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Friday, March 5, 2010

The Style Files: Organizing your home inspiration

Recently, I've devised my own little system of logging all the great inspirational home decorating pictures I find on the web. I've made an "Inspiration File" as a Word Document in Microsoft Word. When I find a great staircase or a kitchen I love, I copy the picture and paste it directly in the Word Doc. I'm always careful to save constantly.

Before, I was just throwing photos in a Gmail draft but that wasn't too easy on the eyes or easy to print if I need to. With my inspiration document, I can literally print out a book of all the things that have me thinking creatively about my home.

My way of organizing my favorite home decor across the web is just ONE of the many out there. Take these for example if you're still wondering how best to keep yourself ready to create:

Young House Love

In this post on their site, John and Sherry describe how they keep their thoughts straight by creating an actual physical catalog. They literally rip out pages, slide them in clear page protectors, and throw them in a binder for easy perusing later. Read more for their extra tips here


This recent addition to the Gawker Family (along with and is a visual search engine of crafts, including art for the home. If you register with them, you can favorite any of the posts to keep them handy. However, this is obviously limited to whatever photos they have and not the entire interweb. Same goes for Etsy which will allow you to favorite items and sellers. I prefer to favorite sellers as items disappear the minute they are sold!


I used Houzz to pull together my office space inspiration and I really love it as a design inspiration gatherer. They've got an easy to use interface, great search, and best of all a quick way to add any picture to your own "ideabook." You can make several, divisible however you'd like. This is also a great option for inspiration you can get to from any computer.  

Apartment Therapy

In a reply to a reader who's amassed hundreds of scanned photos and online ones, AT suggests the option of getting a specific small USB drive to store the photos and printing yourself an ideabook once a year through a site like Shutterfly. For more of that post, click here.

AT also recommends these 11 other options for storing online inspiration. Some are traditional (printing out and organizing by hand) and some are very creative such as using Flickr.

No matter how you organize, the trick is to find a system that works for you and gives you an easy way of creating and USING your style file.


Becolorful said...

We all have something that works for us. I have folders on my desktop - decor, altered art, painted furniture etc. When I see something I copy and paste it and save it in a desktop folder.

rachel said...

i use tumblr to store all my inspiration. it's awesome because you just click a button on your bookmarks bar and it automatically creates a post with the link/photo/text/whatever you want to save, and you can access it from anywhere.

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