weather icon Clear

Incorporate your personal style when decorating home

Is your home inspirational? Melissa Michaels thinks it should be.

“An inspired home is one that actually reflects who lives there and the family that resides within those walls,” explained the author, whose fifth book, “Simple Decorating: 50 Ways to Inspire Your Home” (Harvest House Publishers), was published in June.

Michaels, who also created and writes the award-winning decorating blog www.theinspiredroom.net, said inspired homes tell their residents’ personal stories.

“That means that you will have things (displayed) that maybe you have acquired over time, things that have a good story behind them or that bring back memories,” she said.

The book is filled with photos of the Seattle home in which Michaels and her family currently reside, as well as their previous abode. It is “geared toward people who just want to stay on a budget,” she said. “They want to do something new to their home.”

But, when it comes to decorating, people are often “afraid they’re going to make a mistake, and so they’re paralyzed and don’t want to do anything,” she said. “But you really can’t make a horrible mistake. … You can usually work with just about anything.”

In “Simple Decorating,” Michaels breaks down hundreds of her own DIY design tips, beginning with ways to incorporate one’s “signature style” into a home.

Whether you’re a fan of contemporary design or the country-chic look, “There has to be something a bit unexpected about it. Something previously undefined. Something that is all you,” she writes.

Or, at least, the places and things you enjoy, such as a memorable vacation spot or even a favorite neighborhood eatery.

“You’re going to pull some elements from that, so you feel like your home is really reflecting something that you personally like,” Michaels said.

Start by pinning photos, fabric swatches and such on an inspiration board (either an actual bulletin board or a virtual board online) to help focus your stylistic goals.

“It can seem overwhelming and intimidating if you go into a furniture store and you just see so many options … and you don’t want to commit to something that is a big investment,” she said.

That is also why Michaels recommends people repurpose accessories and furniture pieces they already own.

Swap nightstands for a dresser and bookshelf on either side of a bed. Put utensils and other kitchen wares to work as bookends to display a cookbook collection. Give sagging sofa cushions an instant facelift by filling them with new foam.

“You really can use what you have,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be the perfect piece or the perfect color. … You can mix styles, you can mix colors and textures and put them all together and you’re going to have a unique-looking home that feels like home.”

Jill Thomson agrees. The owner of Jill Thomson Design in Las Vegas decorates private residences and commercial spaces locally and throughout the nation.

She said there is no need to purchase brand-new furniture when redecorating.

“What used to be your family room table might end up being your living room table, but you accessorize it with more glamorous accessories, or you … put them in different places and then add new (items) to it,” she said. “No one can get rid of everything.”

Nor should they.

Thomson is also a fan of incorporating personal style into a home’s design by displaying keepsakes and other meaningful tchotchkes. She advises clients to “purchase things that speak to you and then find a place for them.”

After all, “No one wants to live in a model home,” she said. “We all admire them, but the reality is we want a comfortable sofa to sit in, and that can be created with texture and (proper) scale.”

Textures are touched upon in a chapter Michaels titled “Memorable Mood.” She encourages readers to “give your senses something to celebrate” by pairing rough-textured items with smooth ones, and shiny objects alongside those with duller finishes.

“Textures are something that a lot of people forget or don’t know to add to their homes,” she said, but can add dimension as well as a feeling of comfort. “When you get a good mix of textures, your home is just very interesting and warm.”

A home’s decor should also “reflect the season of life that your family is in,” Michaels said, “so if you’ve got … little kids around, you’re gonna have a certain style and a certain look.”

In which case you’ll probably need options to creatively conceal toys, power cords and other items that can make rooms feel messy and, at times, uncomfortable.

“Sometimes in your home, you can feel stress because you see so much visual stimulation. There’s a lot of clutter or there’s too much color or too many accessories,” she explained. “If you can streamline it down … you’re going to feel much more peaceful.”

A sense of unbalance can also result when a space lacks what Michaels describes as a “beautiful backdrop,” encompassing everything from wall and window coverings to flooring.

When selecting a paint color, for example, homeowners may choose a hue they adored in a decorating magazine or blog. But, after slathering it on their own walls, they may be disappointed.

“Paint colors can be so impacted by the part of the country that you’re in, because the (natural) lighting is going to be a little bit different,” she explained. Also, “It could just be that it worked great in somebody else’s house, but it doesn’t work in yours.”

To create a beautiful backdrop, Michaels recommends adding interesting architectural elements like shiplap, bead boards, crown molding or wallpaper, which “can really help make a room feel more put together.”

Another technique Michaels favors is highlighting one color in a space at least three times.

“Your eye is going to feel more at peace in a room when you can see something that is spread around the room. If you saw a blue lamp and a blue pillow and a blue chair, for instance, you’re gonna feel like the room is pulled together and coordinated even when it’s not matchy-matchy at all.”

Thomson said she frequently scatters a single hue (or variations of its tone) throughout a home to “create flow and harmony.”

“When you walk in a room, there’s going to be a colored pillow that you see and that will carry you into the next room where that same color repeats in artwork,” she explained. “You might have that color in your bedding in the master (bedroom) and maybe in a wall covering or a hand towel in your powder room.”

Interestingly, the final tip Michaels shares in the book isn’t about decorating.

“Make time to enjoy and fully live in the spaces you create,” she writes, “filling your home not only with material possessions, but with a sense of gratitude for what you already have.”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
Heavier traffic expected from EDC festival attendees
Electric Daisy Carnival attendees began to vacate the Las Vegas Motor Speedway starting before 5 a.m., the majority heading south on Interstate 15.
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DJ Steve Aoki visits Las Vegas comic book store
DJ Steve Aoki visits Torpedo Comics in Las Vegas Friday, May 17, 2019, for a signing for his new comic book series "Neon Future." (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas Smith & Wollensky opens at The Venetian
After 18 years, the Smith & Wollensky location on Las Vegas’ south Strip closed in 2017, to be re-born two years later with a rib-cutting — instead of a ribbon-cutting — in The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
Colin Cantwell, Creator Of Iconic Star Wars Ships Visits Vegas
Colin Cantwell, who created and designed such "Star Wars" ships as the X-Wing fighter, and Death Star, met fans at Rogue Toys in Las Vegas today. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Beauty & Essex in Las Vegas makes an EDC Wonder Wheel
In honor of the Electric Daisy Carnival, Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas makes its Wonder Wheel party-worthy. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Giada talks Vegas Uncork’d
Giada De Laurentiis talks during Aperitivo Hour, a Vegas Uncork'd event, at her Caesars Palace restaurant, Pronto, May 10, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Scenes from Vegas Uncork’d 2019 on the Las Vegas Strip
The 13th edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit brought four days of food, wine, celebrity chefs and parties to town, May 9-12. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three ingredients Gordon Ramsay can’t live without
Bon Appetit's Andy Baraghani interviews the "Hell's Kitchen" chef during a Vegas Uncork'd event at Caesars Palace, May 11, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Uncork’d launches wiith bubbles and a blade
Dozens of chefs representing some of the Strip’s top restaurants gathered Thursday at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to launch the 2019 edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bunky the Clown at the clown convention
Bob "Bunky the Clown" Gretton talks about his life as a clown and the Clown Convention which was in Las Vegas at Texas Station this week. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Frying soft-shell crab at Lola’s in Las Vegas
At Lola’s: A Louisiana Kitchen in Las Vegas, soft-shell crab is breaded and fried and served either as an appetizer, po’boy or platter. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
The Stove in Henderson makes Pecan Pie Pancakes
At The Stove in Henderson, chef/partner Antonio Nunez stacks buttermilk pancakes with pecans and dulce de leche and tops them pie crust crumbs. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vinnie Paul remembered at Count's Vamp'd
The late rocker's favorite table at one of his favorite clubs in Las Vegas. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
4DX movie experience at Red Rock
4DX movie experience during a demo reel at Red Rock. (Christopher Lawrence/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What To Do On May The 4th
There are plenty of events going on May the 4th this year around Las Vegas. Celebrate Star Wars and Comic Book Day all at once. The Rogue Toys, the 501st, Rebel Legion and Millennium Fandom Bar are all hosting fun events to help celebrate your geek-dom. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Water Sports Introduces New Attraction At Lake Las Vegas
Las Vegas Water Sports will debut its new aqua park attraction at Lake Las Vegas Days this weekend. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Making the Space Invader at Greene St. Kitchen in Las Vegas
Lysa Huerta, pastry cook at Greene St. Kitchen at the Palms in Las Vegas, starts with angel food cake, Fruity Pebbles ice cream and strawberry sorbet to create a space creature engulfed in flashing lights and swirling mists. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Pools
The M, Park MGM and NoMad are just a few great pools in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jose Andres explains Iberico pork
(Al Mancini/Las Vega Review-Journal)
Inside Life is Beautiful
Craig Asher Nyman explains how Life is Beautiful festival is booked and talks about this year's line-up. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America Pops Up In Vegas
Tattoo'd America, a new pop-up attraction on the Linq Promenade, had their grand opening Friday. The attraction is dedicate to the culture of tattoos. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Jose Andres gets key to the Strip
Chef Jose Andres was presented with a Key to the Las Vegas Strip and a proclamation declaring April 26 Jose Andres Day in Clark County by County Commissioner Tick Segerblom on Friday. The ceremony took place at his restaurant Bazaar Meat in the SLS Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sadelle’s in Las Vegas makes a grilled cheese with an inverted bagel
Michael Vargas, executive sous chef at Sadelle’s at Bellagio in Las Vegas, inverts an everything bagel and grills it with Swiss, cheddar and Muenster cheeses to make the Inverted Bagel Grilled Cheese. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures
Kassandra Lopez at Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Prime rib is carved tableside at Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Las Vegas
Dave Simmons, executive chef of Lawry’s The Prime in Las Vegas, which plans special cuts for National Prime Rib Day, demonstrates the restaurant’s service from rolling tableside carving carts. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making gluten-free pizza at Good Pie in Las Vegas
Good Pie owner/pizzaiola Vincent Rotolo makes his gluten-free pizza.
Rockabilly fans enjoy Las Vegas weather poolside
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender runs Thursday, April 18th through Sunday, April 21st with a huge car show on Saturday featuring The Reverend Horton Heat, The Delta Bombers and The Coasters. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Brownie sundae at VegeNation in Las Vegas is completely vegan
Donald Lemperle, chef/owner of VegeNation in Las Vegas and nearby Henderson, NV, makes his sundae with ice cream made with coconut and almond milks, a brownie made with coconut flour and oil and organic sugar and cacao, and fresh fruit. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Shock program rids your pool of yellow algae

If your pool water has gone from clear to yellow, you probably have yellow algae. The pool store will have chemicals to treat the water. When used with super-chlorination, products such as Yellow Out will kill yellow algae.

When accessorizing, start with what you have

Accessories are a simple and inexpensive way to update a room, and there is no long-term commitment. You can change each season, add colors or have fun with a new trend with just a few pieces.

Give your home a fresh coat of paint

The exterior paint on most stucco homes in Southern Nevada is expected to last anywhere from 10 to 15 years before it starts breaking down.

Spray grapevines to control pests

Grapeleaf skeletonizer and grape flea beetle were found in the orchard during the last couple of days. These two pests damage grape leaves but few other plants.

Vegetable gardening goes vertical

In “Vertical Vegetables: Simple Projects That Deliver More Yield in Less Space” (Quarto Publishing Group), the first-time book author Amy Andrychowicz demonstrates how to produce bigger and better fruits and veggies by growing them upward instead of outward in traditional planting beds.

Removing dead fronds doesn’t affect health of sago

Q: The top ring of sago palmfronds died after I transplanted it but remain on the plant. I left this brown ring of fronds around the crown of the plant and it looks like new growth coming from the center is OK. Should I trim off the dead fronds without disturbing the crown or just let them fall off?

Too much matching can lead to boring room

“Match sets of anything are doubtless the work of those who have but little taste. Tis better to have dissimilarity.” — Yoshida Kenko (1284–1350), Japanese author and Buddhist monk