Home Decor: Inspiration & What Styles Appeal to You?

Before I begin my intended post, I wanted to share with you all a blog I saw posted today called Pale is the New Tan. If you EVER needed yet another reason not to use tanning beds (or O.D. on self-tanner, for that matter) this is the site for you (and it's also good for a laugh for pretty much anyone...unless...uh, you're featured on the site or something.)

I know some of you have asked me to do more Home Decor posts and I do plan on doing a house tour soon (I might wait until we get our new couch!)

Lately my husband and I have been planning for the future and checking out neighborhoods we eventually might want to live in (and possibly moving to the suburbs.) We are not moving anytime soon (ie: within the next year) but we want to start our search way early (I'm an obsessive planner.)

So in my online searches of the real estate market, I've noticed something I guess I didn't expect...and that is that a lot of people don't see to be as into home decor as I am. Whether it's simply not a priority, they have completely opposite tastes from mine or just cannot afford to decorate how they'd like, I'm really surprised at how many homes have decor that appeals to me.

Maybe I'm tainted because of the gorgeous homes a lot of Nesties have.

I am one of those people that definitely prioritizes having a home that is nice and well-decorated. This is my husband's and mine's first home, and we have definitely come a LONG way decor-wise from where we started (think bare walls, very little furniture and no color scheme or details at all.) There are still a few changes/upgrades I'd like to make, but overall I am very happy with the way our home looks considering it's our first and we've lived in it for just under 3 years.

The problem is, I am getting so distracted when I look at homes online by the random decor that it's so difficult (at least in photos) to imagine the home as your own. Maybe in person it would be a little bit easier but my online searches are really discouraging thus far. I remember when we were looking for our first home it was fun to actually visit the homes in person. We looked primarily at modern looking open-concept town homes, so that probably played a role in me liking the homes more. I hate super closed-up homes, especially when the kitchen isn't open-concept. (Have YOU experienced frustration looking at homes online because you just can't picture your "stuff" in it?)

I've also only seen approximately 2 kitchens that I like, and they both look like the one we already have. I sometimes think to myself "maybe I should design homes." I also think we might just have to buy a completely new home because things like the color of kitchen cabinets can completely sway me. I mean I literally only like 3 cabinet colors: Dark (almost black or black), White or dark Cherrywood (which is what we have now.)

I guess I am very very picky. Like, super picky...but is that so wrong? I am a girl who knows what she likes. In fact, I have an entire folder on my computer dedicated to inspiration photos I've gathered over the last few years of decor I love.

I'm going to share some of them here just for fun (obviously my home doesn't look like these, they are just inspiration!)

Ok how cute is this baby? seriously!

Aren't those rooms pretty? I may not like 100% of everything in each photo, but parts of each photo appeal to me in some way.

We don't own any really expensive furniture in our home. A lot of it is from IKEA, JC Penney and (the pricier) Crate and Barrel. I try to pick pieces that are simple and clean. Our coffee table for example, (from IKEA) is the most simple table ever. Like 3 of our friends have purchased the same one after seeing ours (you can't go wrong for $50- and it's huge!)

I prefer little details like picture frames, vases, throw pillows and other accessories to make a statement instead of the furniture (you know how some furniture can just overwhelm a room? I remember watching Teresa from "Real Housewives of New Jersey" decorating her home with all of this elaborate furniture that looked like it should be in a castle somewhere and I was thinking how much better the home would look with more modern, clean furniture choices.) I believe her sister in law even stated on the show that she is making her home look like a banquet hall (her words, not mine!)

I like when pieces are simple, clean and elegant. I don't like a lot of "detail" on our furniture either. I think details should be more in your home's accessories. Having said that, I also don't favor the uber-modern space ship look either. That's a bit harsh for me. I would say that the styles/stores that appeal to me most are the Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, West Elm and Z Gallerie (not in any particular order.) I think PB can tend to be a bit traditional, but they keep their pieces pretty clean.

I'm not sure where this post is going? I guess I was hoping to start a dialogue with you, my lovely readers about your homes and what you prioritize about your home. I know that every time we do home improvements, I think about how it will increase our home value and also lure buyers in.

What are your upcoming home related projects? For us, we would love to get a new couch, put hardwood in our downstairs bedroom and eventually get a new bed frame.

If you have any great inspiration sites you'd like to share, please let me know in the comments! I also have tons of baby nursery pictures saved, but that's for a later time! (Like I said, I like to plan ahead!) Also- how would YOU describe your home decor style?

Edit: AWESOME reader Lindsey posted a link to a great style quiz! My result was "Modern Elegance," what's yours!? Thank you Lindsey for posting this!



ecause I always feel the need to write a little disclaimer to avoid the inevitable negative comments: No I don't think my house is amazing or incredible or anywhere near as amazing as the inspiration pictures I posted. I like our home and think we have nice things, but no, I don't think I have a superior home, furniture or decor style. I guess I just have different style than what is "common" her in Texas because it seems the homes located in suburb areas are decorated very differently than what appeals to me. No, I am not repulsed if your kitchen cabinets are not one of the colors I like, listed above.


  1. I love the photos and agree that you don't need to spend too much to make a room look pretty! My husband disagrees though. Since we got married, it's been a huge battle. I mention we can get things cheaper (say at TJ Maxx's HomeGoods) and he prefers to wait until we can buy Pottery Barn. I know I will wind up winning the battle eventually! Especially when he sees how much money we can save. I noticed a lot of these photos have great chandeliers or unique lighting. I never really think about lighting in a room, but I may give it another thought. Thanks for the post. I really like your past post with giving rooms life with faux flowers.

  2. I really like the rooms you showed too. That would be my ideal style. Right now I'm in an old college apartment...brown carpet and gold fixtures YUCK! So I can't wait to get my own place and decorate how I want to...and I'm sure it is hard to visualize how your stuff would look in an already furnished place...What if you looked at floorplans first? IDK?

  3. Honestly our house is nowhere close to how I want it to look and it's not going to happen until we stop moving. It's really hard to want to decorate a place know that we will only be there for 2-3 years.
    I do keep a book full of pictures and colors combos that I love. I do look forward to when we are in our forever place and I can really start decorating.

  4. daisies- I am WAY too impatient of a person to not decorate. I think 2-3 years of living with bare off white walls would just make me depressed (a little dramatic maybe, but I would be so bored.)

    I like to think I'm accumulating great things that will eventually find a place in my forever home too :)

  5. I perfer things much more to your taste. I like modern. My husband is very traditional. I gave in when we started our remodel in 2008 and our living room, dining room and bedroom are super traditional. It drives me crazy. When the kitchen is finished (only have cabinets to refinish left) the whole main floor will remain traditional. We have nothing on the walls as of yet and will work on that later. Our upstairs office will be traditional, our guest bedroom is my old bedroom set from when I lived on my own (very vintage), and our master suite downstairs will be a good combo of modern and vintage. He doesn't get his way on everything around here! :)

  6. im in the suburbs and my house is decorated similar to your first photo. i like the modern but simple style. Right now the one thing i am wanting to do is paint my living room. I want to like a light/medium brown. I have a lot of white and ivory so i think the darker color will look really nice. Other than that i have a lot done in the inside of my house and want to start working on the backyard.
    What areas are you guys interested in for your future home?

  7. cassie- I am thankful because my husband just kind of lets me do what I want. He trusts my decor style and he is more into the modern look as well. I'm not one to lose a battle though so I'd fight for what I wanted hehe! Luckily he's a lover, not a fighter.

    I'm glad you'll get reign over other areas of your home!

    Lynette- we are thinking maybe SugarLand just because it's only 20 mins from the Galleria...I would LOVE to live in Memorial but it's way too expensive. We MIGHT stay ITL if we can find a good-sized town home that's not near the railroad.

  8. Too Funny, I just posted about home decor, well our kitchen reno, this morning. See my post for pics and "my style"...

    My favorite decor styles are Beachy/Farmhouse looks (product of being a beach baby), but since I live in PA now, I try to stick with more contemporary things since that's more sellable and we don't plan on making this townhouse our forever home.

    Regarding you not being able to "see" yourself in the houses, stick to the stats (rooms/sqft etc) and layout - everything inside can be changed, its just a matter of how much time, money, and elbow grease you want to invest in it....

  9. I hope to purchase a townhome/condo in about two years (not in the suburbs), although the whole buying a home process intimidates me! Your home definitely serves as inspiration for me~ It is beautifully decorated :)

  10. I like your inspiration photos Veronika! I like modern decor, I'm a big fan of Hollywood Regency. I went into the Jonathan Adler store for the first time last week and about died. I wanted everything in that store, I almost couldn't breathe! I ended up buying a couple of little accessories, as the rest was out of reach for the moment.

    I need to do better with decoration, I find that I'm either obsessed with fashion or home decor, and never at the same time. I have tons of art I need to hang. I also need new bedroom furniture, but sometimes I feel buying furniture is such a big commitment, easier to buy another pair of shoes!

  11. Great post, we have similar home decor style. I rent right now, so I can't do any serious renovating/decorating. In the future, I really want an older home that has some modern touches in the bathroom and kitchen. I love the look of soft greys, white, and black.

    For inspiration I check out http://brynalexandra.blogspot.com/. She is an interior designer with great taste and has a lot of great inspiration blogs on her blogroll.

  12. olivea- thanks so much for posting that blog, I love it :)

  13. I love decorating! You must visit cotedetexas.blogspot. The writer is a well known interior decorater right here in Texas. She features gorgeous homes here in Houston and even took the time to email me back when I asked her for some tips on my living room.

    Anon, chandeliers are a great way to bring in elegance into your home. We have three and plan on getting two more. Our first one once graced a room in the University of Texas, after that we were hooked and splurged on a crystal schonbeck for our dining room. Love, love chandeliers.

    Anyways, I too am super picky V that's why I haven't begun on the our master bedroom yet and we've been here six months already. I'm afraid I've gotten spoiled now. I'm not into homes that look like cookie cutters or don't have originality to them since my home has a lot of unique features to it.

  14. FJ- thanks for the tip, checking out her blog now! I love chandeliers, so obsessed! we don't have any yet, going to wait till we move I think.

    You should do a blog about your home, I'd love to see it :)

  15. Veronika,

    (Long time reader, first time commentor ;)

    I love, loVE, LOVE the inspiration pics you posted! Especially the 6th (or so) one down with the black doorway! I have been seeing this trend more and more, and I am SO in love! My house is decorated ALL in pretty shades of grey, going from very pale to very dark except for 1 accent wall in our kitchen (a pretty pale lime green color). I could see the black doorways looking so chic! I wonder if I can convince my husband... Right now though, I am having decorating fits because my husband's hobby is fish tanks- and he decided he wants 3(!!!) of them. I am SO *trying* to make it work, but keep finding myself drifting to all of my decor websites searching for anyone who has done a fishtank the "right" way... *sigh* I can't find ANY! So now my office will be my office taken over by fishtanks :( Oh well- at least you posted some eye candy for me to drool over instead of making myself focus on this fish tank mess! Thank you!!!

  16. There is nothing wrong being super picky. You should never just settle. My biggest deal breaker when I am looking at homes in the kitchen and the master bath. I feel since I will spend majority of time in both places so I should really like it. I do agree with you it's a bit annoying to see a few cabinet options in kitchen. Lately I have been liking the white cabinets with the antiqued finishes. I think it makes the kitchen looked more custom and more modern chic.

    Our next project is our bedroom we are going to paint the room and make our own bed. We are going to start looking at antique stores on Westheimer for a cool old door to make the head board.

    I love the pictures you picked out as inspiration. Similar to the style I have. Clean, but chic modern touches that are classic.

  17. I like your inspiration pictures, though many of them are admittedly too modern for me. When we bought our first home 3 years ago, I had a lot of modern decor in mind...until I actually started investing in things furnishing our home. Everything we ended up buying had a much more traditional look. In the end, I'm quite pleased with the outcome because I think we would probably get sick of the ultra-modern look in a few years time and have to invest in a re-model. That's the thing with modern trends, they are in one second and out the next. I can invest in trendy clothes, but I'm not as comfortable doing it with big ticket items like furniture for the house. Long story short, our house is traditional with modern elements!

  18. ashleigh- my entire home is also two shades of gray. Benjamin Moore "smokes oyster" is the darker color and the lighter is Sherwin Williams "functional gray." It is so clean and fresh. I love it. Gray looks so good with both black and white accents. I love the idea of a white room with black trim as well. I can even see this working for a bedroom. I might have to try it one day. Might be cool for an office too or a less trafficked room.

    I don't know about the fish tanks, but I think they can look cool built into a wall OR used as a separator between entryways or rooms..you know how they have those fireplaces (glass) that you can see from inside and outside of a room...maybe something like that...hmmm, that's a tough one!


  19. I really enjoyed this post and loved your house inspiration pics (I copied a few for my own inspiration folder!). :o) Have you taken the style quiz on http://www.sproost.com? It's a great quiz for defining your style. I definitely lean towards Nantucket-cottage with a clean, modern twist. Can't wait to see more photos from your own home!

    Right now we are doing an overhaul of our entire home. We had intended to do projects to put our home on the market, but now that we're about 3/4 finished, we're loving it so much more that we will probably keep the house for a while longer! :o) This week's projects include our backyard landscaping and adding hardware to our kitchen cabinets.

  20. greay quiz lindsey! thanks so much. I got "modern elegance" :Variety is the spice of life! And nowhere is this truer than in the design of your home... You either love contemporary but wish it wasn't quite so cold and austere; or perhaps you've always been drawn to more traditional rooms but are now at a point in your life where you'd like to pair down a bit or want to create a less cluttered and busy space. Transitional Style is here to marry those apparent contradicting designs. And guess what — it's the contradictions that make the mix of contemporary and traditional so successful. The result is an elegant room that appeals to young and old alike. A sofa with modern lines blends seamlessly with a pair of traditional chairs. New fabrics work so well on antique pieces. It turns out that modern art looks even more exciting above a collection of traditional pieces. The room feels simple and sophisticated, elegant and hip.

    Sproost says my interior design style is:
    50% Modern Elegance
    38% Hollywood Couture
    12% Nantucket Style

  21. lindsey- i hope you don't mind I added the link to my post so other readers could take the quiz too! thanks so much for sharing :)

  22. I love home decoration and now for spring time I need to add more flowers!!!

  23. I love the way your house is decorated btw!

    Whenever you look to buy houses, you always have to imagine it with your own stuff in it because so much of it is not at all what you would do. Anyway I love the way Pottery Barn styles their rooms in the catalog. My house now is not at all how I would want it to be decorated. We've rented it for the 2.5 years, and I hate this house & can't wait to move :) so, for 2.5 years we haven't wanted to put any money into decorating this place - though its decorated nicer than a lot of places, because a lot of our stuff came from our condo.

    Anyway, not too long ago In Style had a spread on Christie Brinkley's house - I LOVED her house. Specifically her room - it was so awesome. Very different from your style, but gorgeous nonetheless. Oh wait - it may have been in Coastal Living - I love that magazine for decor inspiration too, sometimes.

  24. Oh how I love this post! We share similar style and taste! I also have my folder with colors, designs and statement pieces that I love but no plans for another 4 to 5 years before we upgrade. But Its better to be prepared

  25. Sproost says my interior design style is:
    36% French Eclectic
    36% Vintage Modern
    28% Hollywood Couture

    That was a fun quiz!

    I must say, there is NOTHING wrong with being picky. A home says A LOT about you and your family. I think it is one of the most important things to get just right.

    That being said, perhaps the awful cabinet colors and weird decor fit the family that's living in that space.

    I spend a lot of my free time looking at real estate online. I am in college still, so when I am home, I live with my parents, but I have always found homes and decorating to be so interesting. (I too keep a folder of inspirational decor photos)

    I think your home is beautifully decorated. I love the idea of grey walls. It's my favorite color after pink.

    I have found through my real estate stalking of the Kansas City metro that in order to get modern updated homes, you sort of have to live in the downtown area and not the suburbs. You can find newly built fabulous modern homes in KC, but I'm going to be a teacher, and the million dollar price tag is wayyy outta my league. This has been one of my greatest disappointments. Do you find this to be true about Houston as well?


  26. I took the Sproost quiz and my style is 100% Classic. I haven't done much decorating in our current house because we aren't planning to stay here. The plan was to rent this place for 2 -3 years but we've been here for 5 years now. We've focused more on investing in furniture we love rather than small decorative touches. The furniture we own is classic and can work in any house we eventually move to.

  27. I still definitely decorate. I just have to find ways to work around the no painting rules that our rental has. That usually means a lot of wall hangings and things along those lines. I realized too that we bought our major furniture first and we're just now really starting to decorate.

  28. I love this post! We are currently living in an apartment and space is always an issue. We try to stay organized and decorate with art as opposed to furniture. Shelves are a great work of art too because they are functional and also a statement piece! We have a lot of framed art that needs to be hung and we are working on that! I love awesome lights and we are going to get a new floor lamp and another table lamp for our room soon. Decorating is super fun though!!

  29. I took the quiz twice just bc I'm indecisive about a lot of things and I got %100 Wine Country Style the first time and %60-ish Wine Country and %30-ish Nantucket the second:) I do love the Italian-inspired things!

  30. Okay, I love love love some of those rooms!
    I was really surprised when we were looking at houses to buy last year that people didn't decorate more..if not just to sell their homes.
    I'm in the middle right now of stripping down and painting the dining room..something that was way overdue by the previous owners.
    I took a quiz before and it said I was "estate style"..I tried to take this quiz and it's currently on minute 9 of telling me my results..haha I guess we'll never know. I love big tall windows with long draping curtains on them, I love mirrors. In the summer, I love all whites and creams and then in the winter, I move more to browns and reds. Plus, I'm ADD and change my style constantly

  31. Love those rooms! I am into home decor also, but I can't seem to get my stuff together to make it translate to my apartment. We just look messy when all I want is classy. It's an uphill battle with 550sft.

    Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to see your home!

  32. patty- you can see a bit of our home here:


  33. lol I love the disclaimer. Our home is modern classic as I like to call it. All the furniture has nice clean lines, nothing overwhelming, European, but at the same time it will not look dated in 10 years. Almost 5 years later and I still love all of it.

    I think it is impossible to find a home where everything is already done to your liking. We completely gutted out our house and replaced everything (including the sheetrock). It is beautiful, but I bet there will be buyers who will still not like certain aspects of it. I say find a house where you like the lay out plan and you can live with the way it is for an X amount of time and then slowly renovate it into your dream home. The lay out of the house is the most important thing, after the location imo.

    I can't wait to start looking at homes! I want another baby and we have outgrown our space. I hope we can find buyers who will appreciate all the money and the hard work that we put in.

    Good luck with your search!

  34. A- I would LOVE to see your home, it sounds gorgeous!

    LOL @ the disclaimer! I just have to save people time who are going to come on here and tell me I think my house is just sooo great! This saves everyone time!

  35. We just recently bought a house in the suburbs. We don't have kids but I love the fact that we have a yard now for when do decided to have some (within a year or so).
    Its a new construction home so it has been awesome to decorate, pick paint colors etc. BTW You were my inspiration for my paint color for my guest bedroom (loved the functional gray and smoked oyster.) Our guest bedroom is black and white with a pop of red. As you have seen on my facebook I keep some inspiration pics there.
    But, I totally know how you feel when looking at houses...decor can totally kill the house. We love clean lines, modern furniture and a lot of homes we looked at were more traditional and ornate. Also, cabinets in the kitchen would kill my whole view of a home...as I wanted 42 inch cabinets and granite countertops (instead of laminate). DH would not even look at a house if the master bath did not have double sinks lol. Finally we tried to look at houses at what we could possibly handle changing if the cost wasnt too bad (like changing to granite or etc). In the end, new construction worked for us and we got pretty much everything we wanted in a home.....DH even got his man cave (a game room). There were two homes that we looked at that had the same floor plan one was so traditional and plain (no paint) and the other was painted modern....it proved to us that decor can definitely affect your view.

  36. businesswoman- I have seen your fb! I love that you put inspiration pics there :)

    where did you buy your home? we want to look at new constructions too so I can customize everything.

  37. Love those pictures and seems we have similar taste :)

    Looking forward to your 'home tour'

    LOL - nice disclaimer, Veronika ;)

  38. A.Co- Just keepin' it real so people don't jump to conclusions as they tend to! :)

  39. I like your style and the pictures you posted appeal to me. I go for more mordern, mid-century modern, and retro type style over anything else. My favorite stores are West Elm, CB2, Chiasso, and Crate and Barrel. We have furniture and decor from each and a lot of stuff from Ikea. I would love to buy my more modern furniture from Room and Board, but for now the budget allows for Ikea :) I work in a design profession, so obviously I think what your home looks like is important! I also think because of my profession I am "expected" to have good design in my home :)

  40. beesknees- I agree, I think for most people, their home is ther biggest asset, especially if it's their "FOREVER HOME." I love living in a pretty space, it makes me happy and makes me feel proud. I love home improvement projects even though they are a lot of work!

  41. Every single room is gorgeous. I love the grays and damask and the white cabinets and shelves...and love the photo walls...very inspiring! Good luck with the home search, it's ok to start early! That way you know what you want and know what is out there...And as far as the disclaimer, if people don't like what you say they need to get over themselves and just move on....it's your blog. :)

  42. we are out in the katy area (the address is richmond, but its really katy near cinco ranch) off mason road near westpark tollway).

    I like it a lot. I also love the sugar land area and we arent too far from there.

  43. i don't think Katy is an option for us since DH's parents are in kingwood

  44. Gorgeous home pics-thanks so much for the home inspiration! Love your blog! :)

  45. oh yeah that would be quite a trek from Kingwood. they have a lot of nice homes over near kingwood

  46. i've never checked out the humble/kingwood area really. It seems so far to me!

  47. I love the disclaimer too! might as well get it out of the way - lol.
    BTW, Veronika I passed on a blogging award to you, check out my blog for more info!


  48. The pictures are divine! Makes me want to redecorate even if there's really any more room in the house too. Thanks for the inspirations!


  49. I just found your site...

    I REALLY struggle with finding a new home. Every time I look at photos of houses for sale, I cringe. I can't get past the bad decor...even if it's something that I KNOW wouldn't be in the home, like their furniture. I find so many houses that are cute on the outside, but then I see the inside and I am so grossed out I just move on in my search. I need to stop doing that or we'll never move!

  50. @christina--- I'm the same way. I feel bad about it but I can't stand it when people have really bad taste in how they decorate (IMO at least!) it does make house-hunting more difficult!

  51. The content is good and very informative and I personally thank you for sharing the home decor articles with us..

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