Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Inspiration Boards

Nothing gets my creative juices flowing more than sitting down with a pile of shelter magazines and dreaming! I tear out sheets that give me ideas for the shoppe as well as for home. If you are like me, you have a stash of magazine clippings that scream "YOU!". Maybe it is that perfect paint color, or a room arrangement idea, or even a craft project that you intend to tackle "soon." I wish I could say that mine are organized in an orderly fashion. I have tear-out sheets tucked in files, stashed in notebooks, or more likely, sitting in piles by my nightstand or on my desk. I have cards, fabric swatches, maps, fashion photos, etc. that somehow give me inspiration and fire up my creativity. As a visual person, I can all too easily forget about a fabulous idea if it is not out in the open and easily accessible to me. (Don't move my piles! I know exactly where everything is!) Sometimes I need my own ideas to hit me in the face! Lately, I have been inspired by a means of creatively organizing and displaying all those fabulous bits and pieces. Inspiration boards are not just for designers. They are an effective and beautiful way of defining your decorating style and keeping your sources of inspiration in front of you.

Think beyond your typical bulletin board. While the bulletin board hanging in my bedroom throughout high school did inspire me, (concert tickets, homecoming corsages, honor roll certificates...take me home 1983!) it was more of a memory board than an inspiration board. Place your inspiration board in your office, kitchen, mudroom, workroom, even a hallway! (you see it every day don't you!) Start with sheets torn out from magazines. Add special mementos from travels. Include that photo of your dream table setting or the letter from your aunt with the fabulous handwriting. Don't be afraid to go 3-D with unique and nostalgic piece of jewelry. Hang it on the wall or lay flat on a tabletop. (Who says it has to be vertical!) Your personal decorating style will emerge before your eyes. You will start to see color combinations, patterns, and textures to which you are drawn. Seeing everything together on one massive board offers a chance at clarity and creativity.

Try putting together boards for specific rooms or projects. This is one of my favorite ways of designing displays for Sonata, particularly around holiday open house time. Redoing a bedroom? Place a board in the room "to be" and start assembling photos, color swatches, room layouts, fabric samples, artwork ideas, or even photos of incredible couture fashion. You will be amazed at how this can create new ideas and lay to rest the quandary of the moment.

Need ideas for the board itself?
-You can start with a basic bulletin board. Your additions to the board will give it instant character.

-Take a flea market frame and attach a backing with cork board. Or, remove the glass from an old mirror and attach a layer of cork board.

-I was fortunate to come across a fabulous frame (with hideous artwork) at the local Goodwill. I covered it with collected wine corks (cut in half) and voila! Instant inspiration board! (For the record, I did not drink all that wine myself!)

-I found three of these hollow core closet doors at the salvage yard. I decoupaged the doors with various papers and objects that inspire me. Then, I added cork board to the three panels on each of the doors. Now I have three boards with permanent and temporary areas of inspiration! As a person who loves to give (and receive!) beautifully wrapped packages, I have these placed in my workroom where I do all of my wrapping. Bits of wrapping paper, ribbon, and inspiring photos go on these boards to keep my packages fresh and fun.

-Don't forget fun thumbtacks, dress form pins, or other means of tacking up your ideas.

Most importantly, don't over think your board. It should be a transitory piece. As ideas come and go, make adjustments to your board. It will become a daily reflection of you and your style.


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