How to Decorate {Starting with What You Have}

How to Decorate {Starting with What You Have}

One of the things I miss about my old house was how “put together” and finished it felt to us when we lived here. Not in a perfect way at all, just a homey way. We could relax because the house had just the right stuff to make us feel comfortable. We created an ambience we loved to come home to. We felt peaceful when we were there because the elements worked together to make us feel like we really belonged there!

I love creating a home, but I’m not a design snob. My goal is to create a home that reflects and inspires our family, so we always start with what we have and build from there.

How to Decorate {Starting with What You Have}

You know how you feel when you are playing those board games where you get pounced on by your opponent and they send you packing back to the starting line? Now that we are here moved into this house, we could kind of feel like we are back at the start again. Square One. And we are back at the start in a way, but yet, not really.

How to Decorate {Starting with What You Have}

The greatest thing about putting our last house together making it feel like home is we aren’t starting from scratch here. No, I don’t know everything this house needs yet. I don’t have the budget to do everything I want. I’ll have to get creative. It will take time to get things rolling in the right direction. The process of creating this home will involve trial and error just like every house does, but there is also a process that is familiar each time. I’ve lived in so many houses and made each one a home, but it wasn’t until my last house that I finally figured some things out.

I’m very excited about how this house will come together, following that same process (I pulled together exactly what the process looks like and what steps to take in my new decorating book! See a one day only 50% off deal, below!).

I know it isn’t always easy to pull together a house. Yes, if you are able to spend the big bucks you can toss everything you have out, furnish it all in one day and even hire a designer to style it all if you wanted to! But where’s the fun in that? Don’t answer that :). But seriously, most of us have to deal with limitations and some challenges because we are starting from what we have.

How to Decorate {Starting with What You Have}Mirror: Lulu & Georgia

There are so many elements to weave together and we have to figure out what will make the most impact. We might have too much or too little to work with, and we have to figure out how to work with it. We have to figure out what stays and what goes, and then decide what we should bring in to transform the whole room on our budget.

So what is the first thing I’m working on in this house? Among other things, I will be figuring out what I want it to feel like. I’m fleshing that out so I can not only see it in my head, but I can describe what it feels like so I’ll know what elements I will need to make it happen. I’ll have a post on what I’m picturing, soon.

To me, being able to capture a feeling is the most important step of all! If you don’t have a vision for how it will feel, you’ll focus too much on how it looks and that can get you into all sorts of troubles :).

How to Decorate {Starting with What You Have}

I also have a wonderful project you’ll all love that involves a sewer, wouldn’t you know it? Me and old houses have a love affair but they always seem to have chapters that involve rats and sewers that I just can’t escape. So, that part of getting settled … well, it is not so fun. But if I can make anything about that unfortunate situation turn into a prettier project, I will. I’m trying. We are gathering details on what will be involved in taking care of that issue so I can share it shortly. The project list is growing, as all good house makeover stories tend to do. You can’t ever just do one thing, right? One thing always threatens to lead to another…

More details and visions of loveliness for this new house coming right up :).


What house projects are you working on or planning right now? Let’s discuss!


How to Decorate {Starting with What You Have}If you want a house that is comfortable but not cluttered, one that is authentic but affordable, pretty but practical, streamlined and yet stylish, I put together the details and tips you can use immediately right where you are, with what you have! No waiting for the next house, the big budget or the perfect house!

It’s all in a pretty coffee table book that will be hitting the stores in just a couple of weeks! It’s already nicely discounted for pre-order at the online stores. BUT GUESS WHAT? Next week, on Thursday October 15, it will be 50% off the retail price on a one-day sale, online only at Barnes & Noble! That is crazy and won’t happen again so you’ll want to take advantage of that for Christmas gifts, too!

Beautiful Collections {Wooden Spoons and Spatulas}

Beautiful Collections {Wooden Spoons and Spatulas}

I‘ve always been sensitive about our home. I don’t mean sensitive in that I’m self-conscious, easily offended, or that I cry all the time or have a bleeding heart, but rather that I feel like I am particularly aware of how things look and feel around my home. Not overly aware in a perfectionist obsessive kind of way (necessarily, hahah) but just aware of how my choices for those elements definitely can make a difference in my daily experience.

When I am purchasing things that I will be touching all time time, such as hardware or dishes or fabrics, in addition to paying attention to the shape, color or pattern, I instinctively run my fingers over it to “see” what it feels like with my hands. I know that I’ll enjoy taking care of my home so much more when the tools I use, the hardware I have on my cabinets, or the towels I grab feel right to the touch and are interesting to my eye.

Beautiful Collections {Wooden Spoons and Spatulas}Photo via Polder’s Old World Market

Years ago I started replacing many of our spatulas, spoons, cutting boards, containers, dishes, pots and pans. I not only didn’t want to use certain materials or coatings for potential health reasons, but for the extra joy I felt when I grabbed a pretty spoon or spatula rather opening a drawer full of black plastic ones.

I knew the expense of replacing and updating kitchen items was something we would be able to spread out over time and even through gifts, because that’s how we have furnished our home. My husband and I have always used birthdays or holidays as a time to treat ourselves or each other within our budget to something special we could enjoy in our home.

Beautiful Collections {Wooden Spoons and Spatulas}

I know some women might feel a little slighted or offended if they got a new Dutch oven or set of kitchen tools for their birthday, but not me. That reminds me of the scene in Father of the Bride when Annie gets the blender from her fiancé as a wedding gift and almost calls off the wedding. Ha! But for me, if it’s pretty and good quality, I’d be thrilled! I’ve even asked for cloth napkins for my birthday before simply because of THE DELIGHT IN SEEING PRETTY CLOTH NAPKINS! Am I weird? Maybe. Probably. But I know we’ll enjoy kitchen items for years to come, and many we hope to have for a lifetime, so I would consider practical pieces that are beautiful to be treasures because they provide daily joy. Why skimp on joy?

Beautiful Collections {Wooden Spoons and Spatulas}
Photo via Polder’s Old World Market

I introduced you to some of our lovely wood spoons a couple of years ago. I loved them so much I’m always thrilled to continue adding to my collection! The company is called Polder’s Old World Market. Each piece (called Dreamware) is so beautifully handcrafted by a wonderful family who creates high quality housewares and gifts on their farm in Tennessee. The wood has incredible texture and tones (I mix and match woods because I love that eclectic collected look) and the shape and smoothness of each is delightful.

I am grateful that this company built a family business around creating such beautiful little works of art that bring me and many others joy every day. I’m inspired that they do something so special and meaningful together as a family!

The Polder family is offering The Inspired Room readers a 25% discount code through the end of this month, so treat yourself or someone you love with the code INSPIREDKITCHEN! These would be the most wonderful wedding or Christmas gifts. You cannot have too many of these beauties so you could be assured that the recipients would love whatever you selected and you could even add to their collection over time! I’m going to start giving these to my girls as gifts because I know they will treasure them for a lifetime.

Beautiful Collections {Wooden Spoons and Spatulas}

Don’t forget to look at their beautiful products here and use the 25% off discount code INSPIREDKITCHEN before the last day of June!

If you want to read the Polder family’s story, you can find it here.

Thank you to the Polder family for providing me with a lovely collection of Dreamware. 

What are some of your favorite gifts to receive or give?

Beautiful Collections {Wooden Spoons and Spatulas}