In this post: I’ve always loved beautiful spaces. But I wasn’t always good at putting them together myself! Here’s how I used to decorate.


This is not one of those posts that’s going to have you pinning all the photos to save for later. Although if you want to pin them, you can. Lol. Rather it’s a post to show you – honestly and truthfully – how I used to decorate. Things were fairly neat and tidy, but well, not so pretty.

how I used to decorate

I’ve said it before…I’ve always loved beautiful spaces.

But I was NOT always good at putting them together myself! 

I struggled with balance and color and just about every other aspect of decorating too. Like how and where to hang art!

Of course, some of it had to do with the seasons of life Dean and I were in…rented homes, less income and little kids.

For those of you who only know us with older kids…we dealt with all the primary colored toys for years too! Only I didn’t know how to disguise them or hide them away while the kids weren’t using them. They lived out in the open for years. Case in point, the photo of our LIVING ROOM below, circa about 2003. 

But I’ve come to learn that all of that can be worked with and those things weren’t what caused our lack of pretty spaces.

Rather it was because I really didn’t know then what I know now. And I wasted a lot of time and money figuring it out!

Since all of these photos were taken about 15 years ago, I’ve learned so much. Like how to:

  • mix patterns and colors
  • create vignettes
  • declutter
  • put together a whole home color palette

And what my style really is and how to make that work with what Dean loves too. 

I’ve spent countless hours studying images of rooms I like to find out why I like them. I’ve read many design books (and now I’ve written one!). And I even took a 270 hour interior design course to make sure I really got it all. 

And all of that has made a world of difference.

blanket ladder leaned against black shiplap wall

black shiplap wall lamps wood horse

Living Room with new coffee table

I’m content in our home. I don’t change things as often as I used to. I’m proud of how it looks now.

It’s not about perfection. But rather about creating spaces to celebrate, love, live, grieve and just be. 

I don’t waste time or money choosing the wrong things anymore because I’m sure of what I like and only buy what I want or need for a space. Nothing more. 

I LOVE to have friends and family come visit to share the spaces with them as well. 

Our house has come a long way. It’s my happy place. And I’m so thankful for it and all that I’ve learned! 

How I used to decorate

Want to start creating rooms you love in your home too? Grab yourself our FREE Decor Starter Kit below. 

shannon photo and sig oct 2022

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20 Comments

  1. One of the reasons I enjoy reading your blog is that you are REAL! We are all on a learning curve, and one of the keys to your success (in my humble opinion) is your gracious generosity in sharing what you’ve learned. I put up with primary colors for my own kids,too, and now with the grands, find much prettier toys (which are also more expensive!) I don’t remember you saying it exactly this way but, by including spiritual insight, you also emphasize it isn’t about perfection in the room. Comfortable, winsome, beautiful and easy places to enjoy, celebrate (and even grieve, when needed) with people….that’s just part of what I’ve learned from you!

  2. Thank you for sharing this. There may be hope for me after all! lol I also think that your decor reflected the decor of that particular era. Your home is so beautiful now; however, I’m sure that I would’ve thought that your 80s home looked really nice if I were looking at it then. 🙂

  3. Shannon, I’m not sure your taste was “wrong,” per se, 15 years ago. I think we go with the current “trends” of the day. I used to love, love, love the blue country prints, but now I have more of a simplistic style with one or two colors. It’s a process. I’m glad you took pictures, because maybe in 15 years down the road, you’ll see a totally different style than the one you have today. I love your crisp, clean look. Your evolving styles speaks volumes of your heart and how you reflect that in your decorating styles. Beautiful!

  4. OOOhhhhh! I am SO glad I wasn’t the only one! My Mom was a frequent vendor at craft shows and I had every single piece of anything she ever painted on wood. I look back on old photos and it makes me laugh to see how “cluttered” my shelves (with hearts routered out of the middle ♥) were stuffed! And bears in dresses…had those, too. Wonder what I love today that I will make me wonder in 10 years what I was thinking?? Thanks for bringing back those memories!

    1. Yup. I went to all those craft shows too. Loved them. Lol. There was even a place near where we lived called Crafter’s Marketplace where they set up permanent booths. It was fun!

  5. Country décor never run out of fashion, I still love to have space to exercise or paste my with to .

  6. I am looking to put down new flooring. It has to be waterproof due to the fact that I have 4 dogs and sometimes ( who am I kidding) they don’t make it outside to do their business. I like the color of your floors. Could you pls tell me the color and brand. New to your blog, love how you are so real with your pictures…

    1. Thank you, Rosie. 🙂 Unfortunately, the flooring that is in our current house has been discontinued. We didn’t install it, but found a box in the garage with a few pieces left.

  7. Thanks for sharing, your old decorative ideas. When I look at certain pictures and see various decorative ideas, furnishing, or how I would arranged certain pieces, I ask myself, ‘what was I thinking?’ As for you, I love your bright, updated style.

  8. thank you for sharing that. I too feel I’ve come a long way! (still have some room for growth) but when I think back of the ducks hearts and mauve overstuffed furniture I had I want to cringe! Think about it tho, did anyone have a home that looked the way your beautiful space does now? No! I think the style was colorful country or ornate back then. That brought such smiles and wows to my face (especially the kids toys) which I always tried to hide but it wasn’t easy. You’ve come a long way baby!

  9. We all worked with what we had, what we knew, and the style of the time. What you did was make the best of what you had, and I can say I’ve seen worse. Lol. We all have learned along the way, and bonus! We have the internet to help us, now!

    Your home is beautiful! Thanks for the great ideas!

    – Vera