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Inspiration: Entering a More Colorful World

When it’s time to paint and choose colors, who thinks of interior doors? Not many people, that’s who. Up until my new bedroom project, the last time I even considered painting a door was when I painted my bedroom door black in high school to make a point about how deep and complex I was. I’m not saying you should run out and paint all your interior doors black – unless you really want to – but rather that your interior doors (and the insides of your exterior doors) don’t have to be whiiiiiite or creeeeaaaam or some color that falls in between white and cream and does not have any personality at all.

Painted interior doors aren’t for everyone, of course – consider them as your would an oil painting – it’s just something to think about. If you’ve considered it and it isn’t for you, okay. But if you’ve never even imagined what your home might look like with more colorful doors, it’s time to start dreaming! Here are some visuals to get you started:

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Inspiration: Just Chairs, All Kinds

Wire chair is pretty with a touch of the industrial.

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Don’t Let Space Constraints Stop You from Becoming a Master Ping Ponger

I know, I know, all that ping pong would probably make your door look like crap after two weeks of gin-fueled ping pong benders. And the hinge would break, and no one would want to come over after a while because you’d feel compelled to get the most out of your ping pong door. Designed by Tobias Fraenzel (of punching bag couch fame), the ping pong door fits standard doorways. Likely those in fairly unstandard houses, but that’s more about atmosphere than design.

No, you can't leave. We're in the middle of a tournament.

The main downside? One side of the ping pong door is white – or whatever color you prefer – while the play side is bright green. Not an easy fit for most people’s home decor. The secondary downside? You’ll have to DIY this door because as far as I can tell it either wasn’t ever for sale or sold out and that was the end of the production run. But you tell me: What game would you like to see as a built in?

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You Just Have to Love an Awesome ‘After’

There’s something to be said for before and after photos. Of anything, really. I’m absolutely terrible at remembering to ‘before and after’ any project, so I’m always in awe of the people who do remember. I’m especially in awe, though, of really extra sweet afters. Like this absolutely beautiful one, whose before can be seen at Rambling Renovators:

It's already a gorgeous room, but so much lovelier even when viewed in the context of the before.

Want to know why I love before and after pictures? And especially ones like these? Because they show you that the beautiful spaces you see that not only make you jealous, but also make you question your own decorating and design abilities didn’t always look like that. At some point in the past, they usually looked not as great, and someone had to make the decisions that led to the amazing transformation that led to the room you’re so envious of looking like it does today. A before and after photo set lets you see that change and furthermore shows you that there’s no reason at all that you can’t be the catalyst for a similar transformation in your own home.

In other words, before and after photos are inspiring. They show you what you can achieve. They’re encouraging, not disheartening like seeing a finished project out of context can sometimes be. So GO FORTH! CREATE! BE CONFIDENT!

Inspiration: Simply Beautiful Bedrooms, Now Easier

Unless you are rocking the loft life, the bedroom is the one area of your home a guest may never see. So of course it’s going to come in last on the list of areas to pretty up when you’re decorating or redecorating. But come on now, how much time do YOU spend in your bedroom? That alone should prompt you into making your bedroom decor a priority, even if that means keeping things simple for the time being. Making your bedroom a refuge doesn’t have to cost a lot or take up hours and hours of time if you focus on creating a calm atmosphereusing stuff you already have. Analyze your existing possessions. Pick a general color scheme. Borrow / repurpose from other rooms instead of buying wherever possible. And end up with something like this:

Low tables, a lamp, some books, and a bench. The end.

Cool rug, tiny table, and some framed mirrors - nothing fussy here

A jug of flowers, the bright table, and a casual photo collage make the space.

Sometimes light is all you need.

And we're back to those tiny touches, framed pictures, etc. that are so easy to do.

Yellow, white, and red - and I might even lose the energetic print.

Need a more specific how-to? I’ll share my recipe. Grab that little side table or unused chair and you have a bedside table. Paint it if necessary – a sample size can is often just enough for a furniture redo. Turn old sheets into an awesome duvet cover. Think creatively: What can an old filing cabinet be? What can you put into those picture frames. What lamp do you have that would look amazing in another color with a redone shade? Don’t overstuff your bedroom – keep the art elsewhere, out for the guests, and don’t overwhelm yourself or the space. End result: You’ll have a calm, comfortable, swoon-worthy bedroom that cost you nothing but some time.

Keep Calm and Carry On

A spot to think and dream and read

My head is so full of detritus at the moment that I can’t think of much of anything other than chucking those pillows onto the floor, curling up in that chair, and reading until I had no more light to read by. Unfortunately, I have a career and a kid and a house of my own that currently has nothing resembling a good spot for reading for hours upon hours. Maybe someday…

Do you have a special spot in your place that’s just perfect for reading?

Inspiration: A Splash of Pink

Too much pink, and a room can end up looking like my daughter’s room. Which is great when you’re 2 – we get a lot of compliments, actually – but possibly not so good when you’re 32. Decorating with pink? Proceed with caution. Maybe think in terms of splashes of pink instead of huge swathes of the stuff. Kind of like this:

Pink door by Alain Briot

An arrangement of pink blossoms

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Still Discombobulated, Have a Tutorial Link!

No sewing machine required!

True story: I can sew. I can even sew big stuff on my sewing machine that was absolutely not designed to make anything bigger than a dress or wee baby blanket. BUT I’d rather not sew big stuff because it is a big pain in the rear. That’s why I was so jazzed to find THIS, a simple no-sew fabric blinds tutorial by Regina Morrison, owner of Acute Designs. Check it out, give it a try, and if you do, share it! Also, while you’re still here, tell me:

Can you sew the big stuff? Do you like to?

Inspiration: Environments

I am in total discombobulation mode this week, so please enjoy having a look at some of the pics I’ve been sitting on while I take a moment to regroup!

light in decor

The light makes the room

eames rocking chair

That table, oooh!

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Don’t Get Bogged Down In How Furniture Ought to Be Used!

It’s so easy to get stuck when it comes to furniture. As in, ‘I don’t need a sideboard because I don’t have a dining room’ or ‘What could we possible use a bench for in our house?’ It’s especially easy when you have a chance to acquire a free piece of quality furniture.

But wait! Maybe you don’t need another dresser, but you’ve been looking for an amazing and different bathroom vanity. Or what you really want is a bookshelf by you keep finding bench after bench. Kitchen tables abound, but no desks… chairs, but no side tables… coffee tables but no desk and hutch combos. That sort of thing. My question is: Why get so focused on what a piece of furniture is? Why not focus instead on what is might be?

I know that repurposing furniture isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but who says you have to do it yourself? Maybe you have a friend who loves that sort of thing and will hook you up with your new shelves, vanity, or whatever for the price of materials plus a little extra. Or maybe there’s a pro in your area looking for some extra work. I mean, come on, check out this sweet repurposed furniture!

Inspired by Holly Golightly's bachelorette pad?

Two different shelving options, two different seats!

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