Inspiration Boards

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Today let’s talk about inspiration boards. Real life ones, not ones that exist on Pinterest (though I do love Pinterest for the ease with which I can now amass all my favorite houses and funny pictures of dogs. It would be nearly impossible to have as wide selection to choose from as the internet presents available off-line without buying a lot of magazines). I mean ones that you tack everything to, tear-sheets from fashion magazines, dried flowers, cocktail napkins with scribbled thoughts on them, postcards, Polaroids, sketches, mementos. Do you have one of these in your home? What do you pin to it? Does it help? While I love the images above, I would probably find them too visually overwhelming to live with every day. But now that I’m writing a book (I should probably stop announcing that I’m writing a book until I have actually written the book because in the likelihood that I don’t complete it I’m going to look like a giant doofus) I’m finding that it might be helpful to have a little board next to my computer that capture the images swirling around in my head. The metro map of Paris, a beach in La Ciotat, this pin in particular to remind me to stay on track, etc. What do you think?

And thank you for all the great apple recipes you guys doled out on Friday! We ended up restraining ourselves, and it helped that the pickin’s were slim. We did buy a pumpkin, out of which Boyfriend made pumpkin bread. Like, not from canned pumpkin, and it was delicious. His domesticity puts me to shame. How was your weekend?

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October 15, 2012 / design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 25

25 comments

  • I’m like you. All those boards that you pinned (ha) overwhelm me. I do have a bulletin board that has photography inspiration on it, but it has tons of people shots, and so it’s hopelessly out of date. I do like the idea of an actual bricks and mortar board, (I get too lazy to go to Pinterest all the time) but I’d have to keep mine much neater to not have seizures!

    • I agree! It would have to be a lot more organized and maintained, which might detract from the natural vibe of it, but oh well. I can’t deal with visual clutter, it makes my skin crawl!

  • These are so lovely. They are one of those things (like so many on the www) that look fabulous editorially but in real life, eh, maybe in the right place. I, myself, do not have an office so that would have to go in my living room and I am fairly certain I would suffer from generalize anxiety disorder if I did so. But if I had an office space, I certainly would do it. And I think it’s an excellent idea for your writing!! I really do. And on that note, you can say you are writin’ a book forever. No worries :)

    • That’s a good point, Christine! I don’t have an office either, so it would have to take up space in the corner of my bedroom. If I could close the doors on a space and hide it away I might be tempted to have one of these. xo

  • Funny you say that as I’ve been wondering the same thing. I need to get a proper inspiration board going but don’t have a studio so it will be in the sitting room. how to do this without it looking like it’s taking over? I like the first two as they’re quite neat and tidy. I’ve not worked out the best way to do it as I dont really want a cork board and I don’t like the lattice ribbon thing. Maybe fabric covered something or other. Please can you do a post on how to make them/where to buy them. Great, thanks.

    • That’s a good question! Like I said to Christine above, mine would be in the bedroom, and it’s hard to make one without it really taking over. Visually they’re just so busy and I suppose that’s the point, it’s supposed to be overwhelming with inspiration. Hmm. Let me know what you decide to do! You might give me the extra push I need to make one myself. xo

  • Hey Erin, glad you had a nice weekend :-)

    I do wonder if these images are great lesson in styling rather than them working well in practice. I have a pin board which I use for bits of paper because I don’t have a suitable home for them elsewhere. I think to myself ‘I’ll save this on here as I’ll refer back to it at some point” and then forget that I’ve got it pinned up!

    They seem to work best for visuals/pictures rather than words, I much prefer a notebook for writing down and saving thoughts. It is quite nice to gaze up at it when I’m pontificating though, it stirs up the imagination and I like to see the colour combinations that arise. xx

    • Hello lovely :) I think you’re right, but I think that’s true with almost all of the images I pin: they’re great for aspirational styling tips but I don’t know how to work them into my everyday. I agree that when done in moderation it can be really inspiring, and I think I’ll start small if I end up making one, so it doesn’t get out of hand too fast, haha. I have tons of notebooks for quotes and snippets, though, so I think I’ll keep those there. xo

  • I love the idea of having an actual mood board next to my desk but might just clutter it. I do have small bulletin boards above my desk though but it’s not the same. Pumpkin bread sounds delicious, I’ve never tried. I am put to shame constantly by P’s cooking abilities. Guess if I lived alone my daily diet would consist of sandwiches ;)

    • Haha, sandwiches are too lofty for me. J is away for the week and I’ve already had cereal for dinner :) I’m sure I could cook something more elaborate, but I’m too lazy to cook for one, that’s what it comes down to. Pumpkin bread is delicious! You’d love it.

      I like bulletin boards, too! I covered one in fabric and hung that up once, but it ended up being too busy with the patterned fabric and all the things I put on it in the end.

      • I am too lazy to cook as well and I hate to clean up after. Cereal for sinner sounds like me when P is on a business trip…

  • I would have to say my inspiration board looks nothing like that and always ends up a hodge podge of pictures, ticket stubs, weird things that don’t colour coordinate but still make me happy when I look at it. How’s the book coming along?

    • Hah, that’s how mine would end up, I’m sure of it. It might be too much work to reign it in when it’s supposed to be “organic” and inspiring naturally, you know? The book is coming. I think I’m up to 10 pages now? My brain is getting overrun with ideas in the interim. Thanks for checking in! xo

  • I have one of those board with ribbon X’s on it. I rip out pictures, fashion trends, make up, hair and beauty clothing tips from magazines. My board, like Rooth’s board, tends to get a bit messy. So, it’s on the inside of on one of my cabinets doors in the bathroom.

    I keep all my tickets stubs in a cigar box.

    • That’s such a smart idea! Hanging it on the inside of a closet door so you can hide it out of sight when you don’t need it. Brilliant. I have one of the ones with the criss-crossing ribbon, too, but there’s nothing on it. Yet! xo

  • You know, I love looking at them, and never thought about it, but I probably would find it visually overwhelming. Unless it was perfectly organized like #1.

    • Yes, I totally agree. But doesn’t it defeat the purpose to have it so ordered and organized? I thought it was supposed to be organic, but I’m pretty sure I’d get dizzy looking at it so often if it was all over the place! xo

  • I love these images, Erin! I have always had a physical inspiration board. I love the process of making one and displaying it where I can see it every day. I recently took the whole thing down, stripped it, and started from scratch. So far, I have a section for goals, inspirational quotes, images of dinner parties and fall dressing, ideas for new blog series, and this infographic (which I love): http://pinterest.com/pin/202450945720453153/ I think you should definitely make one for the book.
    PS~BF needs to stop it with his amazingness. ;)

    • Ah! That pin is amazing, Theresa, thank you! I might have to pin it virtually and offline! That’s a really good “kick-in-the-butt” graphic. I like that you have a physical inspiration board! And you’ve reassured me that I can take everything down and start from scratch if I need to. For some reason I guess I thought that once it was up, it stayed there, so it would get layered and out of hand quicker. Duh, not necessary! Thanks for the motivation, I think I’ll start small :)

      PS – Don’t let J read this! It will go to his head :) But seriously, that pumpkin bread was delish.

  • I’ve got an inspiration board on my fridge (mostly because we rent and therefore have a very ugly fridge) and I find it a great source of erm…. inspiration :) Mine is perfectly organised so I don’t find it visually overwhelming and I regularly change it up.

    • Haha, that’s such a smart way to cover an ugly fridge! If you’re going to live with it you might as well make it pretty for the time-being. Plus, with the frequency with which I hit the fridge foraging for snacks, I’d get little doses of inspiration all day! :) xo

  • I should do an inspiration board. God knows I need it right now! Feel so uninspired and unmotivated..

    That’s exciting about the book. What kind of book are you writing? I’ve been thinking for a long time that I would like to write a book. Just don’t know about what, haha ;)

    • It might not hurt to start one if you’re really feeling unmotivated! You might be surprised at what jumps out at you and gives you the boost you need. And thanks! I’m writing a book about…Paris! Surprise :) xo

  • These are all kinds of amazing! They put my inspiration board at my office’s desk to shame! I adore the antlers above the board in one of the photos; I’m such a sucker for all things antlers!

    • Ha, I didn’t even notice the antlers! How embarrassing, I totally just stopped at the inspiration board. Oops!