Taking Inspiration Where You Can

by Kelly · 1 comment

in Living Frugally

I was using StumbleUpon the other day to look for inspiration and interesting sites (OK, OK, it was really to avoid working on my thesis) and I found this post about the new playroom Hooked on Houses has created for her kids.

I love this room! I want this room. It makes me want to move and, as I shared on the Good Reads page, buy a big house I can’t afford so that I can have a room like this, for my kids to play in.

That, of course, is not going to happen. I love my apartment and all the space we have which, although it is not that much according to US standards (about 1000 square feet), is just enough for us. I love being able to pay the rent every month without having to worry about where the money is coming from (like at certain points in our past) and I don’t want to buy a place that’s more than we can afford.

As I read and reread her post, I started to realize that there were certain things that really appealed to me in their playroom. It isn’t the whole room that I like and want to duplicate, just some things that really speak to me, almost like a mood board. Because when I think about it, I like having my kids’ things all throughout the house, I like that we take turns using the office computer for work or for games. In fact, as I type this from my laptop in the corner of my bedroom (more on that later), my boys are playing some game called Plants and Zombies in the office, my daughter has spread her silkies throughout my room and my husband is playing guitar in the living room. Sure, if we had more space we could all have separate rooms, but I like everyone being able to hear- and almost see- everyone else.

That said, back to Hooked on Houses‘ new playroom. When I look at her pictures, I realize what I really like are the pops of color throughout the room, like the green on the walls and dresser, the orange chairs and the pink baskets on the shelves. I like the foam boards above the shelving unit, where she pins up the photos. I especially love the ceiling light (how could I not? It comes from Ikea!). And I really like how they reused and repurposed elements from the first version of the room and other places in the house. I love home improvement projects on a budget! All these things are elements that I could, and will, incorporate into my own house quite easily.

When I look at DIY or home-decorating themed websites now, I’m trying to look at them less in a I want that kind of way, and more as an inspiration board for ways that I could reuse what I have. I’m working on knowing, not just saying, that buying stuff is not the answer. I’m trying to be more inspired by what I have, rather than always looking for new things that I can add. Change is not bad, redecorating can often be what breathes new life into a room, space or environment, but it doesn’t have to be about buying new stuff to copy what someone else has created. It can be about being inspired, using what you have and love, and looking at in a new way.

Where do you get your inspiration?

{ 1 comment }

1 Kristen | gezellig*girl August 30, 2010

Honestly, I get a lot of inspiration from the IKEA catalog and/or website. I don’t model my entire apartment around it or anything, but so much of what IKEA sells is made specifically for small-space living (I live in less than 750 square feet, along with my husband and daughter) and it gives me a lot of new ideas about how to arrange stuff or use what I already have in a different way — and without showing me impossible and/or ridiculous pictures of gigantic, near-empty rooms.

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