How To Decorate Series: Gathering Design Inspiration and How To Create A Moodboard in Keynote

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In the last instalment of the How to Decorate series, I talked about space planning and room function. Obvious as they may be, taking the time to think about those things will help you hone in on the best way to layout your room. You’ll be able to identify any structural changes that need to be made and figure out what your furniture needs are. 
Once you’ve answered the basic question of what you want the room to “do”, you can focus your attention on how you want the room to “feel”. If you’re a design fanatic, this might be the most fun part of the process! At the end of this post, I show you an easy and simple tool that will help you create the most beautiful designs. But first,

How do you go about decorating or designing a room? Start by finding inspiration. 

modern farmhouse mood board, how to create a moodboard, design inspiration ideas
image sources: rug | sofa | art | mirror | wallpaper | pendant light | baskets | vases
There are a wealth of resources out there to help spark your decorating ideas. Here’s four sources to check out when you’re in need of design inspiration:
  1. The most popular source by far is Pinterest. A visual search engine, use Pinterest to collect ideas and save images that inspire you. I organize my Pinterest boards by room (here’s one for Mudrooms & Storage, and another for Kitchens) and also by style (check out The Beach House for coastal decor ideas)
  2. Do you like to read about design ideas in depth? Design magazines are still a great way to get inspired. Plus, you can spend as much time as you want poring over every detail in the photos. I still subscribe to a few printed magazines and use the Texture app to read many other digital publications.
  3. Design blogs (like the one you’re reading now!) are a wonderful way to see not only ideas but the How To’s of implementing those ideas. Some of my constant favourites are Centsational Style, A Thoughtful Place, Emily A. Clark, and Marcus Design. Find bloggers whose style you want to emulate and they’ll likely share ideas you want to bring into your own home.
  4. Instagram, much like Pinterest, provides an abundance of visual inspiration. Use Instagram’s “Save” function to stockpile ideas. You can also sort your ideas into folders for easy identification. One little trick: if you’ve got a favourite Instagrammer, click to see who they’re following and you might find new accounts with a similar style that you’ll want to follow too.
  5. An unexpected source for design inspiration? Your closet! Yes, the colours and patterns you wear are likely similar to what you’d like to see in your home design. In my closet, there’s an abundance of blue, florals and crisp patterns, and gingham and plaid. And if you’ve seen my house, you’ll know that holds true for my house as well!
Now that you have a wealth of ideas, how do you bring them all together?  By creating a mood board. 
how to design a room, how to use a mood board, how to create a mood board

What is a mood board?

A mood board or moodboard is a collection of images which together convey a design concept or idea.

What do you use mood boards for?

Mood boards can be used for many different purposes including:
  • creating a decor plan for a room
  • defining your brand colour scheme for your business or blog
  • planning fashion outfits
  • creating a round up of products, ideas, or colour inspiration
  • creating a gift guide
  • planning your garden and planting scheme
  • defining your decorating scheme for a holiday, birthday, or event
Whether you are a design blogger, professional designer, or homemaker, the uses of mood boards in aiding home design are endless! Perhaps the biggest benefit of a moodboard is this:

A mood board is a great way to see how your ideas work together – before you make any permanent purchase decisions

You can swap products in or out of your mood board. You can bring elements together and see how you like the entire scheme. And once you get things looking just right, you can purchase the products shown with confidence. Mood boards save you from second guessing and making costly mistakes.

How do you create a mood board?

You can create a physical mood board using a pin board and images cut from magazines. Or, you can create a digital mood board using a graphics tool. 
You don’t need Photoshop or a fancy graphics program to create a mood board. It can be as easy as copying images from the internet and pasting them in a blank document.
In this video, I show you my favourite and one of the easiest ways to create a mood board using a program you likely already have on your computer: Keynote.
Keynote is super simple to use and produces mood boards with ease. Are you inspired to create a mood board of your own? Let me know if you do! I’d love to see it.

Fireplace Mantel Decor Ideas for Spring

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fireplace mantel decor ideas, spring mantel decor, how to decorate your fireplace mantel, fireplace greenery

fireplace mantel decor ideas, spring mantel decor, how to decorate your fireplace mantel, fireplace greenery
Spring is just around the corner. Can you feel it? Slowly, I’m transitioning the corners of our home from heavy and dark winter layers to bright and light textures. I’ve put together a simple spring mantel with touches of Easter to carry us through the next few weeks. Let me show you around and share a few tips on how to decorate a fireplace mantel for spring.
fireplace mantel decor ideas, brass fireplace screen, how to decorate your fireplace mantel, fireplace greenery, living room fireplace
I love this view of our living room from the kitchen. When I decorate our mantel, it’s with this view in mind… I like having a fireplace vignette that draws you in and entices you.

Tip #1: Add something with height. Fill the full area above your mantel

The flat wall above a mantel provides an ideal spot to put artwork or a large mirror. I always start with deciding what goes in that spot first and then fill out all the other areas. Not only will a large object create a focal point but it does a good job of filling up the physical space. It’s best to decorate with a few larger pieces than many smaller pieces, which can end up looking cluttered.

fireplace mantel decor ideas, how to decorate your fireplace mantel, fireplace greenery, living room fireplace, glass jug with branches

Tip #2: Add in greenery and flowers

Fireplaces tend to have a lot of hard edges and textures. Tile surrounds and hearths are made of stone and the fireplace typically has straight lines and crisp architectural details. To soften the look, bring in greenery and flowers. 
In this display, I’ve stuck to just greenery using faux branches and a faux topiary. You can also use flowers and plants like I did in this Nautical Inspired Summer Mantel to bring in more colour. The glass jug and branches are new purchases but everything else was sourced from around my house. The branches were a steal from HomeSense at just $4 each – three people stopped me in the store asking where I got them. Now I regret not buying more, lol!

fireplace mantel decor ideas, how to decorate your fireplace mantel, fireplace greenery, spring mantel ideas

Tip #3: Bring in colour and texture

A change of colours is a simple way to indicate a change of seasons. For my spring mantel, soft whites, pastel blues and yellows felt right. I’ve also added small little touches of Easter into this display. Just a few speckled eggs and a sweet bunny to give this mantel display some longevity as I don’t plan to change it out again until the summer.
If you notice, I’ve stuck to three main textures – wood, glass, and greenery – and repeated them throughout the display. This helps give the mantel cohesion and all the accessories work together.
fireplace mantel decor ideas, how to decorate your fireplace mantel, fireplace greenery, living room fireplace, glass jug with branches

fireplace mantel decor ideas, how to decorate your fireplace mantel, fireplace greenery, spring mantel ideas

The colour palette is also repeated around the room. The pillow is an older one from Tonic Living but the cheery hue still feels fresh and modern. Cherry blossoms are a sure sign of spring!

fireplace mantel decor ideas, spring mantel decor, how to decorate your fireplace mantel, fireplace greenery

Tip #4: Decorate in Threes 

The rule of decorating in groups of threes always works. An uneven number of objects brings harmony and creates a more pleasing display. It’s also a good idea to use objects of varying heights. Here, you can see that I’ve used large, medium, and small accessories in each corner to create a display that is varied and interesting. 
fireplace mantel decor ideas, how to decorate your fireplace mantel, fireplace greenery, spring mantel ideas

Tip #5: Balance and Symmetry 

This last tip is the most contentious. Generally, decor that is balanced and symmetrical is the most pleasing to the eye. You can see that I have used a very symmetrical arrangement on this mantel – three objects at varying heights on each side. The colours are similar and neither side feels too heavy or imbalanced.
However, decorating your mantel with an asymmetrical display can be just as beautiful. In this example, I used only two small and white objects on the mantel. That made the mirror really stand out. Play with balance and symmetry to emphasize or deemphasize parts of your display.

Today I’m joined by a fabulous group of blogging friends who are also sharing their Spring Mantel or a Vignette in their home as part of the Seasonal Simplicity Spring Series! You’re going to love all this springy inspiration…

Josef Frank 1934 Liljevalchs sofa for Svenkst Tenn — still available today

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I occasionally hear from readers who want to learn more about interior design and decor from the 1920s, 1930s, and early 1940s, before mid century modern took hold main stream. So, how about this gorgeous classic sofa still made today: the Liljevalch sofa designed by Josef Frank in 1934 for Svenskt Tenn.  Josef Frank’s Liljevalch […]

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Trending Now…February 2019

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Do you consider your design taste to be trendy? Do you like having up to the minute style? I lean to more classic styles that I know I won’t tire of, but once in a while I just crave something trendy. Having just one trendy piece can make a whole room feel more current.
I thought I’d introduce a new monthly series here called “Trending Now”. This will be a quick list of items that I’m seeing over and over on blogs and on instagram. Some are more popular than others but they all share one thing in common – they feel very of the moment.
Home design trends for spring 2019. Vintage rugs, coral pillows, landscape paintings, globe chandeliers, wall baskets

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post

This coral and cream pillow showcases two trends: the evolution of millennial pink popularity in a  slightly deeper hue, and the mix and match of fabrics. I’ve got two of these pillows in my shopping cart right now – they’ll make the prettiest addition to my living room for spring!

I’ve long loved opaque light shades (I prefer not to see the lightbulb!) and the throwback to 1970’s design makes the round globe the shape of the moment. This multi-tier chandelier feels both modern and retro.

Little landscape paintings are everywhere. I love them especially in modern kitchens (a la Jean Stoeffer) or tucked on a shelf. This shop has a great curated selection.

Vintage rugs have been trending for a while but lately, I’ve been seeing them in deeper hues and higher contrast designs. I think a long runner like this one would be dramatic in a modern hallway, against light wood floors and white walls.

It’s almost time to trade your winter gear for rain gear. This rain boot doesn’t look like a rain boot, making it especially noteworthy.

One emerging trend is the use of plants in the home. This hanging wall basket and this head planter are two novel ways to display your greenery. I think the wall basket would make a great alternative to a wreath on your front door!

What do you think… are you ready to bring any of these trends into your own home?

Mah Jong sofa by Roche Bobois — a 1970s icon

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The 1970s was my favorite decade for interior design, because designers really pushed the limits. One undeniable success: The Roche Bobois Mah Jong sofa, a modular sofa design created by Hans Hopfer and launched in 1971. The Mah Jong sofa was originally designed with more subdued upholstery, but Roche Bobois has kept this sculptural design […]

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Double sink or single sink in the kitchen? Weigh in!

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It’s a kitchen design question as old as time: Double sink or single sink, which is better? Some readers recently started commenting back and forth on the question, and it occurred to me that we’d never discussed and debated this topic in a story. (We did discuss the classic toilet paper over or under question, […]

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The Love List

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This kitchen is perfection. I love the working island

I’m surprised how much more organized this small closet looks now!

A shout out for some beautiful Canadian homes

I’m due for a new pair of earrings for spring. This one looks fun

Traditional bones + a quirky vibe in this home

Emerging trends. I agree with #5!

Are fanny packs back? If so, I’m going with this one

Pretty tile & vanity combos

I’m totally eyeing these sneakers for spring (the scallop!!). These ones look cute too

I’m completely inspired by the oversized lamp on this nightstand

And can you believe I’ve been writing my weekly Love List for almost 10 years?! I’m shocked too! There’s a lot of gems in those past posts so I thought I’d share some of the most popular Love Lists. Just click on through to see more interesting links:
– i still love the plaid runner in this Love List
– the real life home tours in this Love List were fun
This Love List features a really pretty dining room table