesn’t function. I really don’t like smelling food all over the house (sensitive nose here) and you need a good fan especially for gas cooking.

So even when you do try to keep appliances in the same location to save money, there will be work involved to get anything new. One thing always leads to another when it comes to kitchen remodels. Am I right?

Samsung HotBlast Smart Oven

I work with Samsung as a brand ambassador and they sent me some photos of a pretty cool looking new convection microwave called the HotBlast Smart Oven which would be neat to have if I can squeeze one in somewhere. Their new convection microwave (model MW8000J) offers several special features that sound amazing:

  • HotBlast™ – a brand new way of cooking that reduces cooking times significantly
  • PowerGrill Duo – to enjoy perfectly grilled foods, much faster
  • Grande Turntable – to cook on a much larger scale using the significantly wider turntable

We for sure won’t be keeping the chair and microwave arrangement in our kitchen :). I’m thinking if we do add the window seat I mentioned, which I would LOVE, we could still fit in a cabinet to the left of it to hold our coffee maker (a must) and if there’s space, we could fit in a microwave. If we had room, that convection microwave would be wonderful! I’m keeping it on my list of possibilities.

Even though I plan to remodel my kitchen, I have intentionally been spending time living with it and using it as is so we have the opportunity to really think about what the best plan will be. I don’t like to spend money unnecessarily so usually it pays off to think a bit before you tear it all apart! Taking that time to get to know the kitchen and our home has already given us quite a few clues as to what the best arrangement for this space will be!

So, what layout do you currently have for your kitchen appliances?

I am thrilled to be a brand ambassador for Samsung Home Appliances and this post was created as a part of my partnership, but my experiences and opinions are my own.

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!

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