My old inspiration folder

I recently went through a couple bins I sent to Marc's storage unit after the flood. They had my stationary, picture frames, and some of my books in them. When I pulled out a pretty big binder, I had trouble remembering what it was.

It was my old inspiration binder. I kept it back when I lived in Boston, when owning a place of my own was inconceivable. I had grand ideas about my style back then and that's pretty evident in the pictures I clipped out of Traditional Home and Southern Accents. You can also see my inspiration for some of my early design choices in my condo.

I LOVED this picture. I stared at it a lot. It was the first picture in my binder. It inspired the purchase of my old TV armoire, the collecting of blue pottery, and my hunt for leopard upholstered stools for either side of the armoire, which you can't see in the photo below.

I remember searching for fabric similar to that on the deep, navy chairs in this picture.

I wound up with having this slipper chair custom made by Calico Corners. What was I thinking? Who lives in this picture? I definitely fancied myself older and more traditional than I am.
 For the record, I bought my little Eiffel Towers in 1996, long before Ballard and others showed them in catalogs.

I guess my taste in art has been a little...incongruous for a while.

There are a couple pictures in the book that are totally strange to me. I must have liked something about them at some point, but I can't fathom what that was for a few of them. What could I have liked about this?

Here are some more pictures from my book. I think it's time to toss it. It's been fun to flip through the pages and see what I liked back about 8-10 years ago.


  1. This really makes me smile. When my husband and I got married, way back in 1986 (yes, we were only 5 years old! haha) we were big admirers of my in-laws modern style. Everything had to be very spare, chrome, black, modern. Over the years, my taste has definately changed and we have changed our decorating accordingly. However, some of the bigger/forever items of furniture that we purchased then, we will be using for a long time. Mainly the campaign style (eek! 3-piece) bedroom suite in the MBR.(Can I add expensive and Henredon to that description? Hence the forever part).
    I can still appreciate the look of it, but I would never buy a 3-piece set of anything nowadays! It is fun to look back, though.

  2. It's funny how we try so hard to be really formal at first. This could be my own post as I did the same exact thing. After we got married I had a sofa custom upholstered, I had to have decorative cording, I had to have brush fringe trim and the curtains I had made cost $700 for two panels. What the heck was I thinking?!! Maybe it's a good thing we don't have a lot of money when we first start out otherwise it would look like a palace.
    On another note I have awarded you a crown, check out my blog. ;)

  3. Yep... my inspiration book could use a good cleaning too. Falls under the category of what was I thinking?? I'm gonna give you some credit on the page with the horrendous balloon valance and assume it was the chair in the most general of terms.

    I find that I'm doing a better job of finding inspiration that can be adapted to my house an constraints. Now if I could put things in motion the way you do....

  4. That gave me a giggle. I made some Godawful decisions back in my day. I'm still living with them, because one - the antique cedar chest that matches nothing I want or already own - was hunted down by my mom and refinished to the tune of several hundred dollars, all because I mentioned I wanted one. Guilt will have me keeping this forever. . . .

    The other stuff that was very old-lady-like has been sent back home, where my packrat mom is keeping it "just in case" I change my mind.


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