3 decorating truths in any home

25 June 2014

Hello, friends! A big welcome if you are coming from In My Own Style! I am joining some fabulous bloggers this week for “how to decorate” series that Beth is hosting. I still kind of laugh at myself joining things like this because I have no professional qualifications, but I do like to make things look pretty. I wrote a series a few years ago called “putting a room together” which describes my thought process when decorating.
Honestly though? We recently built a new home and I have felt a bit paralyzed. Our previous homes have been dated and pretty darn ugly when we moved in and it right off the bat it was obvious to me what needed to be done. I’ve always worked well with making the best of a not so pretty situation. Now, I’m finding myself beginning with all new AND pretty in a situation we created with our building choices. The goal for me now is to personalize it and add warmth and character and I’m reminding myself of a few basics that I will share with you today:

.First up, was choosing furniture that wasn’t crazy expensive, but still classic, neutral, comfortable, and family friendly. We went with this sofa (it's called the Hariston Shitake for those that asked in the comments) from Ashley because it met all of the criteria for me, and brings me to my first tip:

1. On expensive pieces go timeless, classic and neutral. Then, play with colors and patterns and trends in the pieces that are easier to replace like pillows, lamps, and accessories.

neutral sofa with colorful pillows

A leather nailhead chair (this one is called the Glengary recliner) that reclines is pretty classic + comfortable + maybe a bit boring. So have fun with the lamp and the shade next to it.
leather recliner with lamp

Since it seems all of our money these days is going outside towards sprinkler heads and bushes and trees, I wanted to see how far I could get decorating our family room built-ins with what we had – which bring me to #2:
built ins

2. Inexpensive elements like books, a collection, a glass jar of game pieces, photos of ancestors, a painted alphabet letter, children’s artwork, a vintage suitcase, or a framed quote or letter can go a long way in decorating and personalizing a space. Display things that you already have and love and have meaning to you and your family, but don’t feel like you have to display EVERYTHING.

built-ins family room

And third:
3. I think you have to live in a space for a while to understand how you want to decorate it. It was hard for me to make decorating plans for our home without being in it. I think you need to see how traffic flows, where people tend to gather, how the light comes in at different times of the day, what purpose you want each room to have, and what colors will complement the feeling in the room. Now that we’re here, creative juices are finally beginning to flow. Rooms that we thought were going to serve one purpose have become something else entirely. Things that I had been saving for the boys’ room won’t really work with the placement of the windows and closet, but may be perfect in the guest bedroom. As I unpack, I find things that may be perfect in a certain spot, or find that the fabric that I had picked out for the kitchen window won’t really flow with the dining room and family room that all open up together. I love trying to figure out what this house is whispering she wants to be. :)

For more decorating tips, click on over to the Handmade Home for some beautiful insights on how to fall in love with your home.

Here are the rest of the bloggers in the series as well:

Day 1:
1. Beth, Home Stories A to Z: How to Find Your Decorating Style
2. Courtney, A Thoughtful Place: 5 Gallery Wall Styles
3. Stacy, Not Just A Housewife: How to Decorate with Plants
4. Myquillyn, Nesting Place: Turning a House into a Home on a Thrift Store Budget
5. Donna, Funky Junk Interiors: How to Turn Worthless Junk into Home Decorating Must Haves

Day 2:
1. Melissa, The Inspired Room: The Secret Ingredient Every Room Needs
2. Jessica, Four Generations One Roof: How to Decorate with Container Plants
3. Traci, Beneath my Heart: How to Style a Coffee Table
4. Cyndy, The Creativity Exchange: Tricks for How to Zone in on the Perfect Paint Color
5. Laura, Finding Home: 5 Ways to Personalize Your Home

Day 3:
1. Emily, Decorchick!: How to Decorate with Cowhide When You Aren’t a Cowboy
2. Myra, MyBlessedLife: How to Decorate with Junk
3. Kim, Sand & Sisal: How to Decorate Coastal (without lookin’ all Margaritaville!)
4. Diane, In My Own Style: How to Decorate so You Feel at Home
5. Melissa, 320 Sycamore: 3 Decorating Truths in any Home

Day 4:
1. Ashley, The Handmade Home: Fall in Love with Your Home
2. Rhoda, Southern Hospitality: Adding Architectural Interest
3. Lindsay, Makely: How to Decorate With Color and Not Feel Like You Live Under the Big Top
4. Jen, Jennifer Rizzo: Easy table top decorating with the display rules of 1-2-3
5. Heather & Vanessa, At the Picket Fence: Blue Home Decor Ideas …I’ve got the blues!

Day 5:
1. Brittany, Pretty Handy Girl: Color Harmony in Decorating
2. Marianne, Songbird: Decorating Tips from a Lazy Decorator
3. Jen, Tatertots & Jello: How to Decorate with Spray Paint
4. Brooke, All Things Thrifty: The Six Best Things About Decorating
5. Wendy, Shabby Nest: Making a Rental (or any space for that matter) Your Own Home

What about you? Do you have any decorating truths you have discovered along the way?

 photo signature_zps45983bca.jpg


  1. Great post, I am so enjoying this series. Love your builtins too.

  2. I was excited to be introduced to your blog through this series, but how disappointing to have a 30 second condom commercial pop up halfway through! Maybe re-think your advertisers?

    1. Yikes! I hope it wasn't from this blog. If anyone else sees it, please let me know. Thanks!

  3. I definitely agree that you have to live somewhere for awhile before decorating. I made some mistakes when we first bought our house because I felt like I "should" decorate right away....live and learn!

    1. Oh, but you just want to get something done and feel like a room is finished! At least, I have done that. I'm trying not to rush decisions, but I don't want to wait years either, you know?

  4. (FYI - No pop ups here! I would bet this is coming from internet junk and NOT this blog.) Melissa, I love this post. And what is so funny, is that even after you know what you want, in years to come, you'll change your mind. And that's perfectly OK. Your nailhead chair is beautiful, what is the maker? Does it recline?

  5. Thank you, Susan. Yes, it is from Ashley furniture-- it's called the Ranger Low Leg Recliner. We got it on a really good Memorial Day sale: $229 each! http://bit.ly/1nEg7gG

    The sofa is called the Hariston Shitake sofa and it was on sale for $584. http://bit.ly/TjCcY8

  6. Such great tips! I couldn't agree with you more on keeping expensive pieces classic so they stand the test of time. Thanks again for joining in my series!

  7. Oh man, tip #1 is what I tell ALL of my clients! People always end up regretting it when they go trendy with a major piece of furniture. Classic is your friend!

  8. Great tips! We just bought a new house and I don't have any idea to start decorating it. This is a good as a guide for a beginner like me. Thanks =)

  9. Displaying books is a great idea! Since I love reading books, I got a plenty of them to be displayed. Usually, I would placed all of my books in my reading room. Thanks for the tips!

  10. Nice interior designing and interior furnishing!

  11. Where did you purchase the greyish sofa?

  12. Great tips! I have to live in a house to really feel what I do and don't like about it also.


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