Saturday, September 25, 2010


Hello everyone!  I hope you're all having a great weekend so far.  We were having such lovely weather here for a while, but now here we are nearing the end of September, having 95 degree weather (no, that's not a typo)!  This is how it is around here every year, making it hard to get in the mind set for fall decorating.  It still "feels" like summer here.  It supposed to get up to 100 degrees come the middle of next week (ugh!).  Right about this time, I start doubting that it's ever going to cool down... but it always does... right around the end of October.

So... today I thought I would share with you the book that helped guide my remodeling and decorating decisions for my home.  It's not one that I bought at a book store, but rather a 3-ring binder that I've put all of my clippings from magazines in over the years.  It's filled with clippings from my favorite magazines, such as Country Living, Country Home, Romantic Homes, Victoria and maybe a few others that I've forgotten.

I've added a few pictures of my home to show you how the inspirational photos influenced  my style and remodeling choices.

As you can see, this book is well loved and well used.  There was a time (before the Internet and blogging) that I sat down every morning with my cup of coffee to scour the pages of this book, letting it guide my decisions as we remodeled our home.

I'll apologize now for the poor quality of the photos.  Many of the pages are somewhat crumpled.

I LOVE these dishes!  Some day, when I win the lottery, I'll buy me some.   Even if I can't afford them, I can still be inspired by them... right? ;o)

I absolutely ADORE this dining room and the way they have brought so much of the outdoors into this room.  It definitely has a garden feeling to it, yet is still elegant because of the chandelier and table linen/slip covers.

the inspiration dining room

You can definitely see how it has influenced the style in my dining room.

our dining room

I still haven't managed to find myself one of those gorgeous Swedish grandfather clocks (swoon).

You can see how all of the rustic, shabby paint finishes on all of the antique furniture pieces above helped to inspire me to buy this hutch (below) and fill it with my collections.

my hutch

I love the simplicity of this bedroom and the casual feeling it has.

I absolutely LOVE this bedroom (below)... it's so DREAMY!  I still haven't made the changes that I want to my bedroom.  I'm hoping it's something I get done over the winter and can share it with you in the spring some time.

This is one case where I hadn't been influenced by the above picture... I already had my galvanized pots before I saw this spread in Romantic Homes Magazine (above).

a vignette in my living room

It's no secret to those who have been following my blog that I adore vintage enamelware.  These pictures make my heart go pitty-pat.

Here, again, you can see how I was inspired by the mix of natural wood pieces and painted furniture in the above photo, as well as the color scheme.  The curtains in the above photo are what inspired me to buy the curtains I did in my living room and dining room.  The chairs in the above photos inspired me to buy the chair in my living room.

our living room

the chair I bought (sorry for the fuzzy picture)

The above photo was a key inspiration in my decision to build the picket fence front porch railing, back stoop picket fence, and in choosing the front door, french doors and exterior lights for our home.

our home and front garden

our back stoop

The above two fireplaces were my inspiration for the fireplace we had built in our living room.  I drew up the sketch below for our carpenter to use to draw up his plans for the fireplace.

He did a great  job of bringing my idea to life... don't you think?

our fireplace

our living room

This kitchen was the main inspiration for me when remodeling my kitchen.  You can see I didn't copy it literally, but rather took bits and pieces from it that I loved about this kitchen.  I also had to take cost and availability of products into consideration when planning my kitchen remodel.

inspiration kitchen

our kitchen

This kitchen (below) helped to inspire me as well.  I LOVE the dark wood counter top on the island, and wanted to have similar counters in my kitchen.  We couldn't find anybody locally who could build us the counter tops, however.  I'm happy with the granite that we chose and think it was probably a better choice for durability reasons.

As I was putting this post together, I realized how similar my vignette below was to the one in the photo above.

I LOVE the vaulted ceiling in the photo below and wanted to do that in my kitchen and master bedroom, however, we found out that it couldn't be done unless we replaced the entire roof (ouch... too expensive).

The doors in the above home inspired me to choose the doors I did for our home.  Now if I could just find those gorgeous vintage doorknobs...

our front door

There is so much chippy goodness in this little bathroom.  I love the vintage wooden box on the floor.

One of my vintage wooden boxes in our kitchen

Another dreamy bedroom.  I love the simplicity of the vignette in this photo, and I LOVE vintage mirrors.  This photo inspired me to create a vignette that I have in my bedroom.

a simple bouquet in my living room

the vignette in my bedroom inspired by the above photos
 (I want to paint this table white... one of many of my bedroom projects)

I want to find me some vintage lattice like the ones in the photo below (sigh).  This couch is pretty similar to the one we have in our living room.

Having this book has been such a help when trying to make difficult decisions during our remodeling projects.  Whenever I was unsure about which choice to make, I would just go to my book and look through the photos to remind me of what it is I truly love in a house and what makes it feel like a home to me.  It will continue to be a great help when doing the many projects we still have left to do.    I also have an inspiration book for my garden that helps keep me focused on how I want my garden to look when it's finished.

I know lots of you have an inspirational book, too, that you haven't bought at a book store, but that was created by the clippings you've saved from magazines that have inspired you.  If this is something you haven't tried, I highly recommend it... it's my design and decorating lifesaver!  In addition to my magazine clippings, I keep paint chips and other pertinent remodeling information stored in it.

Thanks so much for visiting and leaving your much appreciated comments!

I hope the rest of your weekend is a good one.

'Til next time...

~ Jo :o)


  1. It's so funny that i have about 75% of the same photos in my inspiration book! Great post. You did an excellent job describing what you liked about your photos... when I pull something out, I will go back and look at it and think "What was it that made me save this"... sometimes I never figure it out. We had 100degree weather here today.... too hot for fall!!

  2. Jo, I think this may well be my favorite post of yours thus far. I loved loved the inspiration photos from the books. The white dining room with the chandies are incredible. The chandi with the sort of corset shape is so unique. Your dining room and kitchen are so well done. Beautiful kitchen one of my favorites in all blog land. What I love is the space! You've got so much space! I have so little, we have a tiny tiny kitchen! Thank you so much for the awesome post today, tami

  3. What a great post! I love your inspiration book and the choices you made in your own home. The book is such a good idea and I'm sure helped you stay focused! Very, very nice...

  4. Wonderful pictures Jo(yours and theirs). I too clip magazine pics/articles, and keep certain favorite magazines as points of reference for my someday house. I want to say though, I think your execution of your inspiration is gorgeous and so inviting. Your house looks well loved and it comes through your pics:) Too, in SE Ohio, it was in the mid 90s this week, so I feel your pain with the heat. It rained last night and today was beautiful and cool(70s).

  5. I too have an inspiration book. I keep pictures for everything, including party and holiday ideas. I even have a few of the same pictures as you!

    I really love your home, it is truely beautiful. Your garden gate (in front of your fireplace) is the EXACT one I've been looking for!


  6. Hi Jo! I was just thinking of doing the same thing as I began to look through all of my catalogs! I need one for all holidays too! What a great post and your home should be in a magazine, by the way ;)Alyssa of Boston Bee p.s. I grabbed your button

  7. i just found you & i'm so happy i did! i've spent the last couple of hours searching your blog & falling in love with the amazing things you have done with your home. i'm in the (slow) process of changing everything in my home to reflect what is in line with these pictures, & you have already been so much of an added influence. you are amazing!

    p.s. i love love love all your "white wednesday" posts. absolutely beautiful!


  8. Those were some great inspirational photos to go by. Your home is beautiful and is quite the inspiration for me and I'm sure for others. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Hi Jo, this is Laurie again. To answer your question re: worthy goods online shop... no we don't have one but if you see anything you're interested in or are looking for something special, let us know and we'll see what we can do!!! Have a great rest of the weekend...

  10. Jo, those photos are so inspiring! I can see why you have looked them over and over. Your home really should be featured in a magazine, very magazine worthy.
    Thank you for sharing and inspiring me!

  11. Can I just borrow your book :) I too have all those magazines that the pictures are from, and I just love it all in one collection. You've done an absolutely beautiful job with your home, it's just like the photos. Yours should be in a magazine!
    Becky C

  12. I just adore these pics! I just started my own collection of an inspiratiional guide,and it's funny because I have a lot of the same clippings you do :) Especially the ones of the lady who bought the cottage (I believed belong to an actor/producer, just outside of L.A.) Her chicken coop she has in the yard is precious! Your home is amazing!!
    P.S. I'm assuming we must be in the same general area of Cali, I cannot believe how insanely hot it is here right now :( Have a great weekend!

  13. Wow, your home is beautiful. I like some of your pictures almost better than the magazine ones. You've balanced the white-on-white look with other warm elements so well. Great job.

  14. Hi Jo, your book looks fantastic and your pictures from your home are so wonderful. I love your style and decoration. Have a nice Sunday Jo. Hugs Alexandra

  15. Jo, you home is beautiful. I have many of those pages that you have just shown. I call it my wish book. I also have creative craft ideas and gardening ideas in mine.

  16. Jo, This is a great post. I do have my inspiration book made up of my favs. Your home is gorgeous, I love the kitchen most of all...

  17. O WowwwwwWWWWWWWW...i see i see...tha most beautiful home of the USA !!!....o my i like everything i see.......happy sunday love love Ria...

  18. Dear Jo ,
    WHAT A POST !!!!
    You did a great job, how you realize the style of the book in your home !! Shure , we can see you were inspirite, but you did it your own special way...and so many beautiful pictures...I have to look again...
    Thanks for your answer, I have to see, when ( and if ) I will do a change...
    Have a nice sunday,
    best wishes,

  19. Hi Jo, I love all your pictures! Your home is just beautiful...Kathy

  20. Hi Jo
    Wow, you just have the house of my dreams! If I had an inspirational book, well it would be filled with the pictures of your home... but I have a big problem: my husband *SMILE*. We don't have the same taste in case of our interior decoration of our home. What I like he finds kitsch. He loves the new and I the old things. Well, from time to time I manage to smuggle in a peace of good old stuff :o).
    Have a good start into the new week.

  21. Oh where do I begin....if I did not know which photos were yours I would have thought they were all out of a you and I would be the best of friends...lucky for our husbands we don't live close to each other!!!! x0x0

  22. wonderful job on your home.You followed the photos so well.Cograts.

  23. You've inspired me to take some pics and share some pages from my inspiration book. Looks like you and I are on the "same page"!!

  24. Jo!!! I have some of these same photos in my inspiration notebook that I've had for years!!! :)

    My latest thing is that instead of cutting pics out of magazines, I just tumble away in Tumblr, which is easier. My lookbook has 286 photos now!

    LOVE everything you have done in your gorgeous home! You are my style guru!


  25. Hi & happy weekend! Your home is SOO pretty! This was a really great post and I love all your inspiration photos. I could kick myself now for not buying those little galvanized # pots when I saw them! ;) Your style reminds me of a blend of Farmhouse & Swedish influence. That's great that you keep an inspiration journal. I can't tell you how long I have been putting off making one. Your kitchen and fireplace is just gorgeous!!

  26. PS: Haha.. just read Chrissy's post and totally agree.. I could not tell at first glance which pics were out of a mag and which were yours.. you are so talented!!!! :)

  27. Hi Jo,
    I love all of your inspiration images. They are so "YOU". It's nice that you have been able to stay true to your vision. Your house is so pretty and now I can see why, you had a plan from the start. That is so very wise, it keeps you from making mistakes in making impulse purchases. I should have had a book to inspire me many years ago, but we moved so many times, from large to small then larger and then smallest. I have always had the same vision in mind for what I want, though. I purchased a couch that I had seen a similar one to, in a photo somewhere and I still love it eight years later. I really don't care that the rolled arms aren't in style, they will be back in style one day soon.
    Thanks for a look at your insp. book.
    Oh and you really need a Swedish Mora clock, it would fit in so perfectly.
    Hugs, Cindy

  28. What an inspiring post Jo! I loved how you showed your inpiration photos and then showed how you'd implemented them in your own home. It's beautiful!
    Btw, I made a new header. Thanks for info about picnik. I'm having fun learning how to use it.

  29. Hi Jo,

    A funny thing I was visiting you and tried to leave a comment but blogger was playing up, and I saw that you had visited me, thank you.
    Love all your inspirational pages in your book and then seeing what you did in your own beautiful home.
    It is so neat to get inspiration and ideas from others. I have a binder too, with lots of fabulous pictures and ideas.

    Have a happy week

  30. Hi there - loved this post. I read it earlier today and it actually inspired me to go out and buy a really nice three ring binder notebook with the Eiffel Tower (in pink) on the front...and some plastic sheets. I have tons and tons of ripped out magazine pages that I have used over the years for inspiration - but never put them in a book. So that is going to be my next I can go through all my old magazines and tear out pages and throw out the remainder! Love your home - and your gardens. It is just so beautiful. Makes me want to paint everything white. Have a great week!!!

  31. I love, love, love all of these photos. I could just look at them over and over. Your home is so pretty, you have done a very good job emulating the beauty found in your inspiration pictures :)

  32. I feel like I am officially in heaven! I have just gone through your post three times and can't wait to do it again. Your home is absolutely beautiful...calm and tranquil. It definitely has the feeling of being your sanctuary. You have inspired me to gather all my magazine pictures and assemble them in a binder. Beautiful post. I can see how much love has gone into your home. Thank you for sharing.

  33. you would be in my inspiration book! you have done an incredible job with your home! :)

  34. Hi Jo, I would love to know where you bought your front door - it's gorgeous and I've not seen anything like it in my search for a new entry door. Thanks!


  35. Jo, Right off the bat I have to say thank you for your sweet comment on my listed poetry and my hand painted poetry sign.

    NOW!!!! the mix of your home with the many pictures we have all drooled over in the magazines we loose our minds over are so perfect in the sense that I could hardly even tell what was the magazine homes and what was yours. This is how perfectly perfect your home mixes with the varied photo's of the mag's.

    I love the inspiration of the rooms you have up against the room you featured from the magazine photo's.

    Have a beautiful week in your beautifully inspired home.

    PS......I can now see how well the PLATTER!!! will work out in the mix of your farm house euro chic cottage HOME!!!

  36. Hi Jo, thanks for the info on where to buy the door. Boo hoo, I called the company and they're strictly California based. I'm on the quest to find something comparable here in New England.

  37. Love this post! So many fabulous ideas in one place! Yay!

  38. Fantastic book! Your home is beautiful, I can't see the difference between the book an your home :-)
    A big compliment!

  39. Hi Jo....i'm seriously blown away by this do this post right, that takes a lot of work - to me - it's a bit of art don't you think??

    I absolutely loved it

    and I have never seen so many inspiring pictures that are right up my decorating style...
    Anne Marie

  40. Hi Jo! what a great post...good thing you labeled all the photos...I wouldn't be able to tell the magazine pics from your own! Your house would definately be something for a decor mag to photograph!!!
    Thank you for sharing.

  41. Jo...that is one delicious post. Thanks for sharing all that you do here.....when I get stuck on my house, your blog has always been my first stop to find inspiration. I think I may just book mark this post lol....thanks again...carol

  42. Incredible post Jo~! Such fun seeing where you get your inspiration from and how it's translated into your home. Bravo my friend.

  43. Jo OMG Beautiful post.

    you must have been at this for days! I envy those that have time to do this.... time is a valuable commodity. I would love to see you pull your livingroom furniture around to face and frame the fireplace... with that rug it would be so cozy and would give you your inspirational page.

    lovely, thanks for sharing

  44. Great post. I loved seeing your binder inspirations and how you brought them to life for your home. I have binders like yours as well! It's fun to look at just what you love!

  45. Hi sweet friend! It's totally amazing how much we were born with the exact same loves in decor and style!!!! I, too, have a "Inspiration Book" that I put together years ago, and I still find myself adding to it and referring to it year after year. My hubby actually used it in his high school Drafting class when he was teaching school to show the kids what they should do when building a house. :) I still think that you, Tracey, Anne, and Maria should publish a book on your homes. They're all so beautifully inspirational, and I find myself swooning over them again and again and again. Hugs!

    xoxo laurie

  46. I'm so grateful for the internet for giving me all these creative ideas with my home. You have helped me in so many ways. If it wasn't for your blog my home would be ugly and boring looking. I think that you having a book that inspired you previously for home art is great but nothing at the time of the day can compare to the amount of artistic information the internet has.

    -Zane of ontario honey


Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. I love to hear what you have to say. Thanks! :) Jo