{inspired} a peek into the inspiration folder

First, thanks for all your feedback about my tables ... the discussion didn't go in the direction I thought it would (I'm looking at you Jennifer!), but I like it! You'll definitely see the *afters*. Hopefully soon!

Now, back to taking control of my *style*. It boils down to one simple principle, in my mind: what do I love? I feel like this should be an easy question to answer. But, it's easy to get distracted by crazy things my lovely husband loves (ahem), and all the beautiful inspiration on the good ole Internet. I feel like my style changes daily. This needs to stop. I've cleared my house of every thing I don't love. And now I'm excited to bring in what I do love.

Side note: I like to joke about it, but I don't dictate design purchases in our house. My husband has an opinion. A strong opinion. In fact, one of the first huge fights we had, when we were still dating (!), was which kitchen table we'd have in the house. We ended up buying a new one. My point: when I say *I* in this post, it really is *we*. I put the most thought into this, but if Chris doesn't love something, I find a way to incorporate his views into the plans so that we create a home we're both happy with.

This is my goal: I want to commit to what I love. Even if that takes years. I'm proclaiming this to all of you, because hopefully I'll be reminded, when I go to buy something, to really think through whether or not I LOVE it. Because in the end, I want to craft a home that is comfortable for me, Chris and our future family. I want it to be unique, stylish and personal. And, this think this can be accomplished with a little fore thought.

There have been a lot of discussions about this topic. The one that really jumped out at me though, was a series of *assignments* that Emma, from the Marion House Book, took herself through last fall. She defined her style and then took a hard look at her home to identify places where her style was showing through. I'm going to take my cue from Emma. Her approach was very succinct and something I think everyone should really do.

I'm starting with my inspiration files. I've been collecting images I love from magazines for YEARS. I have a huge folder, that I actually pared down last year, filled with all the rooms that have caught my eye over the years. I pulled it out this weekend and took a good look at the rooms I really love and could see myself living in. Here's what I found:
Living Room. The first thing I noticed about these is they're all fairly neutral, but with nice injections of color. An elements that rings true for each of these is that they're filled with unique and personal elements. The owners personality seems to speak through objects they've collected. Lastly, they're all structured with clean lines and then livened-up with fun, quirky objects.

Kitchens: With the exception of the top left blue cabinets, each of these kitchens is very neutral, open and bright. As with the living rooms above, they all have a spot of color.

Dining room: I see a trend here: clean lines, injections of color and collections of personal items.

Bedroom: Color! As much as I love the IDEA of a clean, white bedroom, all my files point me to bedrooms with color.

I was surprised, after pulling all these images together, how much the rooms ... from different years and different magazines ... reflect and compliment each other. I even see the same colors flow throughout. I have a very difficult time verbalizing my *style*, but I will say that based on these images, it's clean lines, neutral base with fun colors, traditional with a modern twist.

Thanks for reading along! Next up, we'll take a good look at my house's current *style*.

Now, spill it ... what words sum up your style?

If you'd like to read more on the topic, visit:
The Marion Book House assignments, part one, part two and part three.

{Top photo via Pure Style Home, all the rest pulled from magazines over the years.}


  1. I don't know my style ahhh!!!!! Jenn I seriously like almost everything! Which makes it so flipping hard to decorate! lol!

    I love everything you posted -- kudos on having it all super organized =) You're going to have to start playing around with your 43zillion frames in your decor soon! haha

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  2. Ooo thanks for sharing some pretty pictures to look at! I especially like that dining room with the blue chairs and large hutch--so big and beautiful

    I don't know if I have a style yet but like you, I'd like to pin one down!

    Your side note about you and Chris made me laugh because J and I are the same way. He has strong opinions (and they are usually pretty good ones) about furniture and design too. It's a little more challenging but also more meaningful to create a home with two people who have strong opinions about their space :)

  3. I'm so timid in decorating and finding my style. What if I do something and then I hate it? I don't want to waste my money or my time. I would rather not have to redo anything. Sigh. The problems of a perfectionist.

  4. I love the line "commit to what I love" in this post. Very well stated! I too am going to make that a goal of mine. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Jenn -- I had an idea for my zillions of frames! Super excited ... and hopefully getting to it soon :)

    KT -- I do appreciate that he cares and is interest in the house ... it's way more meaningful and more fun.

    Becky -- I have that fear a lot. It's only by looking at TONS of styles that I'm finally narrowing down what mine is.

    Laura -- You're welcome! Thanks for visiting :)

  6. I love your inspiration images! This exercise totally helped me. I've actually found myself in situations where I've been tempted to buy something and then I think no...wait that's totally not the look I'm going for. I hope it works for you. ANd thanks for the links!


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