4 Takeaway Tips for a Home Office {My Home Office}

The Inspired Room - Navy Home Office

This weekend I shared quite a few inspiration images for functional and livable spaces (if you missed that post, you can find it here)! Today I thought I would share one of my own favorite functional spaces, my home office. Now, for those of you old timers here, you know this office is from my old house. While I have not yet beautified my new home office, I will be using my old office as inspiration for the new in many ways. My decor might change, but the lessons learned will still inspire me for my new home.

I featured this room and many photos in The Inspired Room book, of course, but today I wanted to give you a little peek at my office and offer a few of my own takeaway tips that you could use if you’re setting up your own creative space or home office.

The Inspired Room Office - Secretary Desk

1. Designate a special space to be inspired, organized and creative.

Being self-employed, I realized years ago that I needed to have a home office to keep me sane, organized and creative. If you are serious about a home business or just want to keep the family organized, make it your mission to set up designated space somewhere in your home (even if it is just a small corner of a bedroom).

The Inspired Room Office

2. Surround yourself with inspiration.

I need to be inspired by my own working environment so I can focus on the new tasks at hand. When I was setting up my office, I thought about the colors, the textures and the items I wanted to see around me. I hung inspiration boards above my desk. It all mattered to my productivity and sense of well-being!

The Inspired Room Office - Rifle Paper Company Notebook

3. Find organizational systems you can live with.

Having organizational systems that I actually use makes all the difference in how organized I feel! If I buy all the pretty bins and boxes but never use them, my office really isn’t functional at all. When I find I have systems that I don’t use, it is worth the effort to try something else until I find what does work for me.

The Inspired Room Office - White Hutch

4. Create a homey environment.

While I run a real business from my office, I still want the office space to feel comfortable, as it is still a part of my home. I found furniture pieces and accessories for my office that brought in my style and personality but served double duty for organization of necessities, such as my second hand store rattan shelving unit and my antique secretary desk. I put a large lamp on my desk for ambience and a comfortable chair for working. The homey and creative environment made me want to spend time in my office, so I’d say it was a WIN for PRODUCTIVITY!

Do you have an office space of your own? 


Wall paint color – Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore

Desk – Pottery Barn

Botanical prints – Poppy Talk

Blue swirl lamps – Target

Linen chair – Restoration Hardware

Linen pin boards – HomeGoods

More sources from this room and others can be found in my shop!

Get more simple ideas for decorating a home you love in my books, The Inspired Room and Love the Home You Have.

Merry Christmas!

Jack the Goldendoodle and Lily the Labradoodle - The Inspired Room

Merry Christmas, from our house to yours!

This week I’ve been trying to focus on finishing up my Christmas to do list, but mostly I have been just enjoying puttering around the house. That’s my favorite thing to do! Last week I got a new dresser (YAY!) and this week I organized my closet for the first time since we have lived here (I’ll share updates and details on how my room is coming along and progress on the rest of the house after the holidays!). It feels so great to be getting organized!

Jack the Goldendoodle - The Inspired Room Family Room

Jack is dreaming of a white Christmas. I would love that, too! It’s unlikely but just in case we get a flake or two, I’ve been trying to finish up my errands so I can just stay home and sit by the fire the rest of the week. We have some family coming up Christmas day so we’ll have a house full of guests. I can’t wait!

Yesterday I stopped in Costco to stock up on some T.P. (you really don’t want to run out while you have guests in the house especially if it snows, right?) and I ran into The Inspired Room on the book table! Yahoo! It was so exciting to see it there!

The Inspired Room book in Costco
If you live in the Seattle area, stop in a local Costco and check it out! It’s a great price too. I’m hoping if enough people buy it maybe they will stock it in more stores around the country. It doesn’t hurt to ask your local Costco for it!

I also stopped in Whole Foods and saw the book there, then at Barnes & Noble, and then again at the Seattle Amazon retail store on their “highly rated” table at the front of the store! So surreal but really cool to see it in so many places!

Jack and Lily

These two pups look cute and fluffy, but don’t let Jack and Lily’s innocent faces fool ya! It wouldn’t be Christmas around our house without the annual “unraveling”of the tree! This year they were back at it. Every year I think I should finally be able to trust them around the decorations and then when I’m not looking, they still act like puppies and take the animals off the tree before we even get to the holiday (Remember last year’s mischief?).

Our pups keep things fun around our house, but I do wish they’d leave the animal ornaments alone!

I would love to see your house at Christmas, if you have a few moments over the next few days to to upload a photo or two to Home Love Stories that would be wonderful!

Michaels Family

This has been an amazing year full of surprises, house projects and fun changes for our family. I can’t wait to do a recap of this year and share my house dreams and goals for 2016! I’m super excited about all I have planned for this house and the blog. But meanwhile, I’m going to finish up my wrapping :)!

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Before you go, check out my article on (in)courage for the image I think we should all Pin to our Pinterest Boards this Christmas. 

(The wreath in the top picture is from Harry & David and the wood cabinet in the top picture is from here)

My latest guide on eBay: How to Make the Best First Impression with Your Home

15 Charming Ideas for Christmas Decorating

Christmas House Tour - The Inspired Room

1. Hang a pinecone garland around a door.

Copper Striped Candlesticks - The Inspired Room Christmas House TourCopper Striped Taper Candles and (similar) Silver Twig Candleholders

2. Find unique candle holders and snazzy candles to jazz up your mantel.

Christmas Dining Room - Tablescape - The Inspired Room Christmas Blogger House Tour

3. Make DIY placecards with small vases and sprigs of greenery for your table.


4. Add fur blankets to warm up chilly corners.

The Inspired Room Christmas House Tour - Entry Decorating with Vintage Sled

5. Add vintage winter charm with an old sled or ice skates (we found ours at a flea market or second hand store).

Christmas House Tour - Gold Deer - The Inspired Room

6. Tie twine and a bit of evergreen to make a stack of old books feel festive.

The Inspired Room Kitchen - Simple Christmas House Tour

7. Put tiny trees in metal buckets.

Christmas Mason Jar Snow Globes-The-Inspired-RoomEasy DIY Mason Jar Snow Globes

8. Create a winter scene on a shelf.

Simple Christmas Decorating - The Inspired Room Dining Room - Christmas House TourCopper Lantern

9. Hang wreaths in doubles for twice the impact.

Christmas Decorating - Gold Jingle Bells in Mason Jar

10. Fill a mason jar with jingle bells.

Boxwood wreath hung on a mirror - Dining room Christmas decorating - The Inspired Room

11. Hang a boxwood wreath with a pretty ribbon on a mirror.


12. Spell out your favorite holiday word with cardboard letters.

The Inspired Room Christmas Decorating - Linen SetteeDIY Bottle Lamp // Dipped Stool // Gather Together Pillow // Linen Settee

13. Create a cozy spot for Christmas Eve snuggling.

similar wood tablet recipe holder

14. Dress up the kitchen sink with festive towels, wreaths and small trees.

Candelight - Easy Christmas Centerpiece - Ornaments Boxwood Mason Jar
similar wood bowl

15. Use a wooden bowl to create a charming centerpiece filled with ornaments, greenery and a mason jar candle filled with epsom salts.

15 Charming Ideas for Christmas Decorating - The Inspired Room


My Favorite Christmas Decor, Ornaments, Garland and more

Shop My House: Furniture, Accessories, Lighting and more

My Gift Guides: Gifts for Everyone!

Simple Whimsical Christmas Decor Inspiration

Cozy Natural Christmas Decor Inspiration

25 Ideas for Christmas Decorating and Crafting

Use What You Have: Winter Centerpiece and Family Game Nights

38 DIY Garlands

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