A new-to-you home is a blank slate that awaits your personal touch. Whether you’re here for a spell or here for the long haul, the key to making a house a home is first to fill it with the ones you love and then make it uniquely yours. You bring the people, and we’ve got the places to go for design inspiration.
There are literally thousands of websites dedicated to home decorating and interior design. Below you’ll find some great places to get started. They share in common that they feature beautiful photography and an eclectic range of styles and options to suit every taste.
For starters, check out these resources that feature home design by/for military families:
Eleven Magnolia Lane – Christy, of Christy and Amy at 11 Magnolia Lane, is an active-duty military spouse (and Amy has had her share of new addresses too). Their aesthetic is stunning, and you can virtually tour their homes for season changes, celebrations, and more. You’ll also find content focused on military life, like “Tips & Tricks for Decorating a Rental (or Military Housing) and Making It Feel Like Home” and “Moving Tips & Tricks (and How to Stay Sane).”
White Walls – We’re making an exception here. This suggestion isn’t a website, but rather a closed Facebook Group for active duty, guard, reserve, AGR service members, military vets, retirees, DoD civilians, and their card-carrying dependent spouses. 97,000 and counting people can’t be wrong and, if you’re eligible, we think you’d be wise to follow this group that focuses on turning a military house into a home after a PCS.
Based in Design – This interior design studio promises that “wherever the military may lead you, we can help you feel at home and make temporary feel like permanent.” In addition to offering design services, they feature custom-curated furniture and accessories, beautiful photography, and a keen understanding and appreciation of the nomadic nature of military life.
While not military specific, the following are great “go-to” resources for design inspiration online:
HGTV.com – (where Home and Garden Television lives on the internet) This site not only can help you create a gorgeous kitchen, but also can assist you in figuring out what to make for your first dinner in your new home. Whatever your aesthetic, you’re likely to find inspiration here. And if you’re a DIY fan, this website is a great place not only to see things you love, but also to learn how to make them yourself!
Houzz – Here you can browse ideas by room; connect with local professionals who can pull off your grand plans (or learn to do those projects yourself); shop for furniture, accessories, and home decor; or even upload your own photos and ideas. Afraid you won’t see something that’s to your taste? Styles include Contemporary, Eclectic, Modern, Traditional, Asian, Beach, Craftsman, Farmhouse, Industrial, Mediterranean, Modern, Midcentury, and Rustic. You’re probably covered, right?
apartment therapy – If your new home is a smaller place, like a condo or tiny house for instance, this is a great resource for you. This website is all about decorating and designing small spaces. (This is also a great place to go if you’re looking to turn another property into rentals!)
Design*Sponge – The woman behind this site, Grace Bonney, is known as a “Martha Stewart for Millennials” by The New York Times. Design Sponge is about more than homes and furnishings—it celebrates the people behind them too.
Speaking of Martha Stewart, you may associate her with food and entertaining, but she remains influential in the home and lifestyle space too. Spoiler alert: Apparently, bold wallpaper is back (and removable wallpaper is an option if you’re living on a military installation and can’t use the real stuff).
Pinterest – People are quick to label Pinterest as social media rather than a website. But this site is the epitome of a look book or inspiration board and one of the best places to go for ideas. Fancy a Victorian look? “Victorian home design” takes you there. Prefer country chic? You’re one search word away from the mason jar light fixtures of your dreams.
And that ease of searching means you can focus on military-inspired or military-friendly design ideas too. A quick search of “military home decorating” yields hundreds and hundreds of pins with everything from “Personalize Your On-Base Housing or Rental with These Easy Ideas to Vintage Military Decor,” to “A Military Base Home Infused with Cheerful Color.” You’ll find pins from some of the websites we’ve referenced above along with excellent ideas from fellow military spouses who are skillful at making a beautiful home of any place they land. And you’ll find great ideas and information on how to shop for home design items made by military-connected folks too!
Finally, don’t limit your search for inspiration to only design websites. Keep your eyes open to what draws your attention and interest. Perhaps you love the pattern of dishes on your favorite recipe website. Or the fashion sense of an online influencer you follow. You can bring inspiration from any sphere into how you put your own stamp on your new home. You’re limited only by your imagination!