5 Steps To Creating an Inspired (& Inspiring) Home

my money pit

my money pit

As the old saying goes “Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.”

One of the greatest joys in life is coming home. Whether returning after traveling or just after a long day at work, our homes can make us feel safe, secure, relaxed, and empowered. But what if your home doesn’t make you feel warm and welcome? How can you create an inspiring home without breaking the bank?

1# DEFINE THE REAL USE OF EACH ROOM & OWN IT

Once upon a time, I had a guest bedroom, but no home office space. I work from home a lot and had compressed my office stuff into a corner of the guest bedroom. Problem? I hated to work in there. I was embarrassed to let clients who came to the house go into my office and I was reluctant to let guests stay over-night because I often needed to work or grab files or equipment and the clutter just wasn’t pretty. The room felt cramped and uninspiring as an office and it wasn’t too inviting as a guest bedroom either.

So, I embraced the real use of the space. I moved out the bedroom furniture, decorated and organized the room as an office, and now I love to work from home. My office is functional, professional, and I feel more productive and creative.

It doesn’t matter for what purpose the room or area was designed, however you use the space, define it, own it, and decorate accordingly.

Robin's Egg Blue  

Robin's Egg Blue

 

2# FORGET ABOUT TRENDS AND COMPARISONS

Trends, whether in fashions or home décor, are all about selling magazines and the products that sponsors are trying to push. Comparing your home to the glossy photographs in design magazines or on Pinterest will only make you depressed unless you realize that that is a fantasy representation of a home where no one really lives. In those pictures do you see televisions? Kids art work? Dirty laundry baskets? Of course not.

Instead, look to design magazines and blogs as inspiration for ideas that you might want to tweak and incorporate into your own life. You might even find a surprising theme in the pictures of rooms that you pin or highlight. I would have never thought about blue as a kitchen color, I am pretty much a yellow kitchen kind of girl, but I noticed that a lot of the pictures that I liked featured a robin’s egg color scheme. Now I have a blue kitchen that I absolutely love!

3# INSPIRing SPACES ARE EASY SPACES: AVOID FUSSY, CLUTTERED, & HIGH MAINTENANCE HOMES

The last thing that you want to do after a long day, is to tend a high maintenance home. If you have a lot of clutter, your rooms are overcrowded with furniture, or your home is disorganized, it becomes difficult to relax and be comfortable. Less, is generally better. Take everything out that you don’t need, want, or love and sell, store, or donate. Rooms that feel spacious (even when they aren’t), are easy to clean and user friendly, increase our comfort level and help inspire relaxation and creativity.

My kitchen always felt overwhelming. I had too many gadgets that didn't fit well into drawers and cabinets, finding lids and trays was a challenge, and getting my teens to put things away properly instead of their preferred "pitch in and close the door fast" method, was all making me crazy. Then, while visiting a client at her studio, I saw that she stored all of her portfolios in tall thin baskets. I brought the idea home and now baking trays, chopping boards, and pizza stones all live in a basket. Kids can pitch, I can find, everyone is happy.

4# FIND A FOCAL POINT THAT SPEAKS TO YOU

As someone who loves estate sales, antique furniture, and funky art, I could easily tip into hoarder zone.  But, I don’t want to live in a time capsule or a museum and I need my home to be active-family friendly. I find the key to melding my passion for stuff and my need for cleaning speed is minimalism. If a room is uncluttered, feels neutral, and easy to navigate, adding a piece of art or an antique that you love turns that piece into a real focal point. If the piece can “live” up against the wall and out of the room’s footpath, so much the better.

 

5# ATMOSPHERE IS EVERYTHING

Creating a comfortable and inspiring living space is so much more then furniture. In fact, some of the most comfortable and inviting homes that I have visited had well-worn, mismatched but comfortable pieces of furniture, tied together with a color scheme and personality. They had great atmosphere.

Atmosphere is really the whole feeling that you get when you are in that space. The sights, sounds, smells, and mood of a room is much more important than the individual pieces. Creating an atmosphere that matches the use of the room is key. So think about your room usage and what atmosphere are you trying to achieve, remove things that don’t fit in and your whole room will feel more relaxing and cohesive.

One of my Victorian Birdhouses.

One of my Victorian Birdhouses.