Michelle Farnsworth
(Megan Milbradt)

(Megan Milbradt)

(Megan Milbradt)

Years ago I found a shop in Arizona that was all gently used home decor and furnishings. I thought it was ingenious. I remember telling my husband what a great idea this would be to open a store like this in Bismarck. I guess I'm not alone, because Jan Colling has done just that with her new store, The Inspired Room, located in south Bismarck. (For all of you shoppers, it's the former Real Deals Home Decor location on Lovett Avenue.)

Clearly the Inspired Room neighborhood isn't one that screams out a home decor store is located nearby. And then you drive-up to the front of the metal building and instantly realize a transformation has occurred to this typical, run-of-the-mill, metal building. Lovett Avenue just received a little facelift.

The windows are adorned with window boxes and cute shutters made from pallet remnants -- a Pinterest pinner's delight. (We have all seen the things that can be made from wooden pallets on Pinterest, right?) And instead of throwing away an old upholstered chair with the seat missing and the stuffing and springs sticking out, Colling has turned this into an adorable planter.

You want a cute sign? Colling has struck again with using an old, wooden ironing board and painting it with chalk paint. It is functional up-cycling at it's best.

Colling is a woman full of energy, smiles and vigor. Definitely in the right business and enjoying every moment of her new found direction in life. "I dreamt I had an all new plan for life," says Colling, "but then I forgot what it was. A few weeks later I was driving down the street and it came to me -- open a consignment shop for furniture and home decor." And Colling was off and running.

A background with her previous business "Walls of Distinction" and years of doing craft shows gave her the skill set and the connections with clients, to take this new endeavor on with a sense of joy and confidence.

"My clients have become my best friends. I have developed a ton of new friendships -- which is the best part of this," said Colling.

Friendships with past and present clients drive Colling and her business. It's a big part of who she is and how she operates. This obvious love of people is evident from the first moment you enter the completely remodeled metal building. The Inspired Room showroom is composed of a couple of rooms that have vignettes of furniture and every kind of home decor accessories you can think of and more. Having clients provide the inventory is another genius part of Colling's business concept. There is everything from country, modern and refurbished pieces in the store. Something for everyone at affordable prices.

Colling has a drop and dash policy, where you clean out your homes of items you would like to consign, download the inventory sheet, fill out and bring into the store with your items. Drop off and she will let you know what she will keep or what she will donate. (All donations are made to the ARC.)

But she's not looking for all of your junky items with scratches, dents and stains. The Inspired Room is filled with next to new items that are in good shape and in style, because it's not a thrift store.

"My buyers are just as picky as I am," said Colling, "and I want to make sure I carry things I can sell."

Speaking of customers, they are as enamored with Colling as she with them. Each time I have been in her store I have witnessed the camaraderie and level of customer service. "It's the whole concept, it's just amazing," said Annette Jensen of Bismarck. "I come in each week and buy something."

Jensen is not alone in her sentiments and her shopping buddy Sharon Brennise of Bismarck echoed her feelings.

"It's unique, reasonable and everyone is friendly," said Brennise. "If you can't find it here, you can't find it anywhere."

Find The Inspired Room at 2000 Lovett Ave. in Bismarck. Visit www.inspired-room.com for more information and how the consignment process works.

Michelle Farnsworth loves travel, writing, photography, daily devotions, gardening, making jewelry and finding old treasures. Her greatest accomplishment is her two sons, who bring life, love and laughter to her each day.