Decorating A Room From Start To Finish: My Process

Since our den was a new addition, I kind of had a clean slate when it came to decorating it. Although it’s technically a “playroom”, too, at this point, I didn’t want to plan the entire room around toys that my kids have little interest in the majority of the time. So, although a much slower process than when I was working on rooms for clients, I’ve approached decorating it in a similar way. Here’s how I normally come up with—and execute—a plan for a room, start to finish.

My decorating process (via

Of course, there’s no tried and true way to do it. Others may have a totally different approach. And, I don’t always go in that order if I find something that’s just perfect for the room earlier in the process.

With our den, we’re just starting to get to the fun stuff. We have the main seating, window treatments, and a rug. And, I just got this industrial end table from Birch Lane. (They’re a new home furnishings site—traditional but very fresh. I really like the overall look.)


I think an industrial piece can fit in just about any room. Plus, it’s big enough for a lamp, a few pretty things and my snacks :)

decorating process


The floor lamp (also from Birch Lane, but currently unavailable on their site) is another new addition:


I like that it’s simple and sleek so that it doesn’t take up too much space, and with just the right amount of gold:



Up next in the process: figuring out what to do with the big wall behind the sectional. I have some thoughts, but I’m taking my time until I feel really excited about it.


(A few “over the sofa” ideas I’ve talked about before can be found here.)


Thanks to Birch Lane for providing the products for this post.

Living For Now Vs. Living For Resale

This is honestly the first home we’ve lived in where I didn’t feel like I was making decorating choices with the thought of resale in the back of my mind. And, I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. But, who really knows if a another move is in our future? For others, moving for jobs or the military is a way of life, and I guess you’re always making changes to your home, realizing nothing is permanent. I recently read this article on Elle Decor about decorating mistakes that can potentially hurt your home’s value. It made me think: Do you live with something you don’t love now, just because a change might hurt resale down the road? (Painting a brick fireplace was one example.)

home office library Caroline Lima photography

I find that there’s a lot of freedom in decorating when you’re not thinking about what future owners might or might not like. I haven’t done anything too crazy in our current home, but I am less hesitant to hang a hundred picture frames, paint a door a fun color or invest the money in a wall of bookshelves, for example. But, whether we go or stay, I think a well-decorated home is a good investment in general since first impressions can be huge when it comes to prospective buyers. In the case of our last house, it helped to differentiate it when every other house on the street looked the same.  (Or, at least that’s what I told my husband about why I was hauling in more Craigslist furniture and repainting rooms. . . ) And, there’s a lot to be said for finding joy in the way your home looks while you’re actually living there.

So, what about you? If you know you won’t always live where you are now, do you change the things you hate, even if it might hurt your home’s value in the long run?

Creating A Winter Patio

It’s full speed ahead with the Christmas decorating around here, thanks to the Home Depot Holiday Style Challenge. They assign each of the participating bloggers a specific area in their homes to decorate. I was given “outdoor” and originally thought the front door would be the place to start. But, I eventually decided our patio might be more fun to tackle. After all, we are blessed in the Carolinas to be able to use our outdoor spaces well into the winter months, since we usually don’t see frigid temperatures or snow until late January or February. So, having a little Christmas celebration on the patio is totally feasible. I’ll be sharing my finished project in a few weeks, but for now, here’s some winter outdoor inspiration:

 winter patio Pottery Barn


Christmas-patio-decorating Martha Stewart


winter-outdoor-decorating  At Home in Arkansas


Winter-patio image source




And, an overall concept of my winter patio project:

Christmas patio plan


Do you use (and decorate) your outdoor spaces in the winter?