There are two things in which I strong lack personal (natural) skills: fashion and home decor. I like to call my personal style “simply playful chic,” but really I just added “chic” in there to make it sound like I know what I’m doing, certainly not because I ever think I’m making any kind of fashion statement.
I like blacks, whites, and grays because they’re easy to match with each other. I like bright, bold accessories like scarves and funky socks… because they’re easy to match with all the grays. I mismatch patterns because I don’t know not to (and every few years it’s cool and trendy to do so, right?). I like my style. It’s comfortable, personal, sometimes bright and funky, and it’s me… even if I don’t know that I’d go so far as to call it “fashion.”
My approach to home decor is similar. Apartment walls have always been sad, blank canvases for months not because I don’t have the artwork (because I do!), but because I get really intimidated by having to plot, measure, level, and actually hang said artwork. I wouldn’t know how to pick a color scheme (palette?) or theme of any kind if I had to, so my artwork and decorative pieces over the years have been a collection of interesting things – certainly not things that match.
My sense of fashion is getting updated and refined thanks to sites like Francesca’s Collection (sales!), ShopRuche (everything!), and Etsy (jewelry!). My sense of “home fashion” is getting some serious help thanks to three gorgeous, inspirational, and easy-to-mimic resources:
Ok, this one is obvious. My favorite artwork (and jewelry) often has some sort of personal connection (I bought my peace sign bracelet on the streets of SoHo), and Etsy is the best place for personal touches that are creative and handmade.
My favorite pieces of art are the ones that remind of places I’ve traveled and loved, and places I’ve lived. Like, Minnesota. I consider the Twin Cities to be my hometown, still, no matter where I spend the next few years moving around. Prints like the ones pictured here will always look good in my home. (Lucky for me, I own the blue one on the left thanks to a sweet birthday gift from Nicole).
I like the variety in these three prints: the vivid color in the first one, the gorgeous vintage map in the middle, and the bold typography (and all my favorite places) in the last one. If you’ve got a room to spruce up (and a place you love to remember), search Etsy for “[location] + art” for some really unique – and handmade! – artwork.
While Etsy’s perfect when you know what you’re looking for, Pinterest is awesome when you want to find inspiration you didn’t know you needed. I know, right? I have found some of the most interesting pieces and brilliant home organization ideas on Pinterest. Now, you can use Pinterest a couple of different ways.
- Grab the bookmarklet so that every time you find something gorgeous on the Internet, you can save it to one of your boards for future reference. When I see something (on Etsy, for instance) that I’d like to use someday, I add it to my “Home Decor” board and watch as ideas come together.
- Stalk other people’s boards. This is where the big inspiration (for me!) comes from. I know a few folks who have amazingtaste, so I make it a point to stalk their boards in order to get exposure to things I might have never seen. Like these polka dot desk chairs:*
I have a pretty good mix of boards and people I follow – some love vintage, others have a bright, colorful approach. Others yet opt for simplicity, and their boards often reflect really clean and gorgeous spaces. For me, I like to find the balance and piece together my space with a little inspiration wherever I can find it.
ApartmentTherapy.com is a great place to see what other people have done with their own space. See how to best use small spaces. Get great ideas for color palettes and room themes. I also love that there are different sites for NYC, LA, DC, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco. I think that gives a great perspective from different cities (with different styles) about what’s trendy, what’s classic, and what just works.
Where do you find your home decor inspiration?
Doniree Walker is a freelance writer whose clients include tech websites, non-profits, and UMoveFree (helping renters find Allen apartments). She’s based in Portland, Oregon where she frequents the Portland Farmers’ Markets and local wine bars. Doniree believes in champagne with breakfast, kitchen-dancing, and living with intention. For more, check out her personal blog, food and travel blog, and follow her on Twitter @doniree.