From the BlogSubscribe Now

New Series: Decorating 101

Andy tells me that these days, all it takes to become an online expert in something is:
1. Make a website.
2. On the website, proclaim yourself an expert.

Let’s try it!

Nope. Expert houseplant assassin, maybe.

That’s what he told me when I mentioned that I’d love to do a “Decorating 101” series on the blog, where we talk about decorating “rules” and tricks to make your space look a little more like you envisioned. I’ve been thinking about writing this series for more than a year – I think I even promised it to a few people who emailed asking for something like this (sorry for the delay!) – but I keep hesitating.

I was (and AM) SO nervous about writing a series on decorating because I don’t want you to think that I think that I’m some kind of expert. Here’s what I know: I have made every mistake in the book. I’m still making them. I even find new ways to make old mistakes. It’s remarkable.

But maybe through the mistake-making, there are some tips we can all pick up that will make this whole process of beautifying a little less intimidating. I thought it’d be fun to look at what’s gone wrong and how it could have been more right, with simple tips you can use in your house. We’ll learn together! Would you guys be down for that?

House Beautiful

If so, I have a few posts coming down the pike, like:

  • Why your room doesn’t feel finished: a checklist of things it might be missing to push it over the edge of fabulousness.
  • Analysis of beautiful vignettes: What works? Why does it work?
  • The simple mistake most people make (that I’ve done SOOO many times) when starting to decorate a new room, and what to do instead.


Minnie Mortimer via Vogue

I’ll do these posts exactly every two weeks on precisely the same day and the same time of day. Just kidding, I barely even know what day it is, ever. Maybe someday I’ll be a real, legitimate blogger with a schedule. Probably not.

(But if I can get my junk together, maybe we’ll do the first one this week?)
How to decorate: practical tips to beautify your home

Sound good? Or you can say: “Nope. Talk about what you ARE an expert at, Kelly.” And then I’ll just write a bunch of posts about the healing powers of dark chocolate or how to mix and match t-shirts with yoga pants. (Is that a threat?)

Let's connect


  1. I love this idea! 🙂 You better type faster, mistakes need fixing! 🙂

  2. your ideas are fresh, nice and clean. and best of all they are affordable!!! I love seeing what you might come up with that I can really mimic……so you go girl!!

  3. Can’t wait for this to begin!

  4. This sounds awesome, Kelly! I’ve got so many half-finished rooms in my house, I think you’re writing this series for me. 🙂
    xo Heidi

  5. Dear Little lassie, Green Thumb Expert;
    I love your column, it’s my fav next to reading about the Irish landscape and thriving four leaf clovers. So I need your expert advice…I am currently out of town and I forgot to water my beautiful little babies tears plant as well as my mother in laws tongue. It has been 3 days. Can you tell me how many more days before I will need to call someone for an emergency watering?

    Dry in Duluth

    • Dear Dry in Duluth,

      Mother-in-law-tongue never needs watering ever, as evidenced by my own plant I’ve had for about five years which is still not dead. Experience with my plant has shown me they actually live on oxygen and dust. The more dust, the better.

      As for all other plants, I recommend excessive over-watering, not allowing them to drain, followed my months-long periods of completely ignoring them. After these long periods of flood followed by heavy drought, move the now-dead plants to the garbage and replace them with faux florals. You’ll have no other problems.

      Little Lassie, Green Thumb Expert

  6. cathy Johnson says:

    Do it!! I can’t wait!!

  7. yes please this is a great idea! reading your blog all the way over in cape town and it’s just such fun. we’re about to move from an apartment into our first home and i just know how valuable all the tips and tricks i can get my hands on will be!

  8. Great idea! I am excited to see all of your advice…especially about finishing a room. I seem to have trouble with that, so I am excited to see your advice!

  9. i hope this doesn’t insult anyone, but i find the rooms i LOVE online are the ones not designed by actual designers…. those always feel slightly stuffy and impersonal to me (even some of the ones in actual designers’ own homes) the rooms i love are real people with an eye, so i will gladly take your tips!

  10. Aw, the wikipedia-ization of knowledge! J/K….I will read decorating advice from you any day–can’t wait!

  11. YAY!, I say YES Kelly! can’t wait to read your first post of the series, I’m sure many of us will be able to relate (I know, I’ve made so many mistakes when trying to decorate our house), I’m still living with many of those, so your series will come at a good time for me! 🙂

  12. So excited for your EXPERT opinion! Um hi you are totally an expert. Your house and spaces are pulled together and you were in BHG, remember?!! You are officially an expert!

  13. ok I am very excited! and if you run out of spaces to decorate come over to my house! You were in BHG, that’s expert enough!

  14. Go for it!! You have more knowledge than you admit. Can’t wait to read the posts!

  15. Girl, you just earned your BH&G degree, I think you can speak to decorating like a pro! I love these kinds of series and can’t wait to read yours! I’m already dying to know what the simple mistake that people make when first decorating a room. I probably make it too. I hope you write that one before I start my next room. 🙂

  16. I am SERIOUSLY excited about this series. I know I”ll learn a lot. I can always get the basics and the big stuff, but the details and the parts that really take a room to the “finished” stage is something that alludes me.

    Also, I think you are hilarious. Personally, I’m an expert in making lists that I never actually check items off of and surefire ways to make it through full seasons on Netflix.

  17. girl…you can name yourself an expert. I would wholeheartedly agree. Pretty sure your room redo’s are proof!

  18. Yes, love it! Bring it on! I seriously can’t wait.

  19. I like this idea for a series! Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

    Incidentally, I saw you in the back of my Better Homes & Garden magazine this weekend and exclaimed to my husband “that’s the woman who made our awesome light!” I can’t believe it wasn’t in the BH&G shot!

  20. I can’t wait!
    I would also be interested in the T-shirt + yoga pants series. 😉

    • And I would also be interested in that dark chocolate series. 😉

      ps–I definitely found you in BH&G while cashing out at Tops the other day. Rick was excited for you, too! 🙂

  21. Looking forward to it!

  22. I would love to know all your tips 🙂 I can’t wait to see that series. It’s going to be fab.

    So does that mean there is not going to be a post on how to match my t-shirts to my yoga pants, because then I think I will feel like I am missing out. Specifically I want to know what to pair with my snazzy red shoes from yesterday? The have an upgraded partially turquoise front sole now.

  23. I trust all things on blogs. My house will wear yoga pants if it’s one of your tips. Seriously.

  24. Oh, I’m excited for this series! And it’s nice to know I’m not the only plant killing, dark chocolate specializing, no schedule blogger out there. 😉

  25. Great idea! I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one without a blogging schedule!

  26. So down. Not in an it-makes-me-depressed sort of way. In a yes-you-should-totally-do-it-why-havent-you-yet sort of way.

    -the overly enthusiastic reader who maybe creeped you out with my enthusiasm (I’m sorry)

  27. Love it friend 🙂 great idea!

  28. Well now I’m pinning it for a slice of the world to see, so now you’re in it for sure! And I love the idea!!!

  29. I’m excited to read it Kelly-you know I love your advice and your style!! 🙂

  30. Yay! I am so excited about this series! Right now I feel like I am in the middle of the “making all of the mistakes” phase, so it will be nice to have a road map to get me headed in the right direction. 🙂 Hope you’re having a great week, Kelly!

    ~Abby =)

  31. Hey Kelly! I am one of the girls you mentioned your decorating idea Sharing with! So when I saw this post I automatically knew “she could hear me telepathically after all!” 😉 I am your MS, mama with six kids, that was trying to finish up her house, but her hubby was making her paint before picking out cabinets, counter tops, & flooring! All the no-nos!
    But, I am happy to report, we finally moved in our house & it isn’t completely messed up! However, it is extremely not finished! No window treatments, not much on the walls, can’t decide what I want the island to look like, so I don’t have one, no shelving around the mantel, (so it’s just sitting there hugging gas logs sticking out into my awkward naked living room.)
    All this to say, I will read these posts! and yes, tell Andy, I will completely respect your title as an expert. (except for this plant thing… The grapevine says you are a quack!) hahaha
    Anyway, if you need some pictures for a before and after idea toss or a fabulous “win a room decorating blog contest!” I’m willing to bare all!

  32. SOUNDS AMAZING!! cant wait!! 😀

  33. says:

    Love it. Do it. You ARE an expert – you have been in BH&G. We don’t get it here in Australia so I keep checking their website….as of a couple of days ago they still had the May issue featured so I haven’t seen you in there yet and I can hardly wait!
    If you can fix my dining room that is altogether too beige I will read your blog until I am 100. Unfinished rooms are my thing – I still don’t have a shade on the kitchen light or all my pictures on the walls in every room in the house. AND I need more cushions but think it is just meanness that stops me buying the inserts!

  34. says:

    OMG I just found it! Went onto BHG’s website to see it you were there yet and you are! Next time you are in an executive meeting with them would you please tell them that the only way I could find it was to go to their facebook page and click on the link there. No way could I find it directly on their website! (I did used to be blonde though, before I turned grey). Just saying. And if you can’t think of a thing to say in the meeting this will give you something constructive to contribute – who knows, you could end up CEO!

  35. This sounds awesome! I especially need a tutorial on how to style/decorate and end table. I can never seem to find the right balance. :/

  36. Hi Kelly – I just found your blog through Pinterest and I love it. I too am decorating a home and blogging about it. Please stop by if you have a chance.

    Emily @

  37. Sounds fun. Can’t wait for the first installment!

  38. I’m looking forward to your expert new series with all your fab decorating tips and tricks, Kelly! I’m also getting my golden gloves on in preparation for your “Gilt everything in the house” link party. (Because in my case, spraying things gold becomes a small obsession once I start.)

  39. Umm, can you please start this series immediately? I’m ready to stop the decorating-mistake-madness (although I am trying to consider my many recent throw pillow purchases more “experiments” than “mistakes”).

  40. I would love to hear your ideas! I’m working on decorating a rental so some good old fashioned decorating tips would be greatly appreciated!

  41. I’ve really enjoyed your blog…please keep the inspiration and humor coming!!!

  42. This series is a great idea! I had to work hard not to steal it from you when you asked about it on Facebook last month. I’ve still never done a vignette so I can’t wait to hear your tips!

  43. Gretchen says:

    Ooo, can’t wait!

  44. I’m not sure what qualifies someone as an “expert”, but I know that what I’m interested is in learning from someone who is humble enough to admit they don’t know all the answers, that they’ve made mistakes, and that it’s part of the process. So, I’m along for ride! Bring on the Decorating 101 in t-shirts and yoga pants with chocolate (yes, lots and lots of chocolate).

  45. that is the exact kind of decorating advice I need! Yes, please!

  46. Catching up! Laughing all morning! And Yes, I think this series is a fantastic idea. 🙂 And I totally painted something gold, can’t wait for you to see it. 🙂

  47. yes please! I’m looking forward to this series! I love your home and all the updates you have made… your expert enough for me! I find tips from “real” experts- interior designers to be a bit stuffy and sometimes unrealistic… I prefer the homes of design bloggers, especially those who think practically and don’t have insane budgets!

  48. Hahaha! I found your blog through…Pinterest? Maybe?…I have 84 tabs open right now, so no tellin’! I just wanted to say I have to subscribe now b/c I have read about eight posts and just opened three more in other tabs 😀 Love it! You crack me up, so keep it up please 😀 Thanks!

  49. Melanie Stewart says:

    My husband and I are in the process of looking for a house which we hope to be in for a decade or more and which I fully intend to decorate and re-decorate to my hearts desire! That said, I am excited about this series you’ve started! And, I am wondering if you plan on putting links to all of the posts in the series in one place/entry for easy, reader access? It would be fabulous if you could!

  50. iamaddictedtoyou says:

    I love this idea….I’ve really enjoyed your blog…This sounds awesome..i loved this blog..i already head this article in


  1. […] when I warned you this Decorating 101 series would be about what I’ve done wrong? Yeah: THIS. A million times. […]

Speak Your Mind


Back to top          Privacy Policy          Copyright © 2013 View Along the Way. All rights reserved.          Contact Me