Big Box o' Inspiration

What is that big white wicker box up there? Why, that’s what Inspiration looks like!

“Funny,” you say, “looks like a portable file container to me.”

Okay, well, so I can’t put anything past you people.

But INSIDE this humble, Shabby Chic file container lurks a collection of the ideas and images that have moved me to decorate my home.

I LOVE decorating magazines. So when I see images of a room, a craft, or a piece of furniture that particularly makes me want to get out the paint or glue, I try to remember to save it in here for easy reference.

I thought you all might enjoy seeing just a few of the pictures I’ve saved over the years.

The following two were from the May 2003 edition of Romantic Homes.

What I loved in particular about these rooms were the zingy berry colors and the emphasis on rich textiles like velvets, tapestries and silks. I also really enjoyed the dramatic and quirky juxtaposition of things like classical busts, vintage signs and carnival masks.

You can see a similar feel to things with this photo, from the November 24, 2003 Victorian Decorating magazine. This parlor, too, has lots of color and texture. Yet the eclectic sense of the room gives a fun almost gypsy-like feel.

So these were the two magazine features that really helped me figure out how I’d wanted to decorate my master bedroom. As a result, I’d included velvet, lots of bright colors, some plaster and chalkware busts and an array of feather fans, suitcases, and vintage hats to add a sense of adventure to the room. These are photos of my own rooms...

From going through the magazines, I clearly learned I liked color. But I also discovered I liked the whitewashed and pastel look. Some of my favorite inspiration photos came from Romantic Homes’ January 2004 issue here...

And the May 2003 edition here...

What I‘d liked about these rooms was the sense of age of the painted woods, the neo-classical paintings integrated into the rooms, the use of statuary and the general whimsical nature of the look. It’s all very opulent, yet very aged, hazy and accessible.

I also liked this more traditional bedroom:

You can see the influence of these inspiration photos in just a few things in my own spare room-- like the Shabby Chic bedding, the architectural salvage mirrors, and the standing lamp...

And last, I just wanted to show you a couple of photos of a kitchen that had inspired me. This was in the August 2005 Country Living.

These were the pictures that reassured me that jadeite and green Depression glass could coexist-- and look right at home. It also was the layout that convinced me my kitchen might be in need of some retro-styled small appliances!

Well, that’s all there is for today. Do you have particular magazines or images that have inspired you in your decorating? Here’s hoping inspiration finds you this week-- no matter what you’re working on!

Oh, before you go, don’t forget to see the recipients of the “Nice Matters” awards. Click here.

Have a great week!