Special Nonexistent Furniture

Decorating from an Inspiration Photo

by Jackie Hernandez

Jackie Hernandez blogs at Teal & Lime, sharing her daily adventures taking a basic builder house and making it a DIY modern home. Jackie believes you are the best person to decorate your own home. Teal & Lime empowers readers to decorate in an easy and approachable way through simple DIY and decorating ideas, online decorating services, and decorating e-courses. Teal & Lime will inspire you to make it home, make it you.

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  • I love finding inspiration and bringing it to life in my own home—it's my favorite way to decorate. 
     
    However, I used to get distracted by the inspiration. Instead of focusing on the arrangement and why it works, I got hung up on the colors and style. If it didn't fit my vision precisely, I moved on. Then I realized I had to look past the surface to see why a vignette caught my eye. I had to look at why it works, regardless of the particular style or colors used.
     
    The resulting technique is a very powerful way to decorate. It starts with the inspiration. Learn to ignore the style and color you see in the photos, and instead focus on good composition.

    Look for inspiring vignettes that are:
    1. Interesting
    2. Balanced
    3. Have movement
    4. Objects grouped in odd numbers
    5. Objects of varying heights
    6. Layered, which gives depth to an arrangement
  • Next, you need to break down your inspiration so you can recreate it at home. To do this, focus on the shapes you see. Make a simple sketch recreating the arrangement as shapes. The sketch helps you look past the actual decor and focus on the arrangement.

    ​Once you have your sketch complete, it becomes like plug-and-play decorating. All you have to do is plug in your own decor that fits the shapes on your sketch. I always shop my home first when redecorating a space. If I come up empty-handed, I refer back to my sketch to see what shape or type of object I need to shop for. 

    With the example above, I was inspired by a rather traditional entryway vignette, but after I broke the arrangement down into shapes, you can easily see it works for any style.  

    I used this example to decorate the sofa table in my living room (below).
  • Although my console table was not up against a wall, I was able to use several of the same elements from the inspiration. Under my table I added two semi-DIY x-leg benches.

    I couldn't put a mirror and lamp on my table, but I used the inspiration to play around with different options for styling the top of the table. My favorites were the stacked book boxes with an object on top and a styled tray.
  • To recap, here's my simple, but powerful process for decorating from an inspiration photo.
     
    Keep these tips in mind for the inspiration:
    1. Ignore specific decorating style and colors
    2. Look for good composition (interest, balance, movement)
    3. Keep an eye out for good design basics (groupings in odd numbers, varying heights, and layering to add depth)
     
    Turn your inspiration into a roadmap:
    1. Break down the composition into basic shapes
    2. Plug in your home decor using the shape sketch as a guide
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