We first met Melissa George as a customer buying succulents at our shop. We soon learned we shared more than just a love of succulents when she told us she quit her professional day job to pursue a creative career. Melissa now runs a successful home interiors + organization blog, Polished Habitat, and even teaches others how to get into the blogging world. We recently met up with Melissa and enjoyed touring her home, seeing DIY projects we'd read about, and talking with her about her business and home. Read our Q&A with Melissa below.
How does your home reflect who you are? Thankfully it doesn’t run into as many things as I do, but our home reflects both me and my husband in so many other ways.
Many people feel a strong pull to urban or suburban, vintage or modern, colorful or moody palettes, and luxury or frugal. I genuinely and deeply am drawn to both sides. Luckily, I love blending them all into a home that is uniquely ours.
We also try to find art and furniture that comes with a story. The bikes in the entry were impulse purchased at Mayfest because we both loved them at first sight. The artist thought it was strange that I wanted 9, but they each have a number on them and I was obsessed with having all 9 numbers to hang in order. He had to ship me one when he returned to Colorado and I’m grateful he was willing to complete the set!
The bentwood rocker in the bedroom was my Gramps', and when I was little, I sat next to him all the time in a smaller rocker (that we also still have). The arms are worn from his hands and I love that we’ve been able to incorporate the rocker into our decor. We also included photography we took of downtown Tulsa in the bedroom. It brings a little urban into our suburban location AND it was a frugal project to balance some of the splurges in the bedroom. :)
Tell us about how you got into home and interior blogging? Before blogging, my career was in project management and quality improvement, most recently for a hospital system. I loved the business side of things and everyone I worked with, but had always dreamed of being an entrepreneur. I started the blog as both a creative outlet and a business idea, and quickly realized that it was my passion and purpose.
In a moment of clarity, bravery, and faith, I left the old career behind almost 4 years ago and never looked back! It wasn’t easy, and we sacrificed to make it work, but chasing the dream was 100% worth it.
How do you get inspiration for your blog projects? It sounds cliche, but inspiration truly is everywhere! I love adding a new twist to things I’ve seen to create new ideas. Magazines, books, and Pinterest are great places to start, but I’m constantly brainstorming trying to come up with something that hasn’t been done before.
Many of my projects are also driven by functionality. I think about what a space needs to have to make our lives easier and work backward from there to figure out how to make it work AND look good.
When I’m feeling uninspired, getting out of the house to visit anything from museums to musicals can help boost my creativity.
What is your favorite blog project you've done? That’s such a hard question! The pantry was the first time I wasn’t scared to make bolder choices that felt like ME. That alone was priceless and will keep the project as one of my favorites forever!
The confidence from that project made me willing to take a risk on a 100% unique feature wall in the bedroom. The combo of the wall with the custom art my husband made maybe my favorite.
Why is it important to have an organized home? I believe pretty strongly that a home should be your personalized sanctuary from the world. Let’s face it, it’s pretty chaotic out there, and having order inside the home, combined with things you love, recharges you. Sometimes I want to ask mean internet trolls if their houses are sad and disorganized, because I can’t imagine being mean when you’re surrounded by happy things.
Think about it, if all your plastic-ware falls out of the cabinet each time you try to pack leftovers, it’s going to be frustrating. That can snowball into snapping at family over something small because you’re already irritated.
What tips do you have for someone who is just tackling home organization? Don't feel like you have to change everything at once. I know that can add up in cost. Instead, start by becoming more aware of what irritates you throughout the day.
Make a list and start tackling them one by one, almost all of them can be done quickly and affordably, but we’re all so busy we have a tendency to just live with things that make us crazy. Set a goal to tackle one space a week and you can still accomplish a ton before the holidays!
This post has lots of tips you can use to organize any space.
How would you describe your style? Hmm. I always struggle with this question because it doesn’t fit neatly into any specific categories. I’ve used Modern Industrial Glam before, but even that doesn’t feel perfect. It’s a blend of those three things, with a dash of vintage, and sprinkle of traditional.
Whatever the style, the most important things to me are that it’s welcoming to a guest, but still feels stylish and unique. I'm kicking it back to you - how would the Ashleys describe my style? We agree with adding that sprinkle of traditional! ;)
Who are your current favorite blogs and Instagram accounts? I’m a little partial to Blue i Style because she’s a great friend, but she became a great friend because I loved her blog. She has a great modern style and loves blending function into her decor just like I do.
On Instagram, @cbcbuilds is a Tulsa builder that is constantly making epic design decisions. I pretty much need to stop following them because I want to either remodel or buy the house they are building with every post. But it’s too good to quit. @classyclutter and @ccandmikecreative are great too!
What do you love about Tulsa? It’s a pretty great start that almost all of our extended family is here, but Tulsa has so much to offer beyond that. We can drive 20 minutes and be picking fresh blueberries on a rural farm, or 20 minutes the other way for an Ed Sheeran concert. We can go watch football at TU, then head to the Broadway tour of a musical. We can tour Philbrook and enjoy breathtaking gardens, an elaborate oil-era home, and world-class art in one place. From Waite Phillips donating Philbrook to the city in 1938 to the Kaiser Family Foundation making the largest ever private donation to a public park for A Gathering Place, I love the history of generosity we have.
Thank you for sharing your home and story with us, Melissa! Be sure to visit Melissa's inspiring and helpful blog Polished Habitat, especially if you've been needing to organize your junk drawer (me) or build a pretty wooden outdoor plant wall (me). Also, sign up for her newsletter to get helpful home organization tips each week!
"Working with the Ashleys was such a fun and relaxed way to spend a Saturday morning. I loved seeing their styling process and seeing how beautiful shelves come together."
--Susannah Larson, Whole Enchilada E-Styling Clients, Washington, DC