My Design Philosophy + The Gift of Home

If you’re new here to The Inspired Room and/or just attended my friend Bre’s The Gift of Home book launch, welcome! I’m so glad you’re here and I’m excited to celebrate her book with you!

There’s a fun giveaway from Bre’s book and links to other bloggers sharing their homes with giveaways too, so be sure to comment to enter below and check out the links at the end of the post before you go!

Here is a quick presentation of me and my house! My name is Melissa and I’ve been blogging here about all things home since 2007! Over the past seven years, I’ve written eleven books on the connection between feeling at home and the well-being of the people inside (one of them is my brand new book A Lovely Life coming out this spring!). I’m going to give you a little presentation of my house today as well.

Creating a house has always been my passion, even before having my own house! Bre and I share a similar philosophy for the house, so I’m thrilled to be part of the celebration of his new book today. You may know Bre from his wonderful blog Rooms for Rent!

My husband and I just moved into a new house three months ago after becoming empty nests this summer. Just as our youngest (our son Luke!) was preparing to move (again, after our three children had returned home at some point in 2020/2021!) in what ended up being a twist wild and unexpected events found us our dream home! A cozy little cottage on an island in the Salish Sea.

My Design Philosophy + The Gift of the House
Our new home

We made an offer, put our house on the market and now here we are! It was a little more complicated than that, but despite a whirlwind of quick decisions and the challenges of the real estate market, it was worth the effort and stress to get here where we feel so much peace and immense gratitude for our House. We stop to pinch ourselves several times a day just to remind ourselves that we really live here! It’s a dream come true – we feel like it was a huge blessing in the middle of a difficult season. You can read more about the adventure of finding our home in a 3-part article HERE.

My Design Philosophy + The Gift of the House

Creating a home we love has always been the refining process of creating a sacred and meaningful space. It is something we can do wherever we are, and whatever type of house or season of life we ​​find ourselves in. We didn’t wait until we could find our ultimate dream home, we just defined or redefined what our “dream home” was. every season! I believe that any house can look like the house of our dreams, when we see it through the lens of gratitude.

My husband and I think every house we had was a gift this season. How do you fall in love with your home? We treat them with care, as if they would be our forever home. From our first newlywed condo, to our English Tudor repairman, to the 1950s house we just moved from, to every house in between…we did what we could within our budget and our time to make everyone a sanctuary.

I deeply feel to have a home and a rhythm of life that nurtures us and those we love. Creating a home involves finding ways to tell our unique story, to make heartfelt connections and memories, and to savor the moments of every day. For me, designing a home isn’t about designing the perfect magazine cover or an Instagram-worthy space, it’s about paying attention to how it feels to live in our home. It’s learning how we can feel better out there, whether that’s slowing down to better appreciate what we have, cleaning or tidying up spaces in our home that make us feel stressed or anxious, cleaning and abandoning what doesn’t serve well, or simply making every room more comfortable or welcoming.

My Design Philosophy + The Gift of the House

On that note, since January can feel pretty dreary (depending on where you live!) and sometimes seems to last around 18 months, hahah, I decided late last year that I would spend the month of January 2022 focused on sprucing up a room in our new home.

My goal was to feel more at home by making this room more functional and welcoming. I chose our new room, so we worked on refreshing it in a simple and practical way! (I’m calling the challenge A Lovely January and I’ve invited my readers to participate, please join us, it’s not too late! Find the details here).

My Design Philosophy + The Gift of the House

You can read this week’s post with my latest bedroom updates HERE! It’s amazing how even a few simple and affordable updates have already impacted the way we to feel in our room. We loved it initially, but now we really feel at home! We have many other dreams and plans for this space, but simple changes are often the most meaningful because we don’t have to put it off until “one day!” I love focusing on this space for the month of January!

My Design Philosophy + The Gift of the House

Now that the new year has begun and the holidays are behind us, I feel inspired for all the ways we can make this home ours not just in 2022 but in every year to come. I would like you to follow me! You can keep up to date with all the posts from our new home here, you can subscribe to my newsletter here to stay up to date… as well as find daily happenings, tips and behind the scenes on my Instagram stories.

If you ever feel overwhelmed with where to start decorating, or just need a pep talk to encourage you on your journey home, I hope you pick up Bre’s new book, The Gift of Home ! It’s a hardcover book full of beautiful photos of attainable rooms, and offers such practical advice and tips for people (like us!) who want to feel more comfortable where they are.

I’ll be sharing some previews of the inside pages (scroll down to see them!) as well as links below to the other lovely contributors to this blog so you can visit and be inspired by others who share the love of the House !

Be sure to enter the GIVEAWAY at the end of this article, and you can also enter on each of the blogs below!


Wednesday 1/19
Melissa Michaels – The Inspired Bedroom
KariAnne Wood – Thistlewood Farms
Claire Bérard – Claire Lynn Home
Sarah Wagner – Dreaming of making the house

Friday 1/21

Blog Bre Doucette – Rooms for rent
Beth Hunter – A to Z Home Stories
Courtney Fernan – A Thoughtful Place/
Lucy – Crafberry Bush/
Andrea – Pin and Prospect

ENTER TO WIN A COPY OF THE GIFT OF THE HOUSE by commenting on this post below and registering your participation in the Rafflecopter! See below!

My Design Philosophy + The Gift of the House
My Design Philosophy + The Gift of the House
My Design Philosophy + The Gift of the House

Click here to order Bre’s new book, The Gift of Home

a Rafflecopter gift

Then you will visit my friend KariAnne Wood from Thistlewood Farms! We met in real life a few years ago and she’s just as fun as she is on her blog. (Fun fact, she and I wrote a book together called But where should I put the sofa? And the answers to 100 more decorating questions). You will love her beautiful home and the stories it tells! Click HERE to visit KariAnne’s blog!

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