To do, or not to do…

To do, or not to do...

When we moved into this house, I started gathering all kinds of ideas for what I wanted to do to update this room.

I dreamed up everything from adding a window seat, to bookcases, to built ins, to some trim work, to refinishing floors, to a new fireplace surround and a fireplace insert for cozier fall days.

So many ideas!

So little time and budget.

While we’ve been able to work on quite a few other projects around our house (if you are new and want to catch up you can find many of them here!), this room has evolved in less dramatic ways than I envisioned.

But for this past season of our life, simple changes have been more than enough.

Instead of redoing the fireplace, we just painted it. Twice. :)

To do, or not to do...

Rather than a built-in window seat, we bought a rattan daybed that we ended up loving (and the dogs love it, too!).

While we still haven’t installed one bit of trim in here, we refreshed the room with paint and installed window shades.

To do, or not to do...

Of course, every so often (or every season!) we rearrange the space with rugs, furniture, art, lamps…we’re still experimenting and figuring out what makes us feel our best in here.

(If you missed my recent post, I shared how we’ve been liking our new white sofa here!)

To do, or not to do...

Similar leather ottoman / Sofa Rug / Round Accent Table / Woven side table trunk

I haven’t stopped dreaming up ideas for this room though. That’s what I do. But I’ve also grown to be quite content with it as it is. It’s comfortable. Inviting. Relaxing and cozy.

What more do I really need?

There’s something to be said about embracing simplicity, you know? Letting yourself just be content with what is. Feeling happy with what you already have, rather than always feeling the need to have new, or more…or different…or extra.

To do, or not to do...

My goal is that when I do decide to make a more significant change, it is a more thoughtful one. I want my home to speak to my heart. I don’t want to make changes on a whim just to reflect the most current design trends. I want to make changes that bring joy, make sense, are meaningful or serve our needs well.

To do, or not to do...

One of the questions I’m still pondering is whether or not I want to make a design change to my fireplace! Part of me still wants to redesign this whole wall. Part of me has grown to be comfortable with it as it is.

What are your thoughts, friends? If this was your home, would you change this wall? What ideas would you have for updating this fireplace? What inspiration photos would inspire you? Or would you just leave it as is?

Do you ever wrestle with the process of making design changes or decisions in your home?

To do, or not to do...
To do, or not to do...

More on The Inspired Room:

My House Tour

My House Paint Colors

Books by The Inspired Room

Shop My House and Latest Decor Finds

The Inspired Room on Instagram

Books by The Inspired Room:

To do, or not to do...

Serendipity & Dream Home Dwellers

Serendipity & Dream Home Dwellers

I love to consider how the word ‘serendipity” applies to creating my “dream” home.

Horace Walpole coined the word serendipity, as he explained his creation of this word in a letter written on January 28th, 1754:

This discovery, indeed, is almost of that kind which I call Serendipity, a very expressive word, which, as I have nothing better to tell you, I shall endeavor to explain to you…I once read a silly fairy tale, called “The Three Princes of Serendip”: as their Highnesses travelled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of…now do you understand Serendipity?

Merriam Webster
Serendipity & Dream Home Dwellers

Some might get to hand pick their dream house. Others may design one from the ground up to fulfill their every design whim. Others of us stumble upon our dream house more like an unexpected discovery, and some of us simply set out to create something more beautiful and attainable with what we find right in front of us.

Serendipity & Dream Home Dwellers

My husband and I have almost always dreamed about our love of houses together. Well, it’s mostly me, I’ll admit, but like a good husband, he learned to go along with my daydreams and whims (and even dream up a few up himself!) pretty early on in our marriage, hahah.

Serendipity & Dream Home Dwellers

I don’t know how to not have that “dream house” within me. It’s been a part of “me” since I was little. Of course, I called my first book Love the Home You Have for that reason (and it unexpectedly became a New York Times Bestseller, so you know the struggle is real for many of us!, hahah!).

Gratefully, as I shared in my books and through this blog for the past 12 years (!), I think it’s quite possible to find a genuine sense of contentment with any house you live in (even if every bit of it isn’t always the ultimate dream).

Serendipity & Dream Home Dwellers

I still get lots of emails from people who share how much Love the Home You Have and my other books have helped them to dream again as they pair the house they live in with the dream house they hold in their hearts. That makes me so very happy.

Serendipity & Dream Home Dwellers

While dwelling on a house you don’t, can’t, or may never have will create discontent, I find that “serendipitous” dreaming can be inspiring and therapeutic. Thinking about what is creatively possible can really can help those of us who do have house-shaped-hearts to stay in touch with that part of ourselves and find ways to bring life to those dreams in more unexpected ways.

Serendipity & Dream Home Dwellers

I bought a design book recently that really spoke to me. I immediately felt a kindred spirit connection to the architect (Gil Schafer III) who wrote the book A Place to Call Home.

Even though the types of houses found inside the book are not (womp womp womp) readily available in Seattle on my budget, I resonated very much with the design perspective and choices of the architect (Gil Shafer III) who wrote the book (if you want a new coffee table book, it’s a good one!) so I still am very inspired by it.

Serendipity & Dream Home Dwellers

I was drawn in particular to one of the houses in the book. I shared some of the images I found via Elle Decor and the designers website from this house (sources are credited below).

I am mesmerized by it. I think my dream house would look and feel just like this one. (Or this farmhouse. Either one. lol.)

I loved this quote in the Elle Decor article about the house:

“Life brings you things that don’t necessarily fit into your decorating scheme,” says Rita Konig. While the English designer may be thinking about tennis rackets that clash with mudroom walls and family heirlooms too kooky for the mantel, she’s also giving voice to a deeper truth: Leave room in your plans for serendipity.”

Serendipity & Dream Home Dwellers

Whether we live in our dream house, or we get to build or design it, or we have to take some some creative liberties with what we have available to us, I think dream home dwellers like you and me understand the connection we long to have with whatever home we live in.

Sometimes as we dream and seek inspiration, we open ourselves up to creative possibilities. And before we know it, we discover that what we have is what we’ve always wanted.

So, fellow dreamers, have you made room in your heart or design plans for serendipity? I’d love to hear what you think about this!

Serendipity & Dream Home Dwellers

That connection we feel with our home is one of the reasons I wrote my new book, Dwelling! Finding greater well-being where we live is not just about being surrounded with the right structure or architecture. Dwelling isn’t a home decor book, but rather about how we live in our home, the decisions we make there for ourselves and our family and what we choose to bring into our sanctuary that will begin to impact how we feel.


Elle Decor
GP Schafer
Rita Konig
Eric Piasecki