The Inspired Room

Refining Your Home for Authentic Living™

Sweet Escape: Inspiration January 31, 2008

Filed under: Creative Inspiration & Projects,Sweet Escape — Melissa @ The Inspired Room @ 11:32 pm
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With Inspiration Week around the corner, I am excited to share an amazing project put together by the delightful Erin at Design For Mankind. (I just love her, she’s great!) Erin has developed an e-zine full of amazing inspiration from fellow bloggers, artists and designers! Best of all, you can download it for FREE! Yes, FREE! So, download and enjoy! And let Erin know how much you appreciate her free gift to all of us!

Click here to download all twenty pages of inspiration.

 

Don’t forget Inspiration Week begins right here on Monday with some special insights on Living A Beautiful Life from none other than….

oh, you’ll have to wait until Monday to find out for sure…

In other news, Friday is National Wear Red Day, in support of the fight against heart disease in women. Visit their website to find out more about how you can donate to this worthy cause. In addition, Traditional Home magazine wrote to me and asked if I would pass on the word to you about their Really Really Red Auction to support the same effort, so click here to see what you can bid on for a great cause.

Happy Day everyone!

PS. Friday is the last day on my blog to enter the giveaway for a great book, so if you haven’t yet entered, click here.

E-zine images courtesy of Design For Mankind

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Style Tips: Coffee Table Tablescapes January 30, 2008

Filed under: Decorating Inspiration,Style Tips — Melissa @ The Inspired Room @ 4:13 pm
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http://www.potterybarn.com

I saw a great post on displaying items on coffee tables on Neutral Dwelling blog earlier this week and it inspired me, so I thought I’d share the concept here. So many of us struggle when it comes to what to put on a coffee table. Coffee tables are a significant focal point and what we put on them deserves careful consideration.

Here is a simple formula that can get you started:

  • Books + Plant Material + Decorative Object = stylish and attractive tablescape

Here are some other quick style tips you can try for coffee tables:

  • Try unifying different shaped objects by using items of the same color. Three different shaped vases all in blue, for instance.
  • Create interest with items of all one color by using different textures.
  • Try opposites: pair smooth with rough, shiny with dull, old with new, round with square, organic with man-made.
  • Vary the heights so that each object is just a little bit shorter than the next tallest item. This keep items from feeling disjointed.
  • Make sure objects are not all too small. Choose at least one bolder item to be in focus.
  • Use books or pedestals to elevate items that seem too short.
  • Use a basket or tray filled with a collection of items: maybe books, fruit, artichokes, seashells, vintage toys, games or buttons.
  • Interesting conversation pieces are wonderful for coffee tables, we use carved wood instruments and attractive wood or vintage game boards.
  • Leave plenty of room on the table for actually using the surface for something other than display. If you don’t leave room for a coffee cup, the table will appear awkward and will not be useful to you. Make table tops pretty & useful!
  • Make sure your tablescape looks good from all angles.
  • You can use just one item on your table, such as a piece of pottery or a vase, but make sure it isn’t tiny! Wide and bold would be a better choice than tall and skinny.
  • When you look at magazines, zero in on coffee table table-scapes you like and duplicate what you see with your own items of similar size and shape!
 

Style Tips: Quick Ideas for Refining Your Style™

Filed under: Decorating Inspiration,Style Tips — Melissa @ The Inspired Room @ 11:49 am

I’m starting a new thing here at The Inspired Room! I am going to periodically share quick, simple, useful ideas in a new post format. The official name will be:

Style Tips: Quick Ideas For Refining Your Style™

I’ve been getting tons of lovely emails with questions on finding or evaluating your style and creating style & beauty throughout your home. So, in considering what to do with these inquiries, I thought the best and easiest way for me to help would be to share ideas in a specific post format: “Style Tips.”

There won’t be a specific day for these, you might see one or two a week, or none at all that week. I need flexibility here in getting this started, my life can’t revolve around the blog! 🙂 But when you see Style Tips in the heading, you will know there will be a quick idea or two listed that you can try or think about for your home. I am really excited about this and hope you’ll find the tips inspiring.

If you have a question or suggestion for something you’d like me to include, feel free to send it to me at help@theinspiredroom.com. I can’t promise to get to everything, but I appreciate your feedback or inquires as it helps me to know what sorts of ideas to include.

Happy Day! Oh, I may have an extra couple of posts this week, including the first Style Tip post, so check back if you’d like. Also, I was honored to be asked by a fellow blogger to help unveil an exciting project that should inspire ALL OF US! It will be really cool so don’t miss it.

PS. No, that is not my new office, but I really am working on it! I am so excited about having my own space after so many years of willingly sacrificing for the sake of my children! I’ll share updates and photos soon. This photo is from cottageliving.com.

 

A Big Hint and a Giveaway! January 28, 2008

Filed under: Inspired Living,Randomness — Melissa @ The Inspired Room @ 8:06 pm
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Hey Girlfriends! You are so fun, I loved all of your guesses and the eager suspense you share in imagining who I could be talking about (or talking to!)! What would life be like without our girlfriends to gather around us and delight in life’s happy events and surprises? All will be revealed soon, my dears. Very soon.

As we gear up for our Inspiration Week to begin February 4th (by the way, I have some super women lined up to share their inspiration on how they find beauty in their every day life, and I hope YOU will take part as well!), I thought it would be fun to have a giveaway to get us in the right frame of mind! There is nothing like a great book to inspire us!

So, leave a comment here on this post with your contact information and you will be entered into a drawing for the following inspiring book (one of the only ones the author has written that I have not read, so I need to get one for me too!). If you have this book, I can substitute one of equal value! One comment per person, please. Winner will be drawn at 9 PM (PST) February 1st and posted by Saturday Monday.

Good luck to all of you, more surprises and fun to come! And if you are in the mood to enter more giveaways, behold The Bloggy Giveaway Carnival!

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Blogging Tips & A Big Surprise January 27, 2008

Filed under: Authentic Living,Randomness — Melissa @ The Inspired Room @ 6:44 pm
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I was tagged by the ever-wonderful Felicity at All Things Bright and Beautiful to share a tip for new bloggers. I have to chuckle when asked for tips like this because I usually have no idea what I am doing. No technical tips will flow from my lips (be glad about that!). But, in order to play along, I’ll share a couple of my thoughts, for whatever they are worth:

As I myself am stumbling my way along, trying to figure out what in the world I am doing as a blogger, I think that in itself is a lesson I have learned from blogging:

BE YOURSELF.

Not sure who you are yet or where you are going? Blogging can help you define who you are, what your purpose is in life and can connect you to others who can inspire you, challenge you and pull you up to experience all you were created to do in life. It is a process, so let it unfold naturally. Everyday you can be encouraged to live more fully and purposefully than you did the day before. And most importantly, if you let it happen, you can learn to care more deeply about others in the midst of learning about yourself.

There are wonderful, supportive, creative and talented people swarming around us, willing to be an encouraging part of your life every time you enter Bloglandia. If you are true to yourself, and don’t try to redefine yourself into someone else’s idea of a “great blog,” you will find contentment and purpose as you find your own voice. My guess is that trying to be a great blog is much less rewarding that trying to be a great person.

I’ll admit sometimes I look at someone else’s blog and think “Why am I not doing that?” And while my focus might waiver for a moment as I ponder what they do, I must always come back to this. I am not doing THAT because THAT is not ME. While I may be in awe of what you do and impressed by your efforts, I don’t need to do what you do in order to find happiness or contentedness. Nor do you need to be like me (collective AMEN there!). There is room for everyone so just be yourself. If it means less comments, less frequent posts, less popularity or less page views, so be it! If those statistics are your main goals, you might be missing out on the true joy of blogging! I’m just sayin’…

Most importantly, and this applies to new blog writers and blog readers alike:

KEEP BLOGGING IN PERSPECTIVE.

If blogging is taking too much away from your daily life, if you are neglecting your personal or spiritual life, your husband, children, home or your health, you likely have an unhealthy addiction to blogging (yes, I am speaking to myself here)! Enjoy blogging for its benefits, but know when to STEP AWAY FROM THE BLOGS and experience real life. We’ll be here when you get back, don’t worry.

KEY: Blogging can give you inspiration, but it is what you do with that inspiration in the real world that will truly change your life.

Blessings to you all! Now go forth and share some tips on your own blogs or in my comments!

Oh, on the surprise

Don’t worry, I’m not one of those girls who can keep a secret for long. If I have amazing news, you’ll probably know about it the minute I do! LOL! So here is your first peek at my news: Let’s just say I am walking on cloud nine after being contacted by one of the most inspirational women of all time on the topic of living a beautiful life…can you guess who she is?

Here is a hint: she does not have a blog and she doesn’t email (don’t tell if I have already spilled the beans to you…). Eeeek……I get to speak with her on the phone! I’m absolutely bursting with glee and utter disbelief…. more details to come! xoxo

photo: my kitchen, where I should be right now… I’m signing off!

 

Sweet Escape: Mini-Vacation January 24, 2008

Filed under: Sweet Escape — Melissa @ The Inspired Room @ 10:14 pm

If you shut your eyes for just a minute, you can almost smell the fresh sea air and feel the warm sunshine on your face.

You can almost taste the tropical drink, mmm, yummy!

Take a deep breath, lay your head back, close your eyes and try it!

Four Seasons Punta Mita Mexico

 

Dragonfly Cottage January 23, 2008

Filed under: Creative Inspiration & Projects,Decorating Inspiration — Melissa @ The Inspired Room @ 6:48 pm
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After our fun Drive-By the other day I was contacted by an artist who wanted to do a painting of one of the homes I featured! I was so excited! Catherine Holman is an amazing folk artist who not only paints wonderful scenes and cottages, but teaches others to paint as well. And besides that, she is a super nice person and a fellow blogger. She offers her paintings for sale on ebay. I couldn’t believe how quickly she painted this, but here it is, cute as a bug: Dragonfly Cottage!

How fun is that? You give Catherine a photo, she twirls her paintbrush and it turns into a painting! Artists are amazing!

Relating this back to our discussion a few days back on home personalization, paintings and photos can be intriguing portals to memories or feelings. Why hang random stuff on your walls when you can find art that really speaks to you, means something, and gives you a sense of connection to your home? If it doesn’t have a story (even if the story is that you fell in love with it at a garage sale or on a blog!), I generally don’t like to use it. Or I think twice about it.

I have line drawings of my past homes because they remind me of special places I’ve lived in my life. Whether you hang a photo of a home you actually live in or used to own, or a painting of a scene that takes you off into a wonderful dream and makes you happy, using art effectively is a great way to make your house feel like home.

Stop by Catherine’s blog to see her work and for more information on her paintings, including Dragonfly Cottage! Or maybe ask her to paint your own little dream!