Melissa Michaels, the blogger behind the The Inspired Room, certainly makes creating a beautiful home look easy. But, despite her effortless style, she also knows what a painstaking process home decor can actually be. “My home and style evolve and sometimes that is a slow process,” she says. “Even after having my own homes for years, I’m still always evolving and seeing things from a new perspective.”
Which is why, in addition to sharing photos of her home in its lovely, finished, put-together state, she also offers a whole host of advice (we counted more than 50 articles on her blog’s “How to Decorate” page, ranging from the most basic tips, to more complicated explanations and everything in between) for her readers whose homes are still getting there.
So, we asked Michaels, whose curated event for Joss & Main launches Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 9:00 p.m., to boil down her best advice and give us her ten most important rules for creating the home you love. Here’s what she came up with.
Not everyone can stare at a blank room and instantly know what to fill it with, and that’s OK. “Learn tricks and guidelines from people whose style you admire so you can feel more inspired and confident,” Michaels says. “Then go do your own thing…and break the rules if you want!”
While it’s important to put some thought into a room before making furniture purchases, don’t become so consumed by picking the perfect piece that you put off making purchases altogether. “Don’t fear decorating mistakes!” Michaels says.
“A beautiful home isn’t just about how it looks, it is about how it feels,” she says. “Think in terms of creating a mood, rather than decorating.”
The key to creating a room you will love for years? “When you are ready to buy furniture, start with classic, foundational pieces and build from there,” Michaels says. Then, you can add in personality and satisfy your trend cravings with accents, rugs, and decor–all things that are easily swapped out as you feel the need to make updates.
Painting a room before filling it with furniture might be easier, but it’s not always the best choice, design-wise. “Paint and rugs can tie a room of mismatched pieces together,” Michaels says.”It helps to save those two choices for last when you are pulling a room together!”
“Overhead lighting is rarely enough to make a room feel cozy and comfortable,” says Michaels. When choosing lighting, it’s best to have illumination from multiple sources, and at multiple points in the room–think lamps, wall sconces, and overhead lighting.
When it comes to decorating, imperfection equals personality. “Live with what you love and embrace the imperfect possibilities that might result. It’s worth the risk to love your home, even when things are not perfect,” says Michaels.
“Pair up different shapes and textures when you are furnishing your home, it will make your room more interesting,” she says. Own a living room set from a big box store? Swap one of the tables with something from a different room, or replace the loveseat with a pair of armchairs in a fun upholstery, for example.
Last but not least, says Michaels, “Don’t take decorating rules or styles too seriously. Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder so what matters most is that you are comfortable in your own home.” Wise words, indeed.