Organizing Inspirations: The First Step in Designing Mama's Home

A couple years ago, I met Michelle when she visited my Design Center with her then newborn son. Many months later, through the magic of social media, we continued our communications via the world wide web, first on LinkedIn, Facebook and followed soon after on Twitter.  When she launched her blog I was thrilled for her and have always gotten a kick out of her day-in-the-life-of-a-mom monologue's.   I'm really excited she is sharing her voice here and am certain you will enjoy her ideas and cunning wit as much as I do. So, without further adieu, I present to you Peas Out Mama's first guest post here at Storibook Designs Open Studio. ___________________________________________________

A little over a year ago, I entered the blogosphere, writing about my life in the mama 'hood. As a stay-at-home mom to a now 19-month-old, blogging turned out to be a most useful venue to gripe about share the ups and downs of life as a new parent figuring her way out. Peas Out Mama ("a mommy blog with a little crunch") began as means for me to be creative, get back to the writing I'd nearly abandoned years ago, and quite frankly, have a life beyond my kid (sort of). I never imagined anyone besides some close friends and family members would read (imagine)! And now, I'm so thrilled to have been invited as a monthly guest blogger for Storibook Designs!

So what's this mom know about decorating and design? I know I spend ridonkulous amounts of time at home. And if you're a parent or designer, you know how hard it is to create a kid-friendly home that doesn't look or feel like Toys R Us staged a hostile takeover. A home that's inviting to both kids and adults. A home you want to hang out in. And oh yeah, and it has to be safe, too. Safety. Right.

For me, creating my home is quite literally a work in progress. I scour the stream of catalogues that grace my mailbox, I flip through magazines, and I clip the stuff I like. Old school. With scissors. I collect paint chips of colors I adore. And here's where all this genius inspiration goes:

I understand. Really, I do. To the untrained eye, this looks like a coupon organizer, right? Oh no. Check this out:

It's a veritable design inspiration mini mini portfolio complete with labeled sections (our room, office, porch, living room). So I'm a little Type A. What of it?

Want a little peek inside? Well, since my living/dining room could use a major facelift, I'll give you little lookie at some of the things I like. Here's the Chloe sofa from Macy's:
We already have the Brandon rug from Pottery Barn, but I want the Franklin rug, too:

I also love this floor lamp (Torsade floor lamp by Visual Comfort and Co. from Circa Lighting). It's totally not in my budget (well, unless I'm cool with my son skipping college), but hey, a girl's gotta dream a little. And besides, it's all about inspiration, not replication.

And how about Nantucket Fog or Van Courtland Blue from Benjamin Moore? Pretty relaxing, right? Like I'm a tired mom and could use a nap relaxing?

These are just a few my happy little nuggets. It's true; collecting these pieces, if you will, make me happy. They  inspire me, allow me to create (even just in my mind for now) my vision for my home. Hey, I even let the hubs in on it (but only if he produces some quality ideas). How's that for adding a little fun to your marriage? Who needs a dinner out when you can collect paint samples together in the aisles of Lowe's with a child clinging to your hip? Pure romance.

You may chuckle a bit (believe me, I do, too) at my little organizer. It has to be the least technologically savvy way to do this. Recently, Sarah introduced me to and I'm loving it. I'm not sure I'm ready to put my cute pink folder to rest and lose the tangible take-it-with-you option, but I admit that the thought of organizing (oh organizing, how I love you so) my inspirations electronically...well, that just brings me to an extra-happy place. I confess I'm a bit of a techno-moron, so while I'm sure there's a way to do this electronically and take it with me, my head might explode. Baby steps.

So how do you get (and keep) inspirations for your home or for those of potential clients? Any tips or tricks? Please let me know...okay, even if it involves more technology. I'm ready for it; bring it on.  

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Craftsmanship: custom artistry by hand

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