Category Archives: Inspiration

Spread the holiday cheer!

I know I’ve still been a bit spotty in my web-world appearances.  I have been sure to keep my creative juices flowing and recently entered a contest on Olioboard.  I would LOVE it if you would vote for my holiday mood board!


Dynamic Design

Things start as hopes and end up as habits.

-Lillian Hellman

Image courtesy of

Dynamic Design

As I’ve mentioned before, I am going through quite a transition in my life. Between my career changes and deciding where to go with my decorating passion I have certainly worked hard to stay positive.

I saw this quote yesterday and thought it was perfect for what is going on in my life right now.

A diamond is a piece of coal that stuck to the job.

Michael Larsen

Flowers always make me smile (Image from

Looking for Inspiration

Yesterday was Day 3 of Apartment Therapy’s 20/20 Home Cure. Maxwell talks about looking for inspiration to help find your style and ideas for your own home. Definitely not a new idea on Fabulous in Four-Hundred Square Feet:

Fashionable, Frugal and Fabulous!

While reading my many favorite design blogs, I ran across this amazing decorating ideas at

Using the dust bags that come with you favorite designer bags, this creative blogger made affordable and fashionable decor.

By simply framing some handbag dustbags, you can create unique and budget-friendly art.

I’m always looking for ways to create affordable and unique art – what have you done?

[Photos and ideas from]

Dynamic Design

While I had prepared myself for the transition of job culture from my last job to this new one, or so I thought, it has been a surprisingly frazzling first two weeks. My schedule is all thrown off, I don’t have much work to do, I’m still getting used to wearing “grown-up clothes” ….. the list goes on.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still extremely excited for what the future may hold, and grateful for all that I have, but I’m drained. Hence, the short post today. I promise I will be much more on the ball next week.

I came across this quote the other day. I think it will help me to justify my current mental state and the physical state of my closet.

One person’s mess is merely another person’s filing system.

– Margo Kaurman

Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend!

Fall into the weekend

I’ve been seeing and reading so many articles about getting ready for fall, making your home feel like fall, fall decor etc. I’ve never really changed up much around my home for the seasons in the past but am considering taking a look at it this year. Here are some of my favorite ideas for fall:

  • Of course Martha Stewart changes up her decor for fall. Here she share some crafty ideas for fall and Halloween.
  • Family Circle has some great, and super simple, ways to add a touch of fall to your home.
  • Better Homes & Gardens does a before and after autumn-inspired living room.
  • Nesting Place blog had a Fall Mantel Party with some beautiful fall inspired decorating ideas.
  • Thrifty Decor Chick has some great ideas for giving your home a warm fall glow with candles.
  • I absolutely love the turquoise and red color palette used by Room Remix’s.
  • A great idea to approaching fall inspired decor is to break it down into various elements. belle maison looks at some affordable fall elements you can add to your space.

What are your plans for fall? Do you typically decorate for the seasons? Will you be incorporating fall into your home this season and if so, how?

Most importantly, have a wonderful weekend!

Reuse, Recycle…Capital Home Show Recap

As you already know, I went to the Capital Home Show at the Dulles Expo this past Saturday. This was my first experience at any sort of home show so I didn’t have any real expectations.

We got to the home show around noon and spent maybe a total of an hour and a half or two hours browsing the two buildings. It was quite the hodge podge of exhibitors – everything from flooring, to remodeling, to microdermabrasion to purses and jewelry – definitely unexpected. The exhibitors seemed to be geared towards home remodeling and big ticket items which was a bit disappointing for me as I was hoping for more interior decorating and low-budget solutions, but again I had no idea what to expect. Another minor disappointment was that most of the decorators that were there were from the Virginia area – I don’t think I met any from D.C. or Maryland.

My favorite part of the home show was the Habitat for Humanity ReStore display.

Habitat’s ReStore resale outlets sell reusable and surplus building materials to the public
While every ReStore is a little different, most focus on home improvement goods like furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances.

ReStores accept donated goods which are sold to the general public at a fraction of the retail price. The proceeds help local Habitat affiliates fund the construction of Habitat homes within their communities. (From:

The displays kept in theme with ReStore’s of reusing and recycling materials. Here are some pictures from my favorite display – Urban Chic.

The designer said that this space was designed with the young woman living in Ballston, VA in mind. Approximately 90% of the items in the display are from ReStore. The chairs are adorable! They are from ReStore but have been reupholstered using only a glue gun and a staple gun.

These great shelves are meant from the fronts of cabinets.

This side table was my favorite part of the display. Believe it or not it is made from one of those gaudy old brass chandeliers. While I think I am pretty creative, I don’t know if I would’ve ever thought of this. I love it!

So there you have it – my first home show experience. I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Wishful Wednesday

I am currently working on a redecorating project for my first client! I’m very excited.

For the living space, I have decided to give it somewhat of a safari feel. Here are some amazing rooms from ELLE Decor of “The Allure of Animal Print”.

All images courtesy of

Dynamic Design

I have been struggling, since Friday, with the management of my apartment building. While I was enjoying my week off last week, I also began to have some upper respiratory issues. I eventually figured out that I only had problems when the HVAC (air conditioning) unit was turned on. After mentioning my concerns about potential mold to management on Friday (9/17/2010) and being brushed-off, my boyfriend and I were able to open the unit partially to find this:

While I’m not a scientist or an expert, this looked a lot like mold to me. Long-story made short, I have not been sleeping my in apartment since Thursday night. I’ve been in a bit of a battle with my building’s management to get them to resolve this issue.

I’m a fan of quotes, and came across this one in my blog-reading and researching today

From success to failure is one step; from failure to success is a long road.

– Yiddish Proverb

Happy Tuesday everyone, and don’t forget to let me know what topics you would like to discuss.

It’s your turn to speak..

While I do love talking about my own projects, I’d really love to hear from all of you out in the web-world.

What would you like to discuss?

Do you have a project or idea you want to share?

Just “Comment” on this post or send me your ideas via the “Contact Me” page.

I look forward to hearing from you all.

Wishful Wednesday

My first new decorating and organizing project during my time off is my desk. If I’m going to take decorating seriously, I need a very workable and accessible space. Mine is still in progress, but here are some workspaces I love.

I'm not sure I would be able to have anything like this in my real life (I don't like lots of 'stuff') but I just think this is an inspiring workspace. Photo Courtesy of Country Living.

I love how this workspace blends in with the living space. Photo Courtesy of Country Living.

In a perfect world, this would be my workspace (but just for 1). Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy.

See why it's so great!!! Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy.

Elegantly hidden! LOVE! Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy.

Happy Hump Day! I know I sound like a broken record, but for free decorating advice, or if you want to share your great projects and ideas, e-mail me!

Dynamic Design and Living in the Moment

Creativity is maximized when you’re living in the moment.

– Lululemon Manifesto

This past year has been a roller-coaster, to say the least. I have had some extreme highs and lows and everything in between. In the past 2 weeks, however, I have finally started to feel myself. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t running on stress.

For some reason, I’m still having trouble falling asleep, but instead of using this time to agonize over what I need to do or should have done I’ve been relaxing. Living in the moment is a very new thing for me. It has allowed me to explore my true passions (ie. this blog and my decorating aspirations) and to really appreciate all the people and things around me.

I will be starting my new position on September 27th and my last day at my current job is tomorrow, the 10th. With the two weeks in between, I hope to really ground myself for the first time (at least in my memory).

What do you do to ground yourself? How do you continue to live in the moment?

This is my favorite place in the world - literally. Mohonk Mountain House is in New Paltz, NY and about 40 minutes from where I grew up. It is my heaven. Photo:

Redecorating My Living Room – Design Dissection: Step 4

If you’re like me, budget is one of the first things that comes to mind when wanting to take on a project. While I did not have a set $$ amount in mind for my living room redecoration, I wanted to try to redecorate my living room without any big ticket purchases.

For me, it was best to identify if there was anything I felt the space really needed. To get the space and style I want I decided I would need an area rug. Additionally, I needed to do something about the one chair in my living room. My new futon slip-cover is brown and my chair is navy blue.

Overall, I needed to make purchases that would help to bring the pieces I had together. My shopping list was:

  • chair slipcover (or inexpensive new chair)
  • large area rug
  • coordinating and stylish throw pillows
  • window treatments

Even with my shopping list established, I felt I was missing something. To help determine what that ‘something’ was, I saved images of the items I was considering. Along with images of my current furniture, I was able to place items side by side to make the perfect space.

Throughout my shopping my process, I continued to refer to my binder of design inspiration. I wanted to make sure that this time around I was going to establish a style and space that I loved.

You can find a list of my purchases here.

Redecorating My Living Room – Design Dissection: Step 3

Step 3 to redecorating my living room was to find design inspiration. Looking for inspiration to redecorate my living room was fun and extremely helpful.

As I mentioned earlier, has a wonderful style engine to help in identifying your style. After completing sproost’s style engine, I identified my own style as a combination of “French Eclectic”, “Cottage Chic” and “Hollywood Couture” or what I have called French-Cottage-Couture.

Here are some examples of each design style:

An example of French Eclectic style from

An example of Cottage Chic from

An example of Hollywood Couture from

Keeping this in mind, I was able to focus my search for other photos of spaces with elements that I like. Here are a few spaces that I wanted to pull from in my own living room redecoration:

From: David Jimenez

From: decor*pad

What did you find for your redecorating inspiration?

Dynamic Design

An artist cannot do anything slovenly.

– Jane Austen

Tobi Fairley's, far from slovenly, office

Getting a little personal

Apparently when I said I would post a little later, I meant MUCH later – my bad.

I thought I would get a little personal today.

I’ve loved writing this blog for the past 2 months! I’ve enjoyed sharing my ideas, experiences and projects while also sprucing up my own apartment. When I first started this blog, I’m not sure I had any real plans beyond just writing a few posts about my decorating projects. Since then, a lot has changed – my small plans have turned into big ideas and my life has been on a bit of a roller coaster.

BIG Ideas. I’m a dreamer a heart and have a creative spirit that I’ve apparently suppressed for the past decade. In the past year-ish, I have been discovering quite a bit about myself and as a result, I’ve grown and changed. All for the good (at least in my humble opinion). To make a long-story short, I have been toying with the idea of starting my own business.

My bestest (translation: best friend) and I have been meeting up every two weeks to work on a business proposal and explore the possibilities, obstacles and intricacies of starting a business. I think I have a name picked out, and am very anxious to get something started.

To be completely honest, this is all getting a bit scary.

My Roller Coaster of a Life. This year has been eventful to say the least! After several years of single-dom, I started dating an amazing guy in July 2009. I have decided to cope with some deep-seeded issues from my past. My ‘step-cousin’ died in a car accident at age 20. Most recently, my mentor and role model died of pancreatic cancer.There you have it – a very brief description of the past year.

There is just one more thing – my job. I have been job searching since January and was given a conditional offer from a government agency in June. All wonderful, except that for the clearance they had to contact my current employer. To make another long-story short, my employer has already hired my replacement. My replacement has started working and works in the cubicle next to me – awkward. My last day at my current job will be Friday, October 29, 2010. While I now have a conditional offer, I don’t have a start date from either agency as my clearance is still in progress. As you may have already figured out – I will, as of now, be unemployed for the first time since I was of working age (15 I think) in my life. Frightening!

So there you have it.

I’ve been able to post so frequently at the start as I have completely checked-out in my current 9 to 5 position. I have realized, however, that I need to check back in, at least a little bit. This is where you finally see how this sh*t-show affects you.

I will have to cut-down my frequency of posting. I will post Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Should I become an occasional slacker at work, I may add an extra post or 3. Just wanted to give you all a heads-up.

I’m so grateful to all of my readers. I can’t tell you how happy your comments make me (to know that someone is actually reading and cares a bit). Keep reading and I hope that you all will start to share your spaces and decorating projects and challenges with me (email:

Wishful Wednesday

I’m a fan of dreaming big. I have a large stash of inspirational images of various spaces that I wish were mine. Here are a few of my dream living rooms:




Design Principles: Color, Pattern and Texture

The final principles of design – color, pattern and texture.

While color adds a lot to a space, it can be further enhanced through the use of pattern and texture. This is particularly important in monochromatic schemes to avoid the room looking dull. Pattern and texture add depth and interest.

Short and sweet for these design principles (as I’m still recovering from yesterday’s surgery).

Here are some great uses of color, pattern and texture:

Design Principles: Rhythm and Repetition

When thinking of these next design principles, all that comes to mind are my days of being a band geek. Contrary to my musical associations, rhythm and repetition are very important elements in design, as well as music.

Design Our Sign provides a very comprehensive explanation:

How objects relate to one another develops rhythm. This works the same way in a home as it does in a piece of music. Rhythm creates interest. It can make an area come alive. Repetition and contrast are key elements to use. A modern example of this would be a room that is mostly one color (monochromatic) and feels very harmonious and comfortable. This is achieved by using different textures and materials of this one color. The mix of textures (contrast) combined with the repetition of color provides rhythm.

Here are some examples of rhythm and repetition: