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The Secret to Styling a Home You Actually Live In

by | Feb 11, 2014 | Decorating Inspiration

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The Secret to Styling a Home You Actually Live In

I love styling and decorating our home. But let’s be honest. We LIVE HERE. We have stuff. Everyone has necessities that we need to have on hand, but not everything can be hidden away at all times. Fortunately I have a styling secret that I have used in my home for many years. I don’t mind seeing items we use every day out in the open as long as they are cute or fit in with our decor! :-).

The Secret to Styling a Home You Actually Live In

I’ve shared this secret here from the beginning of this blog, why have things in your home that aren’t attractive if you have an option of choosing something prettier? Little details like that matter to me, whether it is having pretty dishes or books on my shelves, attractive kitchen utensils, or even the look of the hand soaps we choose. I even pick pretty kleenex boxes because … WHY NOT? Did you see the kleenex box in the family room photo? I will always choose things that go best with my house if given the opportunity!

The Secret to Styling a Home You Actually Live In

When your everyday necessities blend in with your decor, you don’t have to hide them away.

That’s been my designer secret for styling a real life home: make everyday things more beautiful.

The Secret to Styling a Home You Actually Live In


  1. Diane | An Extraordinary Day

    Glad you’re feeling better Melissa. :)
    I love seeing the lace curtain in your window with the beautiful brown drape. There’s something about a lace curtain that is just plain pretty. It’s a lovely contrast, and I like that it affords some privacy during the day while keeping the windows open for light in the bedroom. I rarely see lace curtains any more and I miss them. Do you think they are making their way back?

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      I have no idea if they will come back or not but I sure love them! I just do my own thing so I’m either way out of touch or setting a new trend, haha! I’ve had them for years and years and they really are perfect for some privacy with light still being allowed through. And they are beautiful!

  2. Shannon [Our Home Notebook]

    Glad to know I’m not the only one who has Kleenex boxes out :) But you’re so right, if they’re pretty it helps so much.

  3. Kim

    This post is an example of why I am falling out of love with so called design blogs. I actually hoped to find something useful here, based on the title, but all I found was a Kleenex commercial. You seem very sweet and I often enjoy your blog, but, in general, all the commercial endorsements on blogs – not just yours – are getting old.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Yeah, I wish we lived in a world where we didn’t have to pay our bills, but even design bloggers need to make a living! :-) Our posts are free for readers to enjoy though so at least we don’t charge YOU! I have limited sponsored posts here but when I do, I do try to give you helpful information, my honest endorsements, and my favorite decorating tips. Today’s tip is one of my all time favorites — making everyday things more beautiful transforms how we live at home. I hope that helps inspire you as much as it does me!

      • Sharon B.

        Agreed Melissa, your blog is wonderful and I rarely see you have sponsored posts here. I don’t think people realize just how much time and effort it takes to create a beautiful and useful blog post like you have here and if you can get a little compensation for all the work put into it, I say that just makes good business sense.

  4. Amy

    I also think Kleenix has cute boxes (I thought I was the only one)! It makes having to buy them (when you’re sick) a little bit better! I hope you recover soon :)

  5. joanne

    I would like to ask a question the last picture where the clock is I LOVE YOUR curtains can you tell me where you got them. Thanks, getting ready for more snow here in NYC I guess its time to get more Kleenix just say’n ENOUGH ALREADY love Jack’s picture

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Thank you! My mom had them for years and then I have used them in a couple of houses. They are really gorgeous and are perfect for filtered privacy when you still want some light shining through! :-)

      OH NO on more snow, that is enough already for you! Jack wants to come play in in, though.

  6. sandyc

    Although I buy in bulk from Costco often, I spend a lot of time picking out the big package and then sorting the boxes when I get home. The blenders with my décor go in front and the others go in back to be used under covers or in areas where they won’t interfere – although in a desperate pinch, any box will do. Fun post. And I love your lace curtains too – very inviting – and I’ll take the table below it now, if you please.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Thank you Sandy!! I’m with you, I sort them and decide which one I can leave out and what ones will be hidden :-)!

  7. Vee

    I have been enjoying the new designs very much as well. In fact, I am looking at a box of Kleenex right now. Hope that you are all remaining vertical now.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Well I hope you aren’t sick, Vee!! :-) Yes, I’m up and at ’em and back on the go — such a relief! Thanks Vee! :-)

  8. Molly

    I have a quick question for you along these lines. I have pulled out all of my pretty serving dishes and put them on my shelves, which solves a storage problem in my kitchen and serves as beautiful decor. However, when we have guests over and I have to actually use my dishes… My shelves are full of empty homes. I’m trying to eliminate extra belongings so I don’t have a bumh of stuff hiding elsewhere to throw on my shelves to fill in when my dishes are in use. Any thoughts? Thx!

    • Molly

      Oops! Typing on my phone… Sorry about the typos! (Empty holes; bunch of stuff)

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Great question, Molly! When I need to use my dishes or serving items on my open shelves, I usually just do a bit of shuffling and rearranging. Because I really do try to make everyday things more beautiful, I can pull out mixing bowls, some cereal bowls, coffee mugs, a vase or cookbooks and book ends to fill in the gaps! I also might take one extra plate and put it on a stand or put a cookbook upright to fill up empty space.

      I’ve figured out over time there is not only one way to style my shelves so am always rearranging and mixing things up anyway since I do actually use many of the items on a regular basis. Like you, I try to not have a lot of excess stuff hiding elsewhere but rather just use what I have! At the end of this post linked here you will see a collage of a few ways I’ve styled my shelves and links to the posts.

      Hope that helps :-)

  9. Victoria

    Glad you are better! I know all about the crud. My husband brought it home from his latest business trip and it has slowly gone through the house. I still have the cough and just can’t get rid of it. When the crud was going through the house I bought the ‘other’ tissue that advertises itself as soft and strong. NOT. I think they changed their formula or something because it wasn’t soft nor strong and my husband ended up using 5 or 6 tissue at one time. NOT cost effective. I bought Kleenex ‘cool touch’…. and I’m telling you – soft and strong and great. You only need 1 tiisue. So I won’t be buying any other kind from now on, I just wish they made it in a larger box. I’m done with my user endorsement! :-)

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Oh I know exactly what you mean, I really dislike wimpy tissue! Oh, and I actually found a bunch of these same designs in a larger box!

  10. Lee Ann

    I LOVE that key hook and have been looking for one exactly like that for months, do you mind sharing where you found it?
    Thanks!! LH

      • Lee Ann

        me too! thank you :)

  11. Sharon B.

    I was just at the store last week stocking up on Kleenex and even though I wasn’t feeling well with the sniffles, it was so nice to actually enjoy picking out a pretty kleenex box that I wanted to take home. :)

  12. teresa

    Glad you are feeling better….the flu has hit some of my grandchildren….and I feel like a walking tissue box. =)

  13. Julia

    Thank you so much for your wonderful blog. Just wondering if you would share where you found the metal “bamboo” and glass table that is behind your chair and beside the fireplace. I have been searching for something just like that for ages.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Thank you :-)! Yes I love those tables! I got them at Pier1 and they are great quality and so flexible in how you can use them!

  14. Kathy

    I couldn’t agree with you more! If you have to have those things why not make them cute! Here’s a funny story, I bought the gold honeycomb lamp that you have in the first picture, and was actually going to take it back, because I just couldn’t find the right spot for it. But, now that I see yours & how you have it displayed, I love it!! Thanks for the idea!! Kathy

  15. Laure Gill

    Please tell Kleenex i wish they’d make boxes that look like burlap and linen. I love kleenex and with three kids we always have boxes of tissue available…..but I wish the boxes werent trying to add a pattern…but rather they would sit quietly and coordinate with my home. thanks!

  16. Cynthia

    Melissa, so glad that you are feeling better! and glad I’m not the only one who spends 10 minutes hunting and sorting through the tissue boxes at the store to find the cutest patterns :-)

    • Stacie

      Ditto! ;)

  17. Kathy Stern

    I hate the clutter on the table between hubby and I’s chairs. I buy pretty boxes and jars for him to put stuff in but he never puts them back in there. I’m always looking at his newly opened mail, remote controls and medicine bottles! Arggghhh! Outside of trading him in, got any suggestions?

  18. Autumn

    Help! Ditto what Kathy said about Hubby and his clutter! I have 4 kids that do the same thing! I want things to look nice but feel secumbed to the “can’t have anyone over syndrome” every day! I can’t keep up after them all. How do you get them all on board? We may be putting our home on the market soon and I’m totally overwelmed! …..And I just love your new table! I love anything beachy.

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