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Home is in the Heart of the Beholder

by | Feb 14, 2017 | Decorating Inspiration

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Home is in the Heart of the Beholdervia Historical Concepts

It’s been well over a decade since we moved out of our tiny English cottage in the Eastmoreland neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. How time flies! The house was in my dream neighborhood, full of charming old homes on tree lined streets. We had one of the smaller houses, but I so loved everything about living there. My sister still lives nearby, so I get to visit it from time to time.

I have such sweet memories of that little house and the lovely life we had there. Everything wasn’t perfect, of course, but so many good things happened in this house, too. It was the home we brought our son home to. I watched his cousin (five weeks older than he is) during the day for my sister for years, so we were snug as a bugs in that little house with four kids.

At the time my parents lived just a few blocks from us, I loved walking to my mom’s house, pushing a double stroller with my girls on their bikes just in front of us. Our girls had lemonade stands and we had neighborhood block parties on the street every summer.

Home is in the Heart of the Beholder

Our little cottage
The photo above is of the actual house I’m talking about in this post!
The small bedroom featured above isn’t mine, but it was a good stand in. Isn’t it cute?

We put our girls in the “master bedroom” (the biggest of the three bedrooms) to share and we had a small bedroom on the main floor. It was so small we had to put our bed diagonally and we had to make a closet for my husband out of the hall linen cabinet. It drove us crazy sometimes to be in such a cramped space, but I really loved that room. It was cozy and romantic, just like the house.

We had three other small old houses in the Portland area over the years that I loved, too. I miss them all very much (if only I could have them back again, but I’m starting to feel those familiar warm fuzzies in my heart we make this small house our home, too.

Shop for your bedroom in the scrolling images, below!

Home is in the Heart of the Beholder

Have you ever had an extra cozy house that you loved? Tell us a few favorite house memories in the comments!

Happy Valentine’s Day, lovelies.

Home is in the Heart of the Beholder

Art from my New York Times Bestselling book Love the Home You Have
(download free art quotes via that link, too!)
If you haven’t read the book, treat yourself to a copy for Valentine’s Day! I hope it will encourage you.


  1. Lisa

    What an adorable little house you lived in! We are planning to downsize in a couple of years and I hope to find a home with lots of charm next time. Thanks for sharing your memories with us.

  2. Jo Jo

    Like you, Melissa, we are settling in to a new home in a new state and have owned and lived in many different homes and states (7 homes and 6 states) over he years. I’ve fond memories of each one. The breathless, wonderment of owning our very first home (an elegant, new townhome in the city – childless at the time) straight thru to building our ” retirement” home almost a year ago ( again, childless – children flew the nest). My favorite was our last home in NJ. A modest, 2000 sq ft cape cod home where we lived for 29 years and both our children grew up in. My son was 5 when we moved into it and my daughter was brought home from the hospital in it. We truly made that place our HOME. We took an existing 1 st floor bedroom and extended it out just 8 ft and created a beautiful family room w/ fireplace with 2 French doors that walked out onto a paver patio that was the length of the entire house that had a hot tub, a stone zen garden with a little fountain, a gazebo where we had a wicker seating area and also a lovely flowered area for dining. We had so many get togethers with our Church family, our children and their friends and our extended family there! We gutted that small kitchen in 2004 and it became my ‘ tiny’ eat-in ‘ gourmet’ space. I loved preparing meals in that cozy space! Tho our current kitchen is much larger and open concept, I designed it aestectily very similar to that cozy kitchen. I have lived every home we’ve had. Some huge, most tho were smallish, but all were made of love. I love everything HOME. Always have and always will. I love your featured cottage in this post. I’ve already been imagining what the interior looks like! ❤

  3. Judith Newman

    I love the bed in the first picture. It is a gem for sure.

  4. Catherine

    What a sweet post! And such wonderful memories our homes evoke in us. I still live in the home we raised our children in. (now ages 26 and 30!) and my husband and I often talk about our memories of when our kids were little. Our kids would also set up lemondade stands, ride their bikes to the park, have friends and pets galore and we have treasured memories of it all! Thank you for your blog; it’s my favorite!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Thank you so much, Catherine! What sweet memories you must experience often living in the same house where your kids grew up. That is so special. Thank you for sharing. :)

  5. Christi

    Could you please let your readers know when you expect to reveal your kitchen. It seems like a year since it was first revealed to us that you were going to renovate. I’m sure it hasn’t been that long, but it seems like it. I hope you find someone in your city who can build a round window frame for that window. I’m sure when we hear of all the delays you have endured, it will be the most unbelievable story. You must get emails like this constantly….sorry for this….but I’m as anxious as everybody else. lol The tidbits of pics I see on instagram of the kitchen and downstairs living area look lovely.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      We actually started our kitchen remodel in October. It took several months of work and was almost complete by Christmas, and then we had the holidays and the window trim fiasco. Delays are frustrating, but that’s how projects go sometimes. I wish it was like a TV remodel where I could go through the whole process from concept to reveal in a one hour segment! Wouldn’t that be awesome? Bloggers don’t have it quite that easy haha.

      I’m so glad you are excited to see the final result. Imagine how anxious I am to share it! :) SO HARD TO WAIT! But soon, very soon. Thanks for following along :).

  6. Cindy in Oklahoma

    We’ve lived in 5 different homes over 43 years of marriage. We recently sold the home we lived in for 30 of those years while our boys were growing up. Off the main living area was a small porch with a walkway leading around the back of the house to a deck covered patio. A few years before we sold we screened in the small patio and filled it with a rocking chair, a lounge chair and a small table and two comfy wicker chairs. I purchased a screen door from Lowe’s with victorian design flair which had nothing to do with the 80’s contemporary flair of the rest of our home…. but it was perfect.The icing on that cake? A ceiling fan. I cannot tell you how many late summer evenings I’d sit in that rocker and listen to sprinklers and owls frogs and bugs…and enjoy the warm glow of lights inside the houses around us, the breeze of the fan lulling me to sleep…. Our house backed up to a greenbelt area with a small creek. Tall trees grew wild on either side and provided shelter and privacy.. even though we were right in the middle of a neighborhood! I miss that room more than any room we’ve ever had…

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      That sounds blissful! Thank you for sharing such a sweet house memory. XO

  7. Tracey

    What an adorable little home. I LOVE it!

  8. Jen

    My first home in Portland was also in Eastmoreland. Such sweet memories of bringing our only child home and the wonderful neighbors!

  9. Ellen

    Your post reminded me of the 19 years we lived in the 1500 sq ft parsonage the church provided our family. Thankfully we never had more than 6 of our 9 children at home at the same time! For a lot of those years my husband and I shared a tiny bedroom so 3 of our daughters could have the much larger master bedroom. We joked that we were the most compatible roommates so we should take the the teeny room. It barely held our queen sized bed. That house did not meet our needs for space but there was a lot of life that happened within those walls and a lot of great memories.


    Sweet memories. I think each home we have lived in has sweet memories attached to it. I love my homes and i love being a homemaker so no matter where we live we make it home sweet home for our family. Having lived in our previous home for over 37 years, you can only imagine all the memories that were made there. We now live in our retirement home where we are starting to make new sweet memories. It never has to be perfect or a huge home to be wonderful!!

  11. Rachel

    We are living in a very cozy 2 bed, 2 bath house right now and actually really love it! I think it’s my favorite house we’ve lived in so far, and we’ve lived in several because my husband was in the military for several years. I love that you put your girls in the master bedroom so they could have more room. We have 3 children and our plan is to put all three of them in the master once the youngest is finished nursing. And then my husband and I will have the smaller bedroom (but bigger bath!). I don’t feel so crazy for thinking it will work seeing someone else did that too ?

  12. Christie

    Many houses make a home over the years! I never really remember the old places and the four walls but do have fond memories of life. :)

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      That’s what counts! The life within those walls is really all that matters.

  13. Lily

    My children growing up and all the wonderful memories associated with them are what I most remember about every house we’ve lived in. I love your blog! Your decorating style is what I prefer, so that keeps me checking in often. And I like your writing style as well!

  14. Karen Riggs

    Inspired By A Lovely Life…The spread is beautiful…Do you remember where you bought it? Everything is gorgeous!

  15. Karen on Bainbridge Island

    I’ve lived in a lot of houses. When first married, we had a typical suburban home 1700 sq feet, 3 beds 2 baths.
    Our next house was the most adorable 1100 sq ft, 2 bed 1 bath. It was a wreck when we bought it but we turned it into the cutest cottage on the block. We completely redid the landscaping and enjoyed the neighbor compliments that came with the curb appeal makeover. Everybody referred to it as the window box house. We also build a 4000 sq ft house on 4 acres to retire to. We loved that house, because we made every decision about what it would look like. We decided to downsize, and sold the custom home 18 months ago. Now we are happily settled into a fixer upper that we completely remodeled. We also took out every plant and every blade of grass, leaving only one oak tree. Now it’s home. I guess you could say we enjoy the process of making each house a home. I think perhaps I have one more move in me…but it would have to be to a place that sits right on the water or I’m not budging!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Ha! I love your story and I’m with you. If I move again I’d like to make it a good one haha.

  16. Jill

    All those cute ‘little’ houses have increased in value ALOT!!

  17. Eileen

    I had a small cozy house in the 70’s and the thing that made it special was that I bought it myself when I was young and single—-I was so proud of it! It was a little two bedroom cottage where I stayed for 10 years before I got married and built a new house with my husband and where we still live today. I like it — it’s a lot bigger — but I often think of all the character that my first home had and all the good times I had there. Sometimes makes me sad….

  18. Pamela B

    this is a very different type of post.
    I was a prosecutor for los angeles county for 24 years.
    I spent 16 months trying a death penalty case for a man who had tortured and killed two
    teenage girls. He was convicted and sentenced to death. It was an exhausting and awful
    I was single too. So i purchased a small, 1950s cottage in southern California and completely
    remodeled it and painted the outside pink. Creating a home for myself healed
    me, and shortly thereafter, I met my husband.

  19. Ivory

    I too adore your home, it looks comfortable and inviting. I also love that first bedroom you posted. Beautiful design, I love everything about it. Looking forward to see your new home. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Debra Stallings

    Adore you home! What is the paint color and trim color in the bedroom above. Love it so much!

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