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4 Decorating Lessons from Anthropologie

by | Mar 8, 2010 | Decorating Inspiration, Details

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4 Decorating Lessons from Anthropologie

I love going into Anthropologie. Why? I just like the feel of it. Every item in the store isn’t exactly my style, but that is OK. Somehow when I walk in, I am content and happy! I am inspired to walk slowly, ponder and stay awhile (OK, they have to throw me out at closing time) — I want to take in all the details.

Isn’t that what we all want for our homes? Don’t we want to walk in, feel embraced and at peace and not want to leave? Don’t we want to savor every detail of life at home?

4 Decorating Lessons from Anthropologie

I promised last week that I was going to share some more ideas from my visit to Anthropologie. Since we recently reviewed some tips for finding our own decorating style, today we can find some inspiration for that from Anthropologie.

I decided to take some time to analyze why I love Anthropologie so — to see what inspiration I can take away from Anthropologie stores (because that is just the kind of thing I quietly ponder on a lazy Sunday afternoon, while the rest of the world is napping or planting a garden or whatever. Don’t judge.).

4 Decorating Lessons from Anthropologie

So go ahead and grab your cup of coffee, let’s see what I came up with...

4 Decorating Lessons from Anthropologie

1.  Create ambience.

If you’ve been a reader at The Inspired Room for awhile, you know I love LOVE a home with ambience. I feature them, I talk about them, I dream about them. I am not bound by one particular decorating style, but I do love a room that oozes ambience. Most people are affected by the ambience of a room, even if they don’t know why a room makes them happy, draws them in or actually might make them feel uncomfortable.

4 Decorating Lessons from Anthropologie

Anthropologie does a great job at grabbing your senses to create ambience on many levels. From their eye catching displays in old weathered cabinets, textiles that make you want to reach out and touch them, pebbled and distressed wood floors, to delicious smelling (and lit!) candles filling the air, Anthropologie has the ambience thing down well. It feels like a personal and creative home you could really enjoy spending time in.

4 Decorating Lessons from Anthropologie

The more senses we can engage in our home, especially in ways that are personal to us (our own favorite non-toxic scents, textures, colors, patterns, emotional & spiritual connections, etc.), the more we are going to love the feel of our home.

4 Decorating Lessons from Anthropologie

2. Be fearless.

Break out of the expected decorating box! Instead of being worried about what is right, proper, popular and acceptable in the world of decorating, Anthropologie pushes the envelope on creativity. They ignore all the rules. Animal heads on the wall? Check. Rubber hoses draped on a display? Ok.

4 Decorating Lessons from Anthropologie

Cardboard murals? Why not? Recycled plastic bottle garland strung across the ceiling? Check. Fabric bunched up haphazardly to make a table covering? Check. Giant dinosaur topiary? Fun! Wood crates or pallets for wall hangings or towels? Love that.

4 Decorating Lessons from Anthropologie

Now, bear with the illustration here. I know Anthropologie is a store and what might work in a store might look kind of silly in a home. Or maybe the things they do just aren’t your style. But so what if “you wouldn’t do those things at your home”?  What COULD you do? That is the question.

Stretch your mind to look at objects in new ways. Maybe take a tour around a hardware store or your own garage and see what might be able to be re-purposed for decorating. Who says you have to hang a towel on a towel rod? Or that paintings need to be hung from nails? Or that art has to be purchased in an art gallery?

3. Express your personality
{and what does that really mean anyway}

Most people seem to know that our homes should express our personality. That idea has been around for a long time now. In fact, I sometimes I feel like it is an overused concept so I hesitate to use the phrase too much. Yet it something we still can struggle with, even when we know it is something important!

So let’s think about what ‘express your personality’ means, really, and how do we do it?

If we aspire to make our home look exactly like a store catalog we love, does that mean we have ‘expressed our personality’ because we happen to love a store catalog? I mean, I do love to look at pretty catalogues and stores (don’t get me wrong) but do I really want people to come in and say, “wow your home looks just like {insert store name}!”? Hmmmm. That would disturb me a bit. Just sayin’. But maybe that is just me.

To make our home a true reflection of who we really are, we should be striving to have a unique collection of things that other people couldn’t possibly have because we found them in a thousand different places and moments in time.

I love a home that is filled with things that are basically snapshots of a person’s life. By looking at their accessories you see a part of who they are, their things tell a story! I get that feeling at Anthropologie, like someone has traveled the world and collected a variety of things they found interesting, humorous, or meaningful. The modern, the quirky, the reinvented, the antique and the memorable — all happily coexisting in one personality-filled room.

Life is not lived in a day. You could buy everything in your favorite home store catalog in one day, if you wanted to. Instant Decor. And none of it would say much about who YOU are. Enough said. 

If you really struggle with expressing your own personality in your decor, it might mean you are not fully embracing your own uniqueness. What makes you YOU? I can’t truly have a unique style if I don’t really know who I am and what I have loved about life. Our personality at home will flow out of our life experiences. You can’t really copy that.

What ways could you break out of the cookie cutter, predictable and expected decor? Find unique ways to express your life through your accessories. It is OK to have some good basic or classic pieces, but what unique things can you add to make a personal statement?

4 Decorating Lessons from Anthropologie

4. Details Matter.

Anthopologie celebrates details. Their clothes have ruffles and their towels have pom poms. Their lampshades have patterns and their dishes have fun designs and pretty colors. Items have unique buttons and unexpected trim.

If your home is lacking some special little details, it is likely your home will be a little bit boring. Not to say you have to have ruffles or wood buttons on everything, but put some thought into some unique things that will set your style apart from your neighbors and show that you really care about your home. Details take time and a little creativity, but they are worth the effort.

What is your style? Whether you like things that are feminine or rustic or modern or antique,  you can find your own trademark details to show off your unique style.

So there you have it. My four take-away decorating lessons from Anthropologie!

all photos taken by me at Anthropologie in Seattle

See another of my window shopping trips through Anthropologie here and another here.

4 Decorating Lessons from Anthropologie

Check out my new book, Love the Home You Have!


  1. Marian

    THANK you for your reflections:) I just lit a candle lol and LOVE it, even if it IS during the day. The smell is wonderful and just ME. I agree, if you don’t know who you are, your home doesn’t “know” who/what it likes. I love the shabby chic style, but with many of MY creations, MY ideas, MY colors it is just MY home :)

    .-= Marian´s last blog ..WONDERFUL news: Three months from now…. =-.

  2. Becky K.

    This post addresses exactly what I am working through in my Living Room. I think it is a process but I am enjoying it. Not everything that I thought would work or that I would like have stayed…but because I am being intentional about it I did something this week that I absolutely adore! I would not have done this before. Living and learning!

    Thanks for your inspiration!

    Becky K.
    .-= Becky K.´s last blog ..Chess – A Lesson for Life! =-.

  3. adrienne

    I thought this was an absolutely wonderful post! Thank you. I have recently been copying ideas out of the Pottery Barn catalog because I just like the “feel” of the room I see. I think it is the calmness of more neutral colors. Of course, I have to work this in with what I already have and not spend boatloads of money on new items. This tied in to your post for me about the ambience. I have three little kids, so maybe it really is just that calmness that is speaking to me!

  4. Stacy

    Very thoughtful ideas. So sad I don’t have an Anthropologie store near by. I guess the catalogue will have to do for now.

  5. Mari Larkin

    Thanks for such a great post! It helped me to realized my home is welcoming and relaxing, because it does reflect my personality. The only thing is it may be a bit boring…but hey, that again is who I am. LOL! I will look at my decor again with new eyes.

  6. Gina

    You are SPOT ON with this! Love Anthropologie, but I also love the amalgamation of putting a home together over time.

    You always give the bestest advice!
    .-= Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage´s last blog ..transferring tea towels =-.

  7. TidyMom

    Lots of great things to think about!! Thanks Melissa!!
    .-= TidyMom´s last blog ..I Heart Faces – Jump for Joy! =-.

  8. Annelise Wilcox

    I do love Anthropologie but you are so right, whether you love it or not you can take ideas from it. As for many stores, mostly boutique ones. I feel like I have created a home that is personal, organized(on the outside, don’t check my closets), and detailed with touches of me and my whole family. I love that in our living room we can have a chinese painting, a large Dr. Seuss print, and some of my childrens paintings too. The colors all work together and it says ME. Or this is who we are as a family. Thanks for sharing, your thoughts.
    .-= Annelise Wilcox´s last blog ..Weekly Want From Walmart =-.

  9. Kim

    Wow! I guess it wouldn’t be the best idea for me to list everything in your photos that I loved, so I’ll just say Anthropologie rawks! I love everything and I have to have a pot with buttons….oh yes I do!

    What a wonderful post, and I find myself getting rid of things that don’t reflect our personality. Pretty things are just things that add clutter sometimes. With our space issues we have to love something to keep it around too long!

    Have a wonderful week!

    .-= Kim @ Everything Etsy´s last blog ..Embroidery Tutorial — Stitchin’ Retro Review and Giveaway =-.

  10. Tonya Riggs

    I love everything you have featured here this morning! Such inspiration to start out the week!
    .-= Tonya Riggs´s last blog ..Friday Fill-Ins {March 5} =-.

  11. Katie

    I love Anthropologie! I agree that not everything in there is my taste, but somehow it all makes me happy when I am in there. And I am always checking the tags on all the awwwwwwweeeeesome huge antique furniture pieces they use for display…and they are always for sale for, like, $10,000. But they are gorgeous.

    I’m a very detail oriented person…so No. 4 … details, details, details!
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..It All Starts With One Tiny Little Crack In The Wall… =-.

  12. Kat

    Great lessons and I agree, Anthro has this down to an art! I love homes that tell a story about their owners!

    Kat :)
    .-= Kat´s last blog ..Room With a View =-.

  13. Sarah meandmyyellowhouse

    What a wonderful and well written post! It really made me think about my own home and what I’m trying to create for myself, family and friends who come thru our door ~

  14. Cindy

    Great thought to ponder this Monday morning. Thanks for sharing!

  15. nanne

    great post!

    there is a show on the sundance channel called “man shops globe”….it follows the head (i think) buyer for anthropologie around the world as he looks for inspiration, ideas and actual products for the stores. it’s a fun show and an interesting look into the process of creating the anthropologie look.

  16. Vee

    Okay, I’m going to think about it…perhaps I’ll have to journal about it to get it right. Sometimes people feel at home here. Often, people ridicule what I do in my home. Should that be? It always makes me wonder if I leave it because I like it or if I should remove the offending item. Oh well! As always, there’s lots to ponder here.
    .-= Vee´s last blog ..Some Good Reading for You =-.

  17. g.suzie

    I love wandering through Anthropologie too, after reading your entry today I realize why it’s such a treat to do this! I can always feel the ‘creative vibes’ that flow so freely in that store, it is always very inspiring! Thanks for helping me realize how to create some of that kind of ambience at home!

  18. Jennifer

    Great post! As we have so many crazy things going on in our home right now (remodeling…enough said), it is the posts like this one that give me reassurance to what I am doing. Thanks for the bit of creative inspriation!
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Designing my Kitchen =-.

  19. Jeanne

    They do such a great job with their displays!
    Thanks for the post!!

  20. Heather

    What a wonderful post. The timing was truly perfect for me in reading this. We are itching to have our house feel more like home but don’t want to rush it. Thanks for the timely reminder that that is OK!!
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Progress, one little branch at a time =-.

  21. melissa stover

    i love to find inspiration in magazines, but we don’t have one of those stores around here. looks incredible though.
    .-= melissa stover´s last blog ..It might get messy =-.

  22. Melanie

    Lovely. Everything in there makes me happy. We all have different styles and that is what makes the world go round. I look online and see peoples homes that have an all white flair and I love the look but it isn’t ME. I love rich colors and that is what my home is. We can enjoy different designs but our home has to be US and the way we live. Great post.
    .-= Melanie´s last blog ..Prairie Dust made me bite the dust! =-.

  23. teresa

    One of my favorite posts….I too love Anthropologie! Your step by step thoughts and tips were perfect. Every since I can remember my design for my home has been a little like anthropologie, people over the years have questioned what I was doing design wise…but in the end it works perfect for my home and the way we live….I like using the usual if I can.
    .-= teresa´s last blog ..Pictures from Mason- =-.

  24. Lesley

    I really love Anthrop0logie too and I’m truly impressed with your analysis of why it’s so special and what we can take away it. In particular, I think you’re right on with the “ambiance” and the “details.” Those are just the things I really need to think about in my own home.
    .-= Lesley @ The Design File´s last blog ..Beautiful, modern nursery in an urban condo =-.

  25. Aimee

    Love this post Melissa! I am amazed at the creativity and details of Anthropologie displays! And I agree – your home should reflect YOU and not a catalog!

  26. sharon

    Lovely tips! Particularly loved anthropologie’s buttoned up pot! Different!:)

  27. Kate at Centsational Girl

    Melissa, this was an incredible post ! How right you are that Anthro, despite its extreme eclectic styling, does inspire us to decorate outside the catalog box ! ‘Break out of the cookie cutter’ right on !!! Well written, well said. I’ve bookmarked. Love this so much !

  28. Crystal

    Wow, wonderfully written and what great detail. We are truely born to be inspired and to create. These wonderful stores and magazine are great ways to get inspiration, but we should always throw our own style in to the mix.
    Sometimes I think the problem with finding our style is that we see so many wonderful blogs and houses, we can’t decide what specifically we like? When we get tired of looking at our own style, we tend to fall for something else, even if it is not really our style.
    What a perfectly put piece, about being able to extract out of stores, magazines or whatever we like and using just pieces of things in our own way.

    Have a blessed week.

  29. Dianne Hadaway

    I love this post! Great insights and I felt exactly the way you describe when I was in the LA store at the first of this month. My daughter and I browsed and thoroughly enjoyed the ambiance there. I took a photo of her in the store and I can’t wait to print it out and frame it, just love all the texture and color of it. I don’t know if I can share photos here but if so you can see it here:
    Thanks for a great article. I always enjoy your blog!!

  30. Abbie

    I love what you’ve said recently about letting your style and decor develop as you live life – not only does this teach patience, but it’s good for my budget! Oh, and it’s a good way to slowly see what I really like. For instance, I just added the (almost) finishing touch to my newly painted kitchen by adding valances I made from a bedskirt I found at a thrift store! Nobody else will have those. :)

  31. michelle

    Thanks for all the advice. I love the ambiance of Anthro as well even through I have to wait for any item I buy there to go on sale. Your tips are so helpful
    .-= michelle @ blissful musings´s last blog ..Blood, Germs, Beyonce, Toddlers and Tacos. =-.

  32. Shelley

    I love Anthro. You are right, it’s not every item they sell but the ambience. My style is french farmhouse meets romantic country I think. The hardest but the best thing to do is let your home evolve. It should say “you” when someone walks in. I am always disappointed when a home doesn’t say anything about who lives there.



  33. Elizabeth

    Thanks for this post and the tour of Anthro. I have yet to visit an Anthro store but the subject of your post has been on my mind a lot lately. I admire many things in others’ homes but I have recently been working on being sure our home is unique to us. I will reread this post again, I’m sure.
    .-= Elizabeth @ blue clear sky´s last blog ..Pretty plates =-.

  34. Gina

    I love these great reminders! For me my home style has been something that’s evolved over a long time-it’s been a process for sure. But because I’ve been patient I’m loving my home more than ever, I’m adding things I love and things that make me happy. That makes home feel more like home to me!
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..Doing Hard Things =-.

  35. Marija

    This is great – details do matter and it is what stands out at Anthropologie whether you are a fan of their style or not! Personally, I love it for little things around the home. I just picked up the most fashionable little butter dish :)

    .-= Marija´s last blog ..Mon. Morning Distraction #4 =-.

  36. lea helmerich

    my daughters and i have had a long love
    affair with anthropologie, and you have
    expressed so eloquently what we love.

    that store gave me permission to be a
    bit excessive in some areas that i was
    afraid to express.

    it’s funny that i stumbled upon your
    blog, because we are in the midst of
    working out details to entice them to
    our small shopping center.

    thank you,

  37. kathysue

    Melissa, Great post!! Well said and I totally agree with everything you said. I think it is much more important to decorate one’s home with your own likes not everyone else’s or even what the current trend might be. You have made your readers aware of looking outside the box and to look at all things as inspiration. Great Post!!BRAVO, Kathysue
    .-= kathysue´s last blog ..Laundry Rooms =-.

  38. AnNicole

    Melissa – this is one of my favorite posts ever…by anyone. It’s at least in my top 5. A) I Luh-huv-huv Anthropologie (I’ve said for years I could actually LIVE in one of those stores), and B) YES, our homes should be a reflection of us…not our favorite store, or magazine, or blog, or whatever. A+++ darlin’ (not that I’m grading you or anyting…you know what I mean :) ).
    .-= [email protected]´s last blog ..Paint Colors in My Home =-.

  39. Kacey

    Good thoughts! I never really pondered this before. I just knew I LOVE Anthropologie!
    .-= Kacey´s last blog ..Progress! =-.

  40. candace

    this post is fabulously inspiring! anthropologie coming our way soon and I am so excited! thanks for giving me a reminder of what an actual store looks like
    .-= candace´s last blog ..30 before 30 =-.

  41. Mrs.Rabe

    I love your 4 steps and I say “yes” to them!

    I really think the key is to find something to inspire you – perhaps a color or a style and then go with it.
    I have rarely had new furniture- we have a lot of hand me downs and inexpensive finds, but we pull it all together through color – neutrals on the furniture with color accents and then I just use things I have.

    Sorry for the long comment – I really do love making my home a warm and welcoming for my family first and then for others!
    .-= Mrs.Rabe´s last blog ..Happy Birthday Sweet 16! =-.

  42. Tricia

    These are such great tips, and of course I loved the eye candy.
    I’m with you, btw. If someone walked into my home and said “It looks just like ______________ (store) I would be a bit unhappy.
    .-= Tricia´s last blog ..I’ve been Framed, er, Featured =-.

  43. teresa

    Oh Melissa!
    What a fab post!
    Much better than any magazine on the stand!
    Oh if I had only studied in college like I was studying all of these pictures from Anthropologie!!! ;o) And don’t think I’m kidding! ;o)
    Yes…ambiance (i hope I spelled that right!) gotta have it!
    I just adore it when friends come over and just SINK into the ambiance of my home! Oh how I am needing a new candle right now. I haven’t been able to find the orange/vanilla candles that were my trademark scent back in the south.
    And I love that you addressed a home having personality…telling a story. Made me think of the driftwood that we gathered at the beach on Sunday. I now have bunches of it in an old french basket in my living space…and everytime Doogan passes it he smells it and I know it reminds him of our fun day on the BEACH!!!!
    Oh…and all of the SHELLS I have picked up on beaches all over the world are scattered throughout the house…always reminding me of those special moments in time. xxooxx
    Great post Melissa! You are so gifted with your words and attention to details.

  44. alee

    loved your little run thru! & I love Anthro…it was fun to read this & examine why I “enjoy” shopping there myself & as a shop proprietess what I can do to make my customers have an likewise experience :) thanks!

  45. Shelley in SC

    These have been really great posts on “finding your style” and now today’s. Thanks so much for the time you put into these really helpful posts!

  46. naturegirl

    A great store! Too bad we don’t have them in Canada!
    I have been when visiting Scottsdale..true inspiration today!
    Thank you!

  47. Shady Lady

    Great post! Because most days, I would like to buy everything in the BD catalog and re-do everything in my house with it. I will remember this next time I am feeling like my home is not as great as the ones I am loving in the next BD catalog.

    Seriously – the BD catalog is the thing that I love that also makes me feel bad about what I have. It inspires me, but it also makes me wish I had that.

    but, I LOVE our home at the same time. Everything in it! Because it IS us.

  48. rachel

    i have a gift card for Anthro that i’ve been hanging onto for MONTHS! i just go in there every 4-5 weeks & enjoy the ambiance… exactly what i want to create in my own home. without the garden hoses, though- i always get tangled up, dirty & wet when i use the hose! : )
    speaking for all your readers: we appreciate that you sit around thinking up posts like this while everyone else is napping or gardening! you’re a great thinker/writer!
    .-= rachel´s last blog decorating =-.

  49. Rachel

    What a great post Melissa! Aren’t we all just a little obsessed with Anthropologie? And it’s so true what you said here about the details. It’s those small little touches that get noticed or that make you feel at home.


  50. Kimm at Reinvented

    Awesome post, Melissa! Love your style, your voice, and your advice! :)
    .-= Kimm at Reinvented´s last blog ..Trash to Treasure Tuesday—Nifty Thrifty Lamps =-.

  51. Pam

    Hi Melissa: Great tips for all of us. I think our restyling efforts began a long time ago during depression times…. when one needed a new piece of furniture a crate was disassembled and fashioned into the new piece. Comfort came from within and still does, so thanks again for the reminder.
    .-= Pam´s last blog ..vintage door decorating – JUNKMARKET Style =-.

  52. zaira

    Very very useful for my upcoming house…Thanks so much for these suggestions!

  53. Stan Horst

    You’re making me wish I had an Anthropologie store nearby! No, seriously, these four points make sense. After all, why should I make my home look just like everyone else’s? I am unique as a person and therefore my home should reflect that uniqueness. I especially like lesson #2 “Be Fearless.” So what if my friends wouldn’t do things that way. Who cares? I resolve here and now to give myself permission to experiment without fear!

    Stan Horst

  54. 50centlove

    I’ve never been there and now I wanna go {whine}
    .-= 50centlove´s last blog ..Small Town Sight Seeing =-.

  55. Julie

    I love that store! Great post. Did they look at you like you were crazy for taking pictures of their store? ;-)
    .-= Julie @ Organizement´s last blog ..LOLs =-.

  56. Rona

    I don’t know what to call our style…maybe junk casual.

  57. Sarah

    LOVE this Melissa! Said so well. We had an Anthro open up here a few years ago and I’m a slacker — I’ve only gone a couple times. This has inspired me to check it out again!! :)

  58. Natalie

    So very true!

    And browsing through anthropologie is one of my favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon :)

    Thanks for the tips!
    .-= Natalie´s last blog ..Star of the Week: RUBYELLEN =-.

  59. Erica Cooper

    Thanks for your adoring words of Anthro… from another admirer, it was fun to read your thoughts on why we love that store and how to attain that personalized look in our home. I could spend hours in Anthro also and always come away with some creative inspiration.
    I adore details and believe they make a home. I also believe the best homes are those collected with love over time. When I work with clients, it is often hard for them to see the benefits of not ordering everything at once and having an “instant room” in a few days.
    When we step out of our impatient “want-right-now” attitudes and really desire to fill our home with things we have found and love, it really is much more than just a “decorated” room, it truly becomes our home!
    Thanks for your inspiring words!
    .-= Erica Cooper´s last blog ..Shades of green…. =-.

  60. Condo Blues

    What I love about Anthropologie style is that it’s a hodge podge, like real people decorate and collect, but they pull the items together in collections, many expected, that work.

    I think we’d all be better off design wise if we have Giant dinosaur topiaries in our homes. Or just me. I want two flanking my doorway. I also want them to have the ability to eat naughty neighborhood kids and door to door solicitors please.
    .-= Condo Blues´s last blog ..His and His Embroidered Towels =-.

  61. Derek


    I worked in retail mechandising for 16 years. I even traveled the country teaching it. It’s hard to teach people to be creativly brave.

    Thanks for posting some words to live by….

  62. Derek


    I worked in retail mechandising for 16 years. I even traveled the country teaching it. It’s hard to teach people to be creativly brave.

    Thanks for posting some words to live by….

  63. Tracy

    Don’t know how I missed this post, Melissa, but I sure am glad Julia linked to it today. All I really have to say is “amen”. To being fearless. To being true to what you really love and not what the magazines or catalogs tell us to love. To REALLY making your home your own. I’m also glad I’m not the only one who goes to anthro just to “feel” it and take notes about the displays! I think the clerks there know by now that it’s a waste of their time to ask me if they can help me! I am seriously “just looking” and looking and looking. They should charge admission and sell coffee. I’d still show up just as often.
    .-= Tracy @ Comfort&Luxury´s last blog ..What’s Up, Up There? =-.

  64. Becky

    I was just in there today. It’s just my happy place. They use all my favorite springy colors and put them together in the most eye catching displays. It’s just candy. Thank you for such a well written post:)
    .-= Becky @ Farmgirl Paints´s last blog ..The bigger picture =-.

  65. Ashley

    This is wonderful! I too love anthropology and the points you mentioned are so true! My husband always tells me I like to touch everything in stores. I am just drawn to different textures. I want to feel them. So true. And the part about details and decorating to reflect your personality…I love tiny unexpected things and quite obsessed with decorating for every holiday. For many this is over the top, but for others coming into my home, this is Ashley. I get a lot of compliments from friends on our home, and when I compare myself to other bloggers or magazines who are doing way more amazing things than I am, I think, then why my house? What draws people? And I really think it is these points you mentioned. What a wonderful concept…I am encouraged to pride myself in how I decorate and reflecting my (and my husband’s) personality, and when I do that succesfully I have a beautiful home. Wonderful post Melissa! Thank you! :)
    .-= Ashley @ Domestic Fashionista´s last blog ..Saint Patrick’s Day Gift Tags =-.

  66. Hip Hip Gin Gin

    This is such an inspiring post! I always find things I love but then psych myself out and think “oh I can’t put that in the house”. Here’s to getting up the guts to do whatever I want!!! If the results are anything like Anthropologie I would be so happy, I could truly live inside one of their stores for the rest of my life!
    .-= Hip Hip Gin Gin ´s last blog ..Happy Friday! =-.

  67. Chelsea

    I don’t know if I could identify what it is I always love about the store, but it seems to consistently pull me in. Every once in a while, they miss with some decorations (nobody is perfect), but more often than not, they pull me into the store and I usually am “inspired” to buy something…

  68. kate

    i love this article! this is the first time i’ve been to your blog. i stumbled across it when i googled on how to get anthropologie style cheaper. :) You’ve definitely helped some, and given me a new site to explore. I’ve never heard of Ballard Designs before.

    And, now you have me thinking of little wood buttons, that I could paint with a lacqured floral print that I think would look lovely on a cardigan. :D

  69. Diane

    Good stuff! Really.
    Years ago I remember reading in one of my zines about how the English have things forever…no instant decor….but layers of living. You’ve got me thinking….I’ve traveled abroad several times….would anyone see any evidence in my home? Hmmm. Maybe I’ll spend my next Sunday afternoon thinking…abut *my* decor!

  70. Whitney

    Thank you. That was inspiring. My husband and I bought a home just yesterday and in my eagerness to “set up” house, I could easily forget that it takes time to have our personalities and experiences show through. I’m going to decorate with (only) the things I love.

  71. Stacy

    I’ve never been to an Anthropologie store before; I’ve often looked at their website and love their designs. Thanks for the store tour!

  72. A la Mode Maven

    I LOVE YOUR BLOG! I am obsessed with Anthropologie in general and even more obsessed if I can find the look for less. I did a facelift on my office this weekend and used their fun knobs!
    ….and then last week I posted on a fun ‘anthro look’ I found at TJMAXX…gotta love that….and then it popped up in their new catalogue, how crazy is that???
    Hope you enjoy all you anthro lovers! xoxo Shelli

  73. The Old Block House

    I’m looking for ideas on decorating my booth at the local antique mall. You’ve given me inspiration on how to decorate the cupboards with the anthro pics. Thanks bunches! I’m off to check out their site to see if I can figure out the layering on the shelves.

    Love your blog!

  74. Mariah

    I feel the same way about Anthro as you do – I am totally inspired each time I walk through those doors. I get SO many decorating ideas from them.

  75. Rick S

    I am looking around your site and was interested in the subject. I think it boils down to use what you honestly like. If someone else likes mismatched kitchen chairs and a bare table and I like the table/chair set with gramma’s doilie in center make the choice that is right for you. We should each have our own idea of who we are and what is our passion or feel good decor. Maybe it is not so much decorating but arranging our life and living space to reflect what we value. I am better off with a egg basket I love than a tiffany vase I hate. Surround yourself with people who want to know you and accept you for who you really are. Thanks for getting me thinking.. rick

  76. Traci

    I have never stepped foot in Anthropologie but I’m currently doing a research project on it. I think you’ve done a wonderful job explaining the true consumer experience. Thanks for opening my eyes. I think I’ll go step foot in that store now :)

  77. teresa

    Awesome helpful post! Can you be my neighbor….=) Oh the things I could learn….wait….you are my neighbor…blog neighbor. =)

  78. Susan

    Wow. Stumbled upon your blog for the first time yesterday during one of the ‘Fall Home Tours.’ Anthropologie is my go to place to wander around for some decor inspiration. I love, love, love my time spent just looking at the displays in an environment filled with such glorious scents. Many times I have turned to an associate and just remarked how I would love to just move into the store and live amongst the amazing displays. I could never put into words why that is….but you did. Not sure if you are aware but the owner of Anthropologie opened another store…’Terrain’ in the Phila. area. Geared towards gardening and the like. Also fabulous. I look forward to following your blog and getting my home together :)

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Thanks! I love Terrain, I’ve only seen it online but I sure wish I could go in person! Thanks for coming by Susan, nice to meet you!

  79. Sonia Illner

    What an amazing post for my daughter. I just went into Anthropologie yesterday afternoon with my 9 year old. I promise you that my daughter was as inspired, if not more so, than I was. She was shaking with inspiration and talked even more about what all she wants to do when she visits her best friend in Germany next year. There is a large barn on the property which the girls played in this summer moving antique furniture and books around between floors. My daughter was excited about bringing in some prints and making pillows as well as combining colours for some of the chairs. Very much ‘a la Anthropologie’.

  80. Emilie

    Love this, Melissa! I think I need to put visiting an Anthropologie on my bucket list. ? I absolutely love creating our home into a space that my husband and I enjoy. Your books and blog helped me to do that. Thank you!



  1. Creative Ideas from Anthropologie - [...] You poor dears, I can’t believe I haven’t posted these yet! Last time I shared lessons from Anthropologie, I…

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