Three Decorating Essentials Every Home Needs

Three Decorating Essentials Every Home NeedsThis post was sponsored by Ross Dress for Less

As we are decorating our new house, I always keep in mind the basics for what I feel creates a warm and comfortable home. Whether you are in your first home or your seventh, I believe there are three decorating essentials every home needs: authenticity, personality and flexibility.

Three Decorating Essentials Every Home Needs

First and foremost, your home should be authentic to you and your family.

By that I mean it’s essential that your home reflects what matters to you in this season of your life. When you start from a place of authenticity, you have a good compass or gauge for what to spend your hard earned money on. The good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice your sense of style to be authentic, even when you are on a modest budget!

Do you have a family? Perhaps you have young kids? Pets? Do you work from home? We have two dogs, so part of my authentic style in this season of our life is creating a very pet-friendly home. We’ve put comfy beds for our dogs in several rooms. Instead of risking that our home might end up looking like a dog kennel, we incorporate budget and pet-friendly items that fit right into the style of our space.

When I spotted this adorable dog bed at Ross, I knew that the pretty fabric pattern would not only would look amazing in our home, but our pups would LOVE IT, too! It was a decorating win-win. It was also a great price ($22). You can save 20%-60% at Ross on the same brands carried in department stores, so it makes it easier for home decor lovers like us to stay on budget.

Authenticity is always in style, so I believe you can definitely create a beautiful home layer by layer without breaking the bank.

Secondly, your home should show off your personality.

You’ll love your home the most when it reflects your personality. What colors inspire you? Which patterns make you happy? What is your story and what do you love to do? Sure, hand me downs save on the budget. But as you start to decorate your home, always incorporate some items you love even when you mix them with things you aren’t as in love with.

Three Decorating Essentials Every Home Needs

Find accessories that tell your story and show off everything that makes you YOU. These three pretty glass floats (also found at a great price at Ross) are not only on-trend, but they remind me of my childhood every time I see them. We had a similar set growing up. We’ve always lived on or near the water and our house now is overlooking Puget Sound so coastal influences always make me happy.

Ask yourself what really sparks joy and shows off your personality so you can always feel inspired in your home.

Three Decorating Essentials Every Home Needs

Lastly, incorporate items that offer flexibility.

Invest in items for your home that offer flexibility so you’ll save money (and space!) in the long run. The fact is, you might move at least few times in your lifetime. You’ll go through various seasons in every home where you’ll have different needs. Especially if you live in a small space, you need pieces that can serve more than one purpose.

Three Decorating Essentials Every Home Needs

You all know I’m a big fan of hooks. Not only do they add style to a space, but they are easy to install, are affordable and offer so much flexibility on a budget. We don’t always have enough closets or room for cabinets in our home, but a few hooks can make any space more comfortable and easy to live in.

Three Decorating Essentials Every Home Needs

We put a row of six cute hooks in our super tiny guest room. Friends or family can hang a purse, an overnight bag, a cosmetic bag, their coat or a robe! Hooks keep their belongings out of the reach of our pups and make guests feel more organized while they visit.

Three Decorating Essentials Every Home Needs

Aim to invest in classic staple pieces you’ll be able to use in several different ways. These new little bamboo-style nesting tables are some of my most flexible pieces! They can fit together as nesting tables to save space. Small tables or stools can be tucked in anywhere, perhaps to be used for anything from a plant stand or a spot to set coffee, a book or a meal when entertaining. These tables will be classic pieces in our home for years to come.

My home is still evolving and I can’t wait to share more of the progress with you! Thanks for following along on our adventure to create a home.

Tell me about your authentic style in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!

The items I featured today (the nesting tables, the glass floats, the dog bed and the hooks) were all found at my local Ross store last week! Check out all the latest items and budget-friendly decor at your local Ross store (find a Ross store near you at as well as check out their latest styles on Facebook and Instagram.

Find more decorating help in my book, The Inspired Room!


  1. Hi Melissa, I think it’s so important to add your own personality throughout your home and not be worried what others think about your ideas and style. I love your blog and have been reading it for several years now! You’ve inspired me to try creating my own blog!

  2. I have three kids, two of which are very active so my home has to be beautiful but no so much that I would cry if they break something. I’ve taken to buying vintage or second hand and refinishing it for two reasons, its affordable so if they break it, I’m okay and it is better made so they might not be able to break it after all.

  3. I have pieces from travels around the world. Husband has antiques collected over years. Our home is a mix of styles, but there’s a theme: it’s comfortable, welcoming, more or less cohesive palette-wise, and every piece means something to us. We don’t just buy the showroom.

  4. We just got Ross in the Milwaukee area a few months ago and are so thrilled! We travel a lot, and always made it a point to find the Ross stores wherever we were. Now we have our own! Hurray!

  5. We are retiring to AL from CA in the next couple of months. We are not downsizing. We have bought a much bigger house, because we love it. We have lived with his and hers combined well-worn furniture for a long time, and will not be taking a lot with us. The thought of furnishing and decorating this big (3500 sq ft) house from nearly scratch is daunting. Thank you for teaching me that it is a process. It’s not going to look like a home in a magazine overnight. I’m starting with patio furniture, that will serve in my living room, while we live with the house a while, to get a feel for what we want in it. Thanx for all your great ideas.

    • That is such a good idea, Dinah! So smart. Congratulations on your new home. It’s definitely a process and you’ll be so much happier with the result if you are patient with the journey. Each new piece or layer we add at our home brings us so much joy because we know it’s just what we need and want. I also love adding things slowly because I appreciate each change so much! Enjoy your new place.

  6. As a British expat now living in the Bay Area of San Francisco, I found myself pulling in reference to my old life back in the uk but also adding to my story of how I’m living now.I have a saying I use all the time on my Instagram which is your house should speak for you, but I think you have said it in a much more elegant way. It takes courage to let people see who you really are. where you come from, what makes you tick and your likes and passions but as we grow in confidence so are homes become more ethentic to who we really are. I find it fantastic that young people have so much free advice when it comes to their homes now, how much more creative their world is becoming, we had to learn but trail and error;) love you blog and love the way you write 😘👊

  7. Hi Melissa,

    Can you write about how to decorate your home to be stylish yet baby/infant/toddler proof?


  8. Such great advice. Our home is filled with bright walls and fabulous art and accessories from India. We love it but so many home decor posts and pics showcase the minimalist home with white walls. This is a wonderful reminder to stay true to yourself and design your home in a way that makes you happy.

    • Absolutely, design your home in a way that inspires you! The colors, the treasure, the styles….they should all make you happy! My home has both white walls and colors on the walls and each room is starting to make me happy and feel alive in their own unique ways. It’s so fun to be creative and design a home that truly speaks to you, isn’t it? Enjoy.

  9. I love anything time worn..with a family history and a little quirky. Thanks for your tips

  10. The Ross store was my first nod to aging–their 10% discount once a week for anyone 55 (I think it was) or older. I used it for cotton sheets and towels, mostly. They have great prices and lots (overwhelmingly lots) of interesting home dec things. Using your 3 priorities will help me sift through the merchandise and start adding a few things to update our home according to US. I’m excited!

  11. Terry Morris says

    I have enjoyed your blog for several years. Can you tell me what paint color/make you used on the chest shown in today’s post? It is exactly what I have wanted for an antique chest I inherited.I is a brown behemoth with gorgeous lines and brasses. Thank you!

  12. Being authentic here in our cottage, means that we use color on the walls even when the trend is all neutrals! It also means warmth and family friendly, plants and art and candles, and my many pretty plates and tea cups too!

  13. We have a love of color, antiques, and treasures from our travels. Consequently our home was Bohemian when it wasn’t cool to be. But we have always thought that your home should function like a big hug. When you walk in the door your only thought should be ahhhh…

  14. I love the stylized hooks! I still have a tendency to go for chunky plastic Command Hooks but I may have to start swapping them out for something cuter. Such a cheap way to add a nice touch.

  15. I love the room…everything about it, especially the daybed. I have one question. Though I know it does not look good in a room, my family could not live without the Tv, especially my husband who loves sports. Do you have a tv in another room? We live in an apt and do not have much space. The tv has to go in the living room. Do you have any recommendations on how to have a tv in a room like this? Thanks.

  16. Our kids’ young adult friends describe our house as “homey” — which sounds good to me! Like one previous reply-er, we have plenty of old family pieces mixed with our contemporary ones.
    I’d like you to respond to the above tv question, too. And I didn’t know about the Ross senior discount days; I’ll have to look into that!

  17. P. S. I like the hooks, too. I’m thinking of a Shaker peg rack to cover a horizontal seam in our bedroom wall (the one right in front of me when I’m in bed). At first, I thought the first decorating necessity was going to be a cute dog!

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