Use What You Have Home Office + Painted Wood Shutters

Use What You Have  Home Office + Painted Wood Shutters

Even though I love getting new things for my home, quite often I am just as happy (if not more happy!) to be a “use what you have” kind of girl. That philosophy is actually THE very reason I started this blog. I wanted to help and inspire women to find joy in their surroundings, even if they were just rearranging what they had.

A year prior to beginning the blog I started a decorating business with that same mission in mind. It was how I had always decorated my own home, but I had found that so many women I knew felt paralyzed when it came to decorating!

That perspective has stayed with me ever since. There’s a time and place to get new things, of course. I’m very excited when I am able to (or choose to) do that. But it’s not very often that I start over from scratch, or redecorate an entire room from top to bottom. I just don’t always feel the need to get something new, when what I have can serve the purpose just fine!

Use What You Have  Home Office + Painted Wood Shutters

My home office is an example of a room where I definitely use what I have. It’s true that none of the furnishings or decor in my office were bought recently or designed for use in this room. But it’s OK to use them here even if they don’t all “go together,” or weren’t selected for this space because they “fit” here perfectly.

Do I save endless inspiration photos to my instagram and pinterest boards for what my ideal office would look like if I was starting over? Of course! Maybe someday I will do just that.

But since we set up my office downstairs, I have been content just using what we had to set up this space.

I still have the two flea market finds I brought home for storage six or more years ago. They work great for holding office supplies. (Secretary + Hutch and Dresser).

Use What You Have  Home Office + Painted Wood Shutters

I can still sit at the desk I bought for myself as a gift when I started my decorating business, almost thirteen years ago!

The book cover art and award my publishing company sent me when my book Love the Home You Have became a New York Times Best Seller still hangs on my wall all these years later! It’s a good reminder of how important that “contentment” mindset is.

Use What You Have  Home Office + Painted Wood Shutters

The inspiration boards from my old office still inspire me here in this one! These marbled lamps have been around since my old house as well (they can be found online here or here).

Use What You Have  Home Office + Painted Wood Shutters

We just recently pulled the leather loveseat into the office (the sofa we bought when we had two puppies destroying our furniture in our old house!) so we’d have a comfy spot for more people to sit and work with me. The leather has scratches all over it from their wild antics, but I think the imperfections just makes it feel loved.

Related Posts: Decorating with Leather + Sources // 11 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Sofa and My Faves

Use What You Have  Home Office + Painted Wood Shutters

The chalkboard that used to hang in our “map hall” at our other house to hold school calendars now hangs on my office wall. (Mine was from Costco, here is a similar one!). My son is just a few weeks away from living in a college dorm, so seeing this board here is also a sweet reminder to me of his childhood days.

Use What You Have  Home Office + Painted Wood Shutters

And yes, I’m still a fan of the Anthro curtains I got for my birthday years ago. This side of my office definitely has its design challenges I’d love to fix “someday”, but at least I can avert my eyes from the imperfection of the space and instead gaze at the curtains that still make me happy.

This office doesn’t have all the latest trendy styles, but it’s comfortable and comforting. And that is a feeling you just can’t buy because what IS here brings in the sentimental memories and stories. It is also functional enough for my needs right now, but I can easily rearrange what I have or let items go for something new if and when I’m ready for a change.

Do I have design ideas for what I eventually want in my office? I do! But I love this season of decorating slowly, too.

I think there is often much more peace found when we learn how to be content with what we have. And even be happy that we are still able to use what we loved a few years ago!

My office may not be perfect, but I still love working here!

One new thing I wanted to show you in this room is the wood shutters we added to the windows in my office. They are a practical improvement for privacy and light control, and I love that they brought more character to the room and the exterior of my home (you can see a glimpse of what they look like on the outside from the deck, below!)

Use What You Have  Home Office + Painted Wood Shutters

Another cool feature with these particular shutters is you install them yourself, which makes them far more affordable than most plantation shutters.

Find a post about the shutters in my bedroom and guest room here.


The shutters I have are HERE. (Select Painted Wood Shutters, Birch White) Be sure to use that referral link AND my code INSP1RE5 (note the two numbers in this code) for an extra 5% off the best price anywhere!

I’ll share more about the shutters we’ve installed our lower level (we have them in several rooms now!) in an upcoming post!

Use What You Have  Home Office + Painted Wood Shutters
Use What You Have  Home Office + Painted Wood Shutters

Shop my house and favorite decor here.

Take my Seattle house tour here.

Take my previous house tour here.

Tidy & Pretty Home + A Giveaway

Tidy & Pretty Home + A Giveaway

I have always loved the principle of form + function in design. I find that when my useful and practical household items are attractive, I actually enjoy those every day tasks like cooking, cleaning and tidying up around the house a bit more.

When functional items are pretty enough to be out in the open and the house still looks tidy and pulled together? That’s a home decor lovers’ dream.

So as a part of my “fall nesting” rituals I start assessing ways to bring more form and function to our everyday tasks.

I’ll be honest, one of my personal pet peeves is ugly smelly sticky germ-filled trash cans. I know, ew, right? Even worse is seeing a messy trash can sitting out in an otherwise lovely space.

I don’t know about you, but I find juggling messy food, plates, and opening trash or recycling can lids to be a risky and messy situation. It just is. So what can we do about it?

Tidy & Pretty Home + A Giveaway

When simplehuman contacted me about trying out one of their new sensor cans, my heart started to pitter patter. I’ve actually had simplehuman cans in our home for years (their lidded cans are perfect in our bathrooms for keeping pets out!). simplehuman is known for their high-quality design and innovated products, but they have introduced another dimension of ease and efficiency with this sensor can with voice control.

This sensor can with voice control allows users to open the can at their command, whether they’re rushing over with a dripping mess or simply tossing a paper towel from the sink. You ask it to open and it does! I am not even kidding you. Check it out for yourself in our little video demo, above.

Can you even imagine how much easier it is to open a can on command and deposit messy things inside without dripping stuff everywhere?

It also has a motion sensor with an extended range of access for quicker, effortless use, while the voice sensor adds more range and versatility.

Who knew you could fall in love with a humble trash can? This can truly is a dream for anyone who loves design and a mess-free, germ-free experience, too.

Tidy & Pretty Home + A Giveaway

Imagine how it could help you avoid these mess makers and other potential kitchen disasters:

Dripping coffee filters

Cracking eggs

Tossing trash from the sink

Dripping meat or food containers

        Messy hands while cooking 

I would absolutely put one of these cans in my kitchen, if I had enough space for it. In fact, honestly I would have MADE room for it had I known it existed. It’s that awesome.

But, I love having it in my office. It would be wonderful in a laundry room or bathroom, too. It’s pretty, so convenient for everyday needs and makes tidying up a breeze.

Tidy & Pretty Home + A Giveaway

Tidy & Pretty Home + A Giveaway

Here are some other neat features I love:

  • I love that it has dual compartments–one for trash and one for recycling. I chose this can for that very reason! It’s so convenient to have the two separate compartments.
  • The liner pocket conveniently located inside the can makes changing the bag a breeze! It makes for quick and easy dispense when taking out the trash.
  • It’s easy to place anywhere! 6 AA batteries lasts up to 3 months, or there is an adapter for electric operation.
  • I love that this can is energy-efficient.
  • My favorite thing is when products work well and last for years! This can is engineered and tested for years of dependable use.
  • When idle, the sensor range is focused right above the lid, so it only opens when you want it to. Once activated, the sensor area expands, so the lid stays open until you are finished with your task or have walked away from the can!

Tidy & Pretty Home + A Giveaway

Want one of these beauties for your home?

Get one HERE (and see the other finishes and variations!)



Alrighty, friends. Let’s talk trash, shall we?

Comment below and tell us your dream household innovation or favorite simplehuman product to be entered for a chance to win the same trash can I have!