Design Inspiration From Junk Mail?

Home Stager with Staging Places
 It all started with a catalog; I was looking through one and came across a picture of a hutch that had the interior shelves painted a beautiful blue hue. I loved the look and immediately thought of some built in shelves in my living room. They were a dull white and could definitely use a shot of color. I decided to recreate the catalog picture. As I eyed the bookshelf I couldn’t help but notice the large window next to it. I knew I didn’t want to block the view but a simple panel of color would sure dress it up.  I tore out the picture from the catalog and made my way to the fabric store. After finding the perfect fabric based on the color in the picture, I stopped at the paint store and had them computer match it to the fabric. I was so excited I emptied the shelves and began painting the built-ins as soon as I walked in the door. Unfortunately, as I applied my third coat of paint I realized the fabric looked much lighter than the shelves. It dawned on me that since the shelves had no natural light to speak of, the paint color showed up about 3 shades darker than the fabric, next to the window.  Lesson learned (go a few shades lighter than fabric for built in shelves) I added some white paint left over from another project and was able to achieve the right shade. My mom, being the wonderful seamstress that she is, was able to whip up 2 curtain panels for the picture window.  The project took approximately 6 hours (even with the paint fiasco) and I am much happier with the way the living room looks.

Catalogs are a great source for design inspiration. I love flipping through the high end ones to see how they create the perfect room. I feel no guilt when I steal the ideas and make them my own for a fraction of the cost. To me these catalogs are wonderful lessons on how to use color, arrange accessories and create a room that feels like it should be in a magazine. I was reading the Saturday paper and skipped right to the Homestyle section like I always do to read Doctor Décor  Barbara Kibitz who writes the column, always has fresh ideas and good advice. I was thrilled to see that she dedicated a whole column to the Pottery Barn catalog and the design work that goes into creating the rooms. I love the fact that a professional Interior Designer is not afraid to tell the general public to look for inspiration in what some people would consider junk mail. I have received the pottery Barn catalog for years and have a whole binder filled with pages from past seasons. They do such a fabulous job of juxtaposing new and old to create beautifully eclectic spaces. The wonderful part is that most of the things they use are readily available so they can be recreated fairly easily. Another catalog I love to borrow ideas from is Horchow. I do not have the budget to purchase anything from their pages, but I have the time and creativity to create a similar look if I see something I like. Whenever I am stuck for an idea or just need some inspiration, I find that catalogs give me a quick fix. The time and effort the designers or visual merchandisers put in to the pages of decorating catalogs is amazing. Next time you are stuck for an idea, pull out a catalog or two, you won’t be sorry.

Becca Briggs
Rochester, NY

This looks HOT!!  What a great idea!!  I've seen this on HGTV alot and the color is great.  Pottery Barn is my favorite!

Hey I'd post this to the before and after group - you don't have a before - but I love checking it out for ideas and this it right up there with great ideas!!

Feb 13, 2008 11:05 AM
Quakertown, PA
e-PRO, Realtor - Bucks County PA - 610-952-3578

Well this is a good message.  I am glad I read your post today.  THanks alot for the information and ideas



Feb 13, 2008 11:07 AM
Marci Toliver
438-4642 - Mauldin, SC
Anderson SC, Spartanburg,Greenville SC, Home Staging
Heather, I have a swipe file-  it contains all the pictures that I have gotten inspiration from!  This looks great! 
Feb 13, 2008 11:37 AM
Kathy Passarette
Creative Home Expressions - Mount Sinai, NY
L.I. Staging/Decorating
Heather ~ I think it's great you acted on something that caught your eye in decorating.  How many people (myself included) just keep the pictures and never do any of the ideas?  The blue looks really nice with the panel.  I'm with you on Horchow - love to look through their catalog (online too), but they are too expensive for me.
Feb 13, 2008 11:39 AM
Tara Boettger
HOMEGIRL Home Staging - Poughkeepsie, NY
I also have a file labled "design inspiration" and whenever I want to make over a room or I am stuck on a staging job I always flip through my file and get the creative juices flowing!
Feb 13, 2008 12:06 PM
Heather Durren
Staging Places - Birmingham, MI

Becky & Nicole- Thanks so much, I may have a before. I will post it to the Before and After blog if I do.

Don- I'm glad you read my post too! It is always nice to hear from  people that read my blog.

Marci- I have a file as well! The internet is an awsome tool for good ideas and inspiration.

<> Kathy- I do sometimes do more dreaming than doing but in this case I had to go for it!
Feb 13, 2008 12:06 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager
Beautiful job Heather, thanks for the inspiration.  I love that shade of reminds me of blue popsicles from when I was a kid.
Feb 14, 2008 12:01 PM
Heather Durren
Staging Places - Birmingham, MI


Ha! That's funny, no wonder I was drawn to it, it's the color of food! 

Feb 14, 2008 12:13 PM
Mary Lou Teague
Home Style and Staging Knoxville. TN
Great job, I will have to try that.
Feb 14, 2008 12:34 PM
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.
Thanks for the thought provoking and well written post. 
Feb 14, 2008 05:19 PM
Kate Hart
Hart & Associates Staging and Design - Radnor, PA
I loved this post because it makes sense- this is something that every home owner can do on their own Great job. I recently painted the backs of my shelves the same color as the walls to make them pop more and also it makes the accents pop too. kh
Feb 14, 2008 11:11 PM