Monday, October 17, 2011

Determining Your Decorating Style Part Deux

Here's where I come clean. I'm am really, really good at collecting all of the pictures and the stuff that I love. I'm really good at finding themes and threads in the stuff that I've collected. But, I'm not so good at figuring out what to do with all of this information.

Design board I made for Lucie's room. Keep reading...
Part of the reason for this is the fact that I get stuck in a mental loop. I think "cottage doesn't go with modern. Does it?" "I can't have something that is both casual and elegant. Can I?" "Monograms shouldn't go on burlap. Should they?" See, I get stuck. I'm telling you this because you don't need to be stuck the way I get stuck. Stuck is in your mind or, rather, stuck is in my mind.

When I left you at step seven, you had just examined the collection  to see themes and threads and you were going to find another person to look at your collection to help you with that.

Not So Purple Kitchen Design Board. I might not do this after all. Oh fickle me.
Step eight - Now I want you spread your collection out in front of you. Then I want you to close your eyes and empty your head of any preconceived ideas about what goes with what, or what "style" goes with what "style" and start making groups. Sort them by rooms, sort them colors, sort them by collections, just sort them in ways that are meaningful to you.

This one is a little anemic but you get the idea.
Step nine - Create mood boards. I'm taking a fantastic class right now called Blogging Your Way on Decor8. (If you are ever planning on starting a blog, I recommend taking her class, it's extremely helpful.) Holly Becker, the author of Decor8, is having us do mood boards as a part of the class. That part of the class inspired me to try to clarify my own decorating style in this post. Then Joy asked me what I did to get to the "Cottern" conclusion and here we are.  I've sprinkled my own digital mood boards throughout this post (obviously) but here are some links to other blogger's mood boards:

You can use Pinterest to make your boards, you can use Photoshop to make them, but probably the easiest way is with poster board or on a bulletin board. That way you can easily arrange and edit the boards. Don't forget to add paint chips and fabric swatches that you'd like to include.

This is a practical board for my kitchen,
so I can see if the items I chose go together.
Step ten - Keep refining! Keep editing! Decorating is a process! Make it a goal to never be "done." I like to say that I'm "circling in" on my style. I'll always keep circling and changing and refining and so will you. We're always in a state of transition and so our individual style should reflect that.

The final and most important thing is HAVE FUN!!! Decorating is fun, enjoy it :-)

If you create mood boards, email them to me! I'd love to see them, I might even post them!

See you tomorrow,


  1. Hi! Popping in via BYW to say that I'm enjoying your blog AND you cracked me up today. A girlfriend and I (Many, many years ago, we got married about a month apart.) used to say first about our wedding dresses, "Can't it be both long *and* short?" then about anything we were torn on... Can my house be both southern charming and Paris apartment with a dash of mid-century modern? I totally get where you're coming from!

  2. Thanks for stopping by Lauren! Too funny, yeah, there's no good way to mix some things. I think I've got it with Cottern though. I'm just glad that my 3rd favorite style isn't 80's neon or I'd be in trouble ;-)

  3. I think this is helping. Let's see what happens. I'm liking Pinterest for putting things together that I like. Thanks for your thoughts. I like your decorating boards.

  4. I agree that it's working! I was looking at your boards and seeing some themes already :-) Purples, violets and greens in particular. Keep going!


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